written by MO.com Subject Matter Resource Payman Taei
Every good website starts with a good idea, and no matter what the idea is it has to be written down. So, every good website has a foundation in words. It doesn’t matter what your idea is, at some point you will have to include text on your website, and there are a number of important issues to keep in mind when you reach this point. Text can make or break your website. Always maintain good text.
7 Seconds Is All You Have
First and I think most importantly, you have seven seconds. Seven seconds after your website has loaded on a visitors screen they will either decide to stay, or choose to leave. That number might vary from person to person, but it is a good rule of thumb. If you are content, especially your text is not what the visitor is looking, for then they will leave your site and you have lost a client. Now, I know that sometimes people click a link expecting a certain subject matter and find something entirely different and you can’t help that your website happened to be that link. However, that should also be on your mind. Even unintentional visitors might stay if you catch their eye.
The best way to deal with these seven seconds is to skip the pleasantries and get straight to the point. Your visitor isn’t on your website to read a book, they are there for your product. Whatever your product is, you need to let them know right from the start. Whether you are offering information, opinions, a new invention, or an old coffee maker, you need to let your visitor know exactly what your website offers right from the start.
Size Does Matter
Another tool you can use to deal with this rule is to make sure your titles are properly sized compared to your subtitles and body text. People are not going to click onto your page and immediately begin reading line for line. They will be looking for large, bold words that match the information they want. If you don’t have titles for each section that have larger text than the body, then your visitor will see a lot of text that they don’t want to spend an hour reading if it turns out to not be useful for them. On the other hand, if you include proper titles that express what each section is about then the visitor can decide if there is any information they need. Also, make sure your content is visually appealing. If your titles are crazy colors and hard to read then you have lost your visitor. If your body text is too small or chopped up by other media then you have lost your visitor. If your color scheme is not complimentary and your text is hard to distinguish from the background then you have lost your visitor. Be aware that your words are key, but only if they are readable.
A good way to let people know what you are about so that the rest of your content is not cut short is to have an “About” page. It is a great resource for your visitor and a great way for you to introduce yourself and your content without cluttering your actual content. Be careful not to go overboard with this page. Make it simple, factual, and to the point. You are telling your visitors who you are, what you do, and why you do it. You are not telling your visitors your whole life story and everything you know about everything. Try to stick with a few paragraphs.
Remember, you have seven seconds. Your first paragraph has to tell either your visitor that they have found what they are looking for or they have not. Make sure you keep your content concise, your titles separate but cohesive, and you are “About” page short and to the point. If you get their attention then there is nothing to worry about.
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