7 Things That Are Making Your Website Copy Unreadable
Website copy is the text found on your website. It could include everything from blog posts to product descriptions.
Website copy needs to be easy to read in order to convert customers. If your website copy is difficult to read, most visitors won’t have the patience for it and are likely to abandon your site.
Below are just a few mistakes that people make when writing web copy that can result in poor readability.
Visitors shouldn’t have to use a magnifying glass to read your website. Website text should ideally be 16px or more in size. This will prevent text from being a strain to read - especially for those that are far-sighted.
You should make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. If your site views exactly the same on a mobile device as it does on a PC monitor, the text will likely be too small. A responsive website will automatically blow up the text to fit the screen that it’s being viewed on. You can find out more about designing a mobile-friendly website here.
There are lots of stylish and crazy fonts out there. Sometimes you can get away with using these in large headings, but they should never be used for main body text.
A popular example is Impact. This can be an effective font to use as heading when you want a dramatic feel. However, due to its chunky appearance, it could become illegible when used as a small subheading or as regular text.
Some of the most legible fonts include Futura, Arial, Georgia and Verdana. Such fonts tend to be light on serifs and aren’t too chunky or jagged.
Clashing colour choices are a common mistake. This can often happen when using colourful text on top of a colourful background.
There’s a fine art to using colours together. It’s usually safest to stick to black text on lighter backgrounds and white text on darker backgrounds. If you’re eager to use colourful text but equally want to play it safe, stick to bold colours on washed-out backgrounds.
Background images are known to cause havoc. When placing text on images, think carefully of where you position the text. You could also consider fading or blurring the image out - a lower contrast image could help the text to pop.
No white space
A wall of text is likely to be intimidating for most readers. Separating your text into chunks can make it easier to read. The space between these chunks is often known as ‘white space’.
Make use of paragraphing and subheadings to make text more approachable. Images, bullet points and text boxes can also help to break up text and make it more readable.
If your web copy is stuffed with keywords, it could be distracting to the reader. Keywords can indeed improve your search engine rankings, but you need to be careful as to how you use them. Not only could readability be affected by using too many keywords, but your rankings could actually be negatively affected too if you place the same keyword in every other sentence.
When bumping up your rankings, it can sometimes be better to use SEO services than attempt to do it yourself. A professional SEO company will be able to help you when integrating keywords. They will also be able to help you with other tricks for improving your rankings such as speeding up your website’s loading time and generating more backlinks.
Not all of your sentences need to be short. However, you should be careful of using too many long sentences.
The optimum sentence length is 15 to 20 words. If you continuously use sentences that are longer than this, readers may struggle to read your copy. This particularly the case with complex sentences containing multiple clauses.
Overly technical lingo
There are good times and bad times to use technical lingo. It all comes down to who your customer is and what their knowledge level is likely to be.
If you’re targeting people that aren’t experts you don’t want to be using overly technical language. Your readers won’t understand what you’re talking about and won’t be able to tell if your product appeals to them.
Only use technical terminology if your readers are fellow experts - in this case, using these terms can help to gain their trust. When targeting a mix of amateurs and experts, feel free to use technical terms, but make sure that they’re defined somewhere on your website.