10 Ways Web Site Text Can Affect Your Reader's Buying Decision

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You want to do everything humanly and ethically possible to influence and get your customer to buy your product or service online. Not everyone's computer resolution is the same. Research has proven that the appearance of your Web site text actually can increase or decrease your sales.


That being said, the size, font, style and color of your text can easily affect your reader's buying decision. You want to attract -- NOT detract -- your reader while he's in buying-decision mode. Here are 10 points to heavily consider when typing text on your Web site:


1. Easy to read as 1-2-3. Make it as easy as possible for your present and future customers to read your text. (Duh!) You don't want to use a light-colored text like yellow on a white background, and you don't want to use dark blue text on a black background. You can't sell what they won't read. Make their surfing experience pleasant.


2. Create a mood. Like a good sonata and a glass of wine can put someone in a good mood, you want to use the color of your text to create a mood for your prospect. Want to create excitement with your offer? Use some red text. If you want to create greed, test and try some green text. Your product or service should be naturally targeted to the right prospect. So use colors that would put your reader in the right mood to buy your product.


3. Grab 'em immediately. Offline or online, I always preach that your headline is 85 percent of the battle. You can grab your readers' attention by using powerful, persuasive headlines. Headlines that leap off the screen and grab them -- pronto! (You have about two seconds to do that!) Make your headline more noticeable by using a different color than for your ad copy. This technique offsets the headline and pulls the reader into the rest of your ad copy where your goal is to keep them reading right up to the call to action.


4. Highlight keywords. You've seen them … and you love (or hate) them, but you can't ignore them. You should emphasize phrases and keywords that are important to your readers. For instance, use words like super, deluxe, fast, low price, free, new, etc. Techniques that work in traditional marketing are easy to duplicate online. Do it by bolding, underlining, italicizing, or changing colors. When you do that, your reader will snap to attention and think: "Hmm … this must be important."


5. Yes, size does matter! I know you probably know this already. Don't use text that is too small or too large. You should use larger text for headlines and subheadings. You want to use smaller text for ad copy. If your grandparents can't read it, it's too small.


6. Don't use ALL CAPS. In your offer you always want to keep your prospect off guard like a boxer keeps his opponent off guard until the final blow (or your call to action). You don't want to use all capital letters in ad copy. It looks unprofessional, is hard to read and to put it BOLDLY, it can sometimes come off as YELLING. Pick and choose where you want to use caps. You may want to use ALL CAPS IN YOUR HEADLINES TO OFFSET IT or in a specific area of your copy. Rule of thumb: less is more.


7. Not all fonts are created equal. You might not think of it, but you should use fonts that relate to the product or services you're selling. You don't want to use a comic-type font when you're marketing business books. Again, success breeds clues. You might want to check out your competition and see what they're using.


8. Space: the final frontier. It's important to use spaces properly when typing your text. Remember to always indent and bullet key benefits your product or service will give the reader. Headlines, subheadings, sentences and paragraphs should be consistently spaced throughout your Web site. Also, bullets have been proven to capture and immediately give important benefits to your reader. Paragraphs should not be more than five lines in length, and try to have as much white space between them as possible.


9. I need sunglasses. Don't use all bright text colors and backgrounds on your Web site. It will make your text hard to read and bother your readers' eyes to the point they just decide to leave your site. Here's a tip about laying out your copy: You should make it possible for the reader to keep scrolling down. Response will increase when you make it as easy as possible for them to get your message. If you have a landing page and at the end you have "click here" to read more … well, guess what? That's an extra step, and your prospect might not want to take it.


10. Check the readability. It's important to check your spelling and grammar before you upload your Web page. This is common sense, but we all forget to do this from time to time. Naturally, when writing ad copy you're allowed to break some of those grammar rules to get your point across.


Spell check and proofread your copy as best you can. But make no mistake: You should always get a professional proofreader to check your work. You can't possibly do it all yourself. (Your eyes are used to seeing what you wrote.) You need fresh peepers to do that. Poor spelling or sentence syntax will take your reader out of your copy immediately. And if your proofreader gives you a hard time about starting a sentence with a preposition, remind them that "you're writing like you're talking …" and not to win any grammar awards. You're here to make money!


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