Can you read this?
TH15 M3554G3 53RV35 TO PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG TH1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 TH1NG5! 1N TH3 B3G1NN1NG 1T WA5 H4RD BUT NOW, ON TH15 LIN3 YOUR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 1T 4UT0M4T1C4LLY W1TH OUT 3V3N TH1NK1NG 4B0UT 1T, B3 PROUD!
This was posted on a Facebook status and proves that after 5 years of age, we are so versed at reading words that we skim through them and recognize words that our minds are looking for rather than sounding them out. This is what the paragraph says written correctly:
This message serves to prove how our minds can do amazing things! Impressive things! In the beginning it was hard but now, on this line your mind is reading it automatically without even thinking about it. Be proud!
When you think about writing for your business this makes you less proud and instead sick to your stomach, right? Fact is that studies have shown that we read only about 28% of the text on a page. That, coupled with the fact that many people still prefer to read on paper and not computer screens you need to ensure that your website is written to get your message across.
- Choose no more than 3 variations of text – body text, headings and sub-headings. Don’t go crazy with loads of different fonts, sizes and colors. It makes it hard to read and definitely harder to skim.
- Select a font that is both web-friendly as well as easy to read. Typically, fancy fonts are ok in the header but definitely not in the body text. Try to keep with conventional fonts as your audience is used to recognizing those fonts.
- Be concise. Don’t over-embellish or belabor a point, instead be direct and use bullet points and section headings. This helps people skim the page and find exactly what they are looking. Don’t skip out on important information, but be conscious of the word count.
Find out exactly how readable your website is by entering your website URL here: www.read-able.com