Why websites need words and pictures | Results-driven web design

When was the last time you saw an image online that stirred up all kinds of emotion in you?

In fact, it seems that the web today is all about images, right?

Well, not necessarily.

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Sure, we love our images. We love beautiful pictures. We feel an emotional surge when we see images of exotic travel locations, fabulous-looking hotels, mouth-watering food, or a beautiful sailboat on the ocean. Research shows that social media posts fare far better when accompanied by an image. We hear everywhere that people respond to images, and no one wants to read a bunch of text.

And now the latest web-design trend—definitely not for everybody!—is so-called “immersive” websites, websites that feature enormous images. Like the current version of Patagonia.

At the end of the day for most websites, though, people really do want words. They want to see what you have to say. They can’t really understand all those beautiful images without words to give them context.

You need to provide this context. This is especially the case when they’re considering whether to buy any kind of professional service from you or your firm.

So you have to make it easy for them. Super-easy. Remove every obstacle in the way of someone reading your webpage all the way to the end.

Getting people to read your web copy is crucial to SEO and getting people to find your website in the first place. This is also imperative so that people can get to know, like, and trust you.

Readability is key

When readers get to your website, what do they see? Do they see large blocks of unbroken text, long paragraphs one after the other?

That can feel daunting to a visitor. Most people want to scan text online, and not read long passages. Recent studies show that website visitors form that vital first opinion of brands in two-tenths of a second! Your site should be completely inviting and easy to read.

White space (also known as “negative space”) is the “empty” space on a page—the space unoccupied by images, words, buttons, widgets, or anything else. It’s negative space, but it’s not without purpose. It lets the eye rest, and highlights what is important. It is the space on the margins, inside the boxes, and between the paragraphs.

I’m a typographer, so it’s easy for me to figure this out. And I know better than anyone that a cluttered web page overwhelms. One with plenty of white space invites the reader to come in and stay for a while.

Create an inviting website

How to add white space:

  • Write with simplicity—don’t try to cram too many ideas into your post
  • Use shorter, rather than longer words
  • Break up long, cumbersome sentences into easier phrases
  • Make paragraphs smaller and more “digestible”
  • Break up pages and posts
  • Write in lists, using bullet points
  • Add subheadings to highlight information
  • Use graphics and images, but don’t overwhelm your reader with them
  • Write in WordPress and preview frequently.

When you add white space you make it easier for your visitors to comprehend what you are writing. And that gives you a better chance they’ll decide to hire you, which is what it’s all about in the first place.

There’s so much competition online. Make it easy for people to love your site when they land on it. If it’s the right fit, you will get the client! How’s the white space on your site? Send me a note and let me know!

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