As a copywriter I know headlines are important in catching the attention of your site visitor, and compelling website content pulls her in and lets her know exactly what you offer and why you and your company are a good choice.
But there's another often over-looked element at work that helps you break through the clutter of email, phones, social media and other distracting stimuli.
It's how your website content LOOKS.
Not the overall design of the website that's created by your designer. I'm talking about techniques you or your copywriter (if you hire one) can use WITHIN the content to enhance the power of the words, make them easier to read, pull the eye to the phrases and sentences you want to emphasize and make it easy for the eye to glide down the pages while reading - and understanding - your message quickly.
Here are some techniques you or your copywriter can use to make your website content easier to read and understand.
2. Capitals (use sparingly)
3. Italics (use VERY sparingly)
7. Varied line spacing
12. Text boxes
14. Different fonts
There are others too, some of which need the help of a designer but these are the most common ones that you or your copywriter can incorporate easily.
That doesn't mean you should go wild on the page! When you use one of these techniques, you need to be clear WHY you are using it at that particular place in the content. Why do you want to emphasize a certain phrase? Is it central to your message?
Using a technique for its own sake, without a good reason to do so, can backfire by creating an unwanted effect.. Emphasizing too much means that nothing stands out so you defeat the purpose.
These techniques can jazz up your content when used in conjunction with good words but they can't rescue your content if it's poor to begin with. So start with strong content, then consider what you need to emphasize using one of the techniques listed above.
Copyright 2010 Maggie Dennison