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How to Avoid Sloppy Web Site Copy

Copyright 2002 Herman Drost



If your web site visitor can’t find the information on your web site, within 10 seconds or less, you will lose them. Two of the largest factors that contribute to this, are the lack of clear purpose and poor layout of your web pages.

Let’s look at how you can resolve each of these issues.

Lack of clear purpose – the first page of your web site must have a clear title and description, which immediately states what your site is about. (if you need help to determine the purpose of web site, read: “How To Build A Web Site That Sells”

You must include a clear benefit of your product or service in your description. For example if you are a web design company, your title may be “How to Build a Web Site That Sells”. Your description may be something like: “Let us save you precious time and hassles, by designing a professional web site that WILL sell your product or service”. Realize many others may be competing to sell the same product. Focus on something unique you may have to offer, that stands out from your competitors. If you are setting up an affiliate program, make sure it is a reputable company with a good track record with lots of help available from others involved. Don’t recklessly jump in – you will waste a lot of time and money. This is the number one reason, why many entrepreneurs give up so quickly.

1. Alignment – There are 3 kinds of alignment for your web page – left side, right side and centered. Choose one, then use it on the entire page or even throughout your other web pages. Don’t try to mix alignments, because this will make your web page look unprofessional.

One such example, is to align all the text on your page to the left. This will create a strong edge and make it easier for your visitors to navigate and read. Avoid bumping up your text to the navigation bar or graphics. Create an equal amount of space between all the elements on your page. If they are bunched up, it will create a cluttered appearance.

2. How To Use White Space – Visitors do not appreciate useless clutter and masses of content on Web Pages. Most users prefer a page with well distributed content resulting in less clutter. Users quickly scan pages and the more that they must scan through, the more information they will miss.

This does not mean you should not provide a lot of information. Just do not provide it all on one page. Each page should contain approximately 50 per cent less text than a printed version of the same information.

If you have a lot of copy on your web site, try to have only 4-6 sentences per paragraph. Split the page up into different topics, with the subject title close to the accompanying text.

3. Repetition – each page of your web site should look like it belongs to the same web site, the same company and same concept. For example, navigation buttons, colors, style, illustrations, format, layout can all be part of the repetition that unifies the entire site.

4. Contrast – this is what draws you into the page and pulls you in. Pages that just have all text and no graphics, or vice versa and have no contrast can be very boring (unless it is an article or book). If elements on your page, such as type, rules, graphics, color, texture, are not the same, make them very different.

Be aware of what you want the visitor to focus on. What will be the first thing that a person will be attracted to when that person first enters your site? If your site is not well organized, it will be difficult for your visitor to find what he is looking for.

5. Graphics – graphics should be used to illustrate the benefit of your product (this is why there is the popular saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”). You should use them to enhance the experience of your visitor. If it does not have a clear purpose to be there (other than just to have a pretty picture on your site), don’t use it.

6. Spelling and Grammar – bad spelling and grammar can destroy the professional effect of your web site. Don’t just use the spell checker for correcting your copy. Read through it yourself several times or get a friend who is a proficient proof reader to check your work, before you launch your site for the world to see.

With a clear purpose and layout to your web pages, your visitors will easily find the information they are seeking, rather than your competitors. Doing this, will help to increase sales from your web site.
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Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of iSiteBuild.com Low Cost Hosting and Site Design
(with FREE comprehensive web traffic analysis)

Subscribe to the “Marketing Tips” newsletter for more original articles. subscribe@isitebuild.com
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