You simply can’t get away with a clunky, hard to read website. Visitors will quickly suss out whether what they’re reading is easy to read or hard going. Rest assured that they’re not going to continue reading if the way it’s formatted makes it all too hard; they’ll hit ‘back’ and quickly find one of your competitors. That is why you should take website usability very seriously.
Can you improve your site with a few simple corrections? If so, go ahead. If there are just too many knotty problems, you might need to scrap the whole thing and start again. Hire someone to redesign the front end, and here is one time when it definitely doesn’t pay to scrimp on the cost. You pay to get good quality work done. Find a web designer who is capable of creating a simple, clean, uncluttered layout.
You have a web design you’re happy with. Now read through the copy and see how it flows. Is it fluent, with down to earth, conversational language, with no awkward phrases? You might be lucky and find that with a few minor alterations, you can come up with a pleasant and free flowing piece of copy which is clear and easy to follow.
Remember that a large proportion of your readers is only going to skim the paragraphs, they’re not going to read it through word for word. To enable them to do this comfortably, without missing any important points, keep the reading area narrow, use short paragraphs and use plenty of sub headings.
It’s a good idea to work with the rule of thumb of one page, one point. So on one page you might explain one point you want the visitor to learn, or outline one benefit of your product. It might be necessary to split one page into two or more, rather than to cram in too much information. Having lots of web pages will make it easier to read and also will enhance your search engine optimization efforts.
If you’re finding this all too difficult, you can always hire a good web designer who is experienced in this area to do the work for you and help work on your website usability. You may even like to split-test your changes to see whether in fact the changes are benefiting you.
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