If you want people to get your message you need them to hang around long enough to read it. There are lots of reasons people don’t stay on a website; these are just five of them:

1. Too much going on, making it difficult for them to focus on any one thing and read even a headline.

2. No single point of focus – in other words several places with similar weight headings, making it hard to decide where to start.

3. Dark backgrounds with lighter coloured text. This tests the eyes and makes the brain work very hard processing the actual words rather than the sense of what they are saying. Most people give up quite quickly.

4. Long paragraphs that look ‘heavy’ – most of us think that it looks too ‘hard’ to read!

5. Justified paragraphs with all the lines the same length – so the reader’s eye doesn’t have a shape to help them track how far down they have travelled. It’s easy to get get lost and read the same line twice or skip a line. Frustration can send your reader looking for something less stressful to read.

These are simple things – but ones that many websites get wrong. How does yours stack up?
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