Keep Your Website Content Simple
Have you ever visited a website and been immediately put off because of its content?
Maybe it was because there was too much (or too little) text to read or maybe it was because the text that was there was so technical and convoluted you had to reread it multiple times to try and figure out what it actually meant - regardless, there is an important to lesson to learn here: simplicity.
You've probably heard the acronym KISS ("keep it simple, stupid") before, and if there's one area where this is especially relevant it is websites - and in particular, website content.
Here are just a few recommendations and reasons why to keep your website content simple and easy to read.
Lists, lists, lists...
People love lists!
They are easy to read and follow, they get straight to the point, they are more visually appealing than a big chunk of text and, depending on the type of content you're writing (e.g. a blog post), they can often go viral (though that's a whole other topic).
Lists are a great way to break down a bunch of text into quick, simple, bite-sized bullet points.
Writing an instructional guide to help your user complete a set task or action? Numbered steps will make sure your users can easily follow along without getting lost or stuck.
Covering symptoms a dog might display if it has a particular illness or condition? Bullet points will make the information much easier to digest and prevent the reader from being overwhelmed.
Circumvent employing substantial words (or avoid using big words)
Your website visitors are after information, pure and simple.
There's no point in providing this information if no one will understand it.
Think of the average age of your website visitors as 12 years old - they're almost definitely older than that, but if you write towards a 12-year-old reading level then you can be sure everyone will understand what you've written.
This can also benefit you when it comes to your website showing up in search engine results: very few people will be searching for something like veterinarian (Wikipedia has actually included it in its list of common misspellings), so it's best to keep it short and sweet and go with something like "vet" instead.
Priority of information
It's best not to annoy the people visiting your website - don't promise them the information they're looking for and then not deliver it.
Most people have a short attention span - especially when they're on the internet - and they don't want to spend too long finding the answers to their questions.
It's best to figure out the priority of the information you're providing - the information most important to visitors should be as high up the page as possible with the less important information being lower.
This is known as the inverted pyramid in journalism - and it's worked for years.
Don't make the user scroll to the very bottom of the page to get what they want - or risk the user leaving your website completely after a few seconds if it's clear they're going to have to work to find the answers they need.
There are a number of ways to keep your website content simple and easy to read.