Website Content Writing Lesson #1: Readability
I define readability as “the type of content that gets noticed and increases conversions”
When writing content for the web, you must throw out the rulebook, even if your college professor would detest it. Web content writing is an entirely different animal.
What can you compare website content to?
A Newspaper Article? Nope
A Novel? Nope
A Journal Article? Nope
A White paper or report? Nope and nope
You will not find website content writing in an English textbook.
Copywriting for a company website is more sales-focused in a way that attracts readers’ attention without letting them know they are being lured to click the “buy” button.
And the way to get a reader’s attention is to use maximum readability.
So what is a good example of readability? Take this blog post for instance. I bet while you were reading it you didn’t notice how everything was spaced, bolded, and underlined.
If you are reading up to this point, I have done my job!
The content is laid out in a way that does not bore readers and gets the message across in as little time as possible. If I handed this in to my old English college professor, I would most certainly get an “F.” But we won’t tell her, will we.
Here’s the stark truth: Internet users give a website an average of 4 seconds to determine if it is worth their time. If they come across a site with content that is not stimulating enough, they will leave faster than they came.
Need an example?
I took a piece of my website content and re-wrote it to appease my college writing professor.
Here is a page of my content without readability:
Here is the actual page:
Which one do you think is easier on the eyes?
The first makes you want to yawn and seems too insurmountable a task to get through. Well, maybe just for me anyways—I have less patience than a New Yorker late for an appointment trying to hail a taxi.
The second example is spaced correctly, bolded for emphasis and uses bullet points to break up the monotony of the content.
Can you see the difference?
Break the Rules!
Throw everything you know about writing formats out the window. Website content is an entirely different animal. If you want to keep your visitors on your page and lead them to the conversion, your content must have readability.
And remember…successful website content isn’t just about good readability. The content has to be spectacular too. For some tips on crafting effective content, see my C.O.N.T.E.N.T. Writing Formula for Success.