When visitors decide to read your web page, they only read about 20% of it. While that’s tough, there’s a way around that.
“We’ve known since our first studies of how users read on the Web that they typically don’t read very much. Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for higher-literacy users… our recent eye-tracking studies further validate this finding.”
So, when visitors decide to read your web page, they only read about 20% of the content. Damn, that’s tough. Well, there’s a way around that.
So what can we do?
Since visitors scan, make the page easier to scan to give them the gist of what’s being communicated. The Nielsen Group suggests the following:
- Start with a short summary
- Use numbered and bullet-ed lists
- Bold important key words
- Include images to support the content
- Create smaller paragraphs
- Use bold headings to separate sections of content
For article content, it’s important to indicate how long something is going to take to read. This website automatically calculates and displays the total time based off of average reading speeds.
As the visitor scans, they’ll begin to see the gist of what’s being said is relevant and they’ll slow down to read the whole page. But that’s not all. In order for the reader to take action, the copy has to be informative and compelling.
Write informative and compelling copy
The core of the Web is about information—your visitors are looking for answers. When a visitor realizes your site could be of some value to them, they will continue to search your site.
Successful websites communicate their value proposition very clearly. A Value Proposition further answers the top questions in the mind of the visitor like:
- Why should I buy from you, rather than another?
- What benefits will your services bring me? (not features, but benefits)
- I have fears about your industry, can you talk about these?
- How much effort will your service or product ask of me?
Overall, concise copy turns interest into action and browsers into buyers.