How to Improve the Readability of Your Content

There are a number of ways to make your content more readable, for a better customer experience and more chance to convert visitors into buyers.

Font Type

There are two classes of font – serifed and sans serif. Serifs are the little curls on letters, such as on Times New Roman. Sans serif lacks these curls. Good examples would include Arial and Verdana.

Studies have shown that serifed fonts make readers read more slowly, as compared with sans serif fonts, which are better for scanning text (such as on a web page). Choose your font depending on how quickly or slowly you wish them to read your content.

Font Size

Font size will depend on several factors, including which type of font you choose, serif or sans serif. It will also depend on the font itself. A Calibri 12 will be a lot smaller than a Verdana 12. Think about readability issues for your audience, such as if you cater to an older audience that might have vision issues.

Headlines should usually be larger than the main body of the text. Make sure the text is not too small.

Bold, Italics and Underlining

Use these strategically. If you overuse them, they will tend to lose their impact.

Font Color

Font color should most often be black on white. Use accent colors sparingly. Red usually means to stop and pay attention to something, so it can be used strategically on your pages, such as when you want people to buy now or pay attention to the price.

Color Contrast

To call attention to text and break up the monotony of an all-white page, try black writing on a pale canary background (hex code #fffbc4). This is a good color for adding extra information such as reviews and testimonials on a sales landing page.

Kerning and White Space

A lot of people create very crowded-looking web pages because they don’t leave enough space between lines, known as line height or kerning. Try to make your page crisp and clean looking.

Avoid Very Long Lines

Every computer screen is different in size, and varies from the tiny smartphone to a huge panorama. However, most of are used to a “page” no bigger than around 8.5 x 11. With responsive design, the page will “snap” to suit the size of a person’s screen or browser, but this could mean lines 20 inches wide or more. Limit the text area of each page.

Use Shorter Paragraphs

Shorter paragraphs means more white space on the page, which makes the page easier to read.

Use Subheadings to Break Up the Text

Subheadings help people scan the text more quickly, for greater readability.

Watch Ad Placement

Ads can make a page very clunky and slow. Keep them to a minimum unless they are the main revenue earner for your site, such as through the AdSense program.

Embed Videos

Videos are very large files and won’t stream well directly from your site. Upload to YouTube and then embed the code.

Pop-Ups and Other Promotional Content

Pop-ups tend to run on JavaScript, which can often break. This could mean your page will load very slowly, in which case your visitor might get impatient and click away from your page. Pop-ups can be annoying for users. They will be even more irritating if they are broken and cover the content that they really want to get at. Make sure there is a big X to help people get rid of the promo content.

Follow these simple tips and you should be able to create a professional-looking and highly readable site.