1. Headline – needs to be in prime real estate and bigger than anything else to get attention.

2. Simple, easy to use navigation – easy to find, consistent, no overwhelm, no guesswork!

3. Don’t underestimate the power of using the text as hyperlinks to aid navigation too.

4. Content – put your message up front – but in the readers terms of reference. Keep it short, clear, simple and concise.

5. Scanability – most people won’t actually read your copy, so put key information in bullet lists and key words or SHORT phrases in bold to attract attention.

6. Reading for the bots – keywords and phrases need to be repeated 2-4 times – but don’t bend the copy out of shape to accommodate this. Bots are getting quite clever these days and can tell when you’re keyword stuffing.

7. Readability for humans – DON’T use:

  • Light writing on a darker background
  • Justified paragraphs
  • Centred paragraphs
  • Fancy fonts
  • Two colours that are similar in tone alongside each other
  • All caps in headlines (or anywhere else).
  • 8. Fonts – stick to a sans serif font – like Verdana, Arial, Tahoma or Trebuchet. Serif fonts (Times, Palatino, Garamond) are too fussy for the screen resolution to present well.

    9. Page layout – keep it clean and simple, avoid 2 column layouts and very wide or very narrow columns of text, put visuals to the right of your copy so they don’t encourage people to skip bits, put things where people expect them to be (ask me if you’re not sure) so they don’t have to stop and think about anything.

    10. Tell people what you want them to do and then make it easy for them to do it.
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