5 Ways to Boost Your Website's Readability

A potential client is referred to your business by their friend. "Check them out! They have the most adorable baby clothes!" they say. They do what everyone else does, they Google you and click on your website.

The first thing they are greeted with is your website homepage. They do a quick scroll, click on your products page, scroll again, and ultimately click away from your site. No purchases made, they didn't sign up for your emails, and there was very little engagement on their end.

Why did this happen? Because your site is messy and poorly formatted.

Your website is the showcase of your business. It doesn't matter how great your product is- if your website is messy, your credibility will decrease and your clients will be running far away. Clean your site up and optimize your formating with these five tips.

1. Get Rid of Distractions

Clear the clutter on your site by eliminating the unnecessary graphics, crazy color schemes, bulky ads, and crammed text.

Your site should be simple, easy to skim and convey your message quickly (considering most users only spend around 10-20 seconds on a site anyways).

Your design should use a palette of colors that complement each other, as well as your brand.

Graphics that aren't relevant to your content will draw the reader's eye away from your product- so avoid using them.

Use ads sparingly. Picture a site you have visited, where each sidebar was loaded with junky looking ads- I'll bet you left the site pretty quickly because ad stuffing is not pretty and comes off very salesy.

Use the power of white space (or negative space) to your advantage. White space will direct your reader to the important content, while also giving their brain time to process the information being presented to it. As mentioned by Dmitry Fadeyev, when used properly, white space can increase the reader's overall understanding of the content by 20%.

2. Ensure Accuracy

Nothing destroys your credibility more than inaccurate information and typos on your website.

You have spell check + grammar check for a reason, people use it (and if you don't have it, stop what you are doing and add Grammarly to your Google Chrome browser- it's free and oh-so-worth-it)!

Double-check your contact info- Is this still your email address? Is your address correct? Are your contact forms working properly?

No part of your website should go overlooked when it comes to accuracy- clients will find the smallest of errors- find it before they do!

3. Use Lists, Charts, or Tables

Organizing your information into an easier-to-read layout will attract the attention of all readers, including the "skimmer" (someone who glances over the article- paying most attention to lists, bold words, and photos).

Break up large bodies of text into bullet-point lists. Lists are easier to read and they tune in to our brain's tendency to categorize information.

Input information and statistics into a chart or graph format. This, once again, appeals to our brain's desire to throw things into categories and will give the reader a visual rather than just numbers.

4. Optimize Mobile Formatting

In the internet-driven world that we live in today- your online presence is everything. in 2018, a study showed that 52.2% of users used their mobile devices to view websites. What does this mean? Well, for you it means you have to make sure your mobile formatting is bangin'!

If your site isn't optimized fora mobile layout it could be detrimental to your sales. If users are come across your site and are greeted with overlapping text, disproportionate images, and have difficulty navigating- just like when your site is messy- they will end up leaving.

Most website building platforms offer an easy mobile-formatting option. It's as simple as moving around a few elements and ensuring a uniformed look across the site. It is vital that you take the time to do this!

5. Check Your Links

Whether it be a link to an article or the menu button to your blog- make sure your links are working!

Your authority and credibility take a huge hit if your potential customer tries to click your 'sale' tab to check out your latest deals, but instead ends up on a blank page staring at something like " Error 404 Not Found" or "Oops! What you're looking for is no longer available".

If you have a 'Blog' button, do you actually have your blog linked to it, or is it another broken link dead end? Do you have photos on your pages that don't show up due to a broken link?

Each time you post new content, check over the links one more time before hitting that 'Publish' button. A quick scan over your site tabs and product pages can never hurt. More information on finding and fixing broken links can be found here.

These tips are so simple that they are often overlooked. They will help to drive-in web traffic when used correctly, and ultimately increase your search engine optimization (SEO). Each takes only a bit of extra time but will give your brand credibility and increase your chances of landing high-quality clients.

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