How To Write A Website That People Will Actually Read

I have a big, weird pet peeve. At my grocery store, I always (always) end up in line behind people that can’t be bothered to unload their baskets. They just put them down on the conveyor belt and leave it up to the checkout person to take all the items out and stow the basket away. 

Some do unload the basket, then just put the basket down on the belt behind their items, never mind the fact that there is a woman behind them in line holding a five pound watermelon and an armload of Diet Coke.

When it happens, I turn into that angry emoji with the smoke coming out of its nose. But it makes me think. Why? Why do they do this?

I think the answer is this: people are protective of their time, energy and brainpower these days, and use them selectively. Even if it’s just the small amount of energy it takes to unload a grocery basket, or say, read a webpage.

Consumers are shopping online for everything these days, from custom artwork to wedding planners to logo designers. And they aren’t just comparing price points. They’re looking for companies they connect with, through their values, culture and personality. Which means your website content is more important than ever.

But when all of this searching is happening on tiny mobile screens, and our selective brains only give webpages a whopping 15 seconds to draw us in, how do you write a website that people will actually take the time to read?

You have to make it as easy as possible. Easy to skim, easy to understand and easy to identify with.

Here’s how.

Pick Your Main Points

Before you start writing, create an outline. Your high school English teacher was right, it’s an essential step. Once you have your outline, switch gears and look at it from the perspective of your ideal client. Cross out anything they don’t need to know before handing you their money.

Use Formatting Tools

Use headlines, boldface, and text hierarchy to highlight pieces of information that you want the reader to remember. But be selective! If everything is put in size 48 type, the reader won’t know what is essential and may skip reading all together. Use that outline you created to decide what content should stand out.

Create Opportunities for Connection

Don’t just add a list of your favorite things to your about page. Every page of your website is about your customer or client, and the point of getting personal is to create opportunities for them to connect with you and your business. Paint a picture of your life with relevant stories or details that your audience will relate to. 

Make It Bite-Sized

Two to three sentence paragraphs, short sentences and white space can mean the difference between someone reading your about page and quickly moving on. Tons of text is a turn-off because it implies a big time investment. Even better? Break it up with visuals.

Don't have time to write your website content or desperately need a professional edit? Hi! I can help.

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