Published on February 15, 2015
Research shows websites are less successful as marketing tools when text from print materials is shifted online. Both media use text and graphics, but people search for answers on the Internet and they search for stories in print.
More than a decade ago, Jakob Nielsen discovered through eye-tracking research that 79% of web users do not read text but scan it. Reading on computer monitors is 25% slower than reading print so it is uncomfortable.
Users become frustrated if they can’t find the information they want quickly. With the use of powerful search engines, web users have learned there are many places to find the information they want. Making it easy for users to find what they want on your site may make them your customer instead of another’s in the top search engine returns.
Information credibility affects the user’s reading speed and comfort. If you describe your community in grandiose or buzzword language, the user “bumps” as they stop to think about whether you are telling the truth.
For master-planned community sites, selling the ambience of a community with credibility is a challenge because it is a subjective quality. Not subjective are professional photos with tight descriptive captions.
Write in the language of your prospective clients. Unfamiliar terms, abbreviations, made-up words, pretentiousness – all of these annoy the reader. Use every day, conversational language.