In my last post, I explained three ways to write effective website content, but there are a few more guidelines that you can follow to most effectively present your message to your site visitors.
Along with headlines and bulleted lists, you can use spacing between paragraphs as a way to break up your content into more manageable chunks. Eye tracking studies have shown that most readers online consume content in an “F pattern” like the diagram on the right.
Spacing content throughout the page aids in scanning and makes it easier for visitors to dive into more specific areas of content, if something catches their eye.
When you’re writing your content, try to keep it at an eighth grade level so most people can easily understand what your story. For sites that target the general public, this is the ideal scenario. If your intended audience is more targeted, then a high school level may be more appropriate.
The easiest way to check the readability of your content is by using Microsoft Word. You can toggle the “Show readability statistics” under the “Spelling and Grammar” options in Microsoft Word and check your content by running it through spell check. The “Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level” will display a number that corresponds to a grade level. For example, this posting is written at a twelfth grade level.
Your audience may refer to specific topics differently than you would because you are an industry insider. When possible, avoid using jargon or technical terminology that may not be meaningful to your audience. This could include acronyms or specific technical language that you probably use frequently with colleagues or current clients, but for prospective customers visiting your website for the first time, keep it simple.
By following these tips, your website will more effectively tell your story, and most people appreciate being able to work with someone who can present information in a way that is easy to understand.