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Increase Sales with Easy-To-Read Web Pages

By Leva Duell
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004

Make sure you've made it easy for visitors to read your web pages. Web
pages with readable text will generate more sales than fancy pages that are
hard to read. Follow these design tips. Not only will your web pages be
easier to read, but you'll keep potential buyers at your site and position
yourself to increase sales.

Keep Pages Short -- Especially Your Home Page

- Put important content at the top of your pages so it's visible on the screen.
Users may not scroll through lengthy pages.
- In general, limit the length of a web page to two screens.
- Split up long pages into several pages.

Layout

- Use left aligned text rather than justified text.
- Write short paragraphs (4-5 lines).
- Indent paragraphs in sales letters.
- Limit the width of your web pages to fit your visitors' monitors. Your
visitors donÕt want to scroll left to right to see your content.
- Keep the look, layout, navigation, typefaces, and colors consistent on all
pages.

Break up Copy

- Avoid long pages of text.
- Break up text with white space, color, columns, lines, bars, and graphics.
- Break up copy into easy-to-read sections
- Use subheadings and bulleted lists to highlight benefits.

Color and Contrast

- Use color sparingly. Too much color can be distracting.
- Select a background color that contrasts with the text color.
- Avoid blue backgrounds when using blue links (the standard link color).
- Avoid dark backgrounds. Dark text on a light background is easy to read.
- Avoid text on multi-colored background images. Most background images
will decrease the readability of your text.
- Use web-friendly colors. Colors that look bright on your monitor may
appear dark on someone elseÕs and make your message unreadable.

Typography

- Avoid small type, reverse type (white text on dark background), and italics.
- Avoid using UPPER CASE in your body copy.
- Limit the number of fonts in a web site to a maximum of three.
- Use a type size that is geared to your target audience. For instance, use
larger type for older readers.
- Emphasize important words, headlines, and sentences by using color, bold,
and different text sizes. But do so sparingly. Too much bold or color
reduces the impact.
- Avoid underlining. Readers might think your underlined words or
sentences are links.
- Use standard fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, and Verdana. If
youÕre using fonts your viewers donÕt have on their computers, their
browsers will show substitute fonts and your web pages can look totally
different on visitors' computers than how you intended them to look.
- Avoid special characters like curly quotes, curly apostrophes, n-dashes, and
m-dashes. These characters may convert into bogus characters in web sites.

Images and Graphics

- Use images and graphics that support your sales message.
- Keep animation, blinking text, and scrolling text to a minimum. They
distract the reader from focusing on your text.

Check Your Pages

Web pages may look different on your visitors' computers, depending on
their computer, monitor, browser, and fonts. What may look great on one
browser may look unprofessional on another. View your web pages with
different browsers, computers, platforms (PC and Mac), screen resolutions,
and settings. Statistics indicate that visitors use a wide variety of browsers
and platforms.

If youÕre not experienced with web design, hire a professional web designer
to design your web pages and convey a professional look.

Keep visitors, prospects, and buyers at your site with easy-to-read,
interesting content. An easy-to-read, professional web site can maximize
your sales. Apply these techniques now.

P.S. Read more in-depth articles at (http://www.profitablewebstrategies.com)

This article is an excerpt from Inside Secrets to Developing a Profitable
Web Site. More info at (http://www.profitablewebstrategies.com/ebook.htm).
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