I’m getting older. You are too. It’s a fact of life that no matter how young we are now, one day we’re going to start feeling the creaks and groans of age settling in.
I can’t stay up as late at night. I’m a little slower to get going in the morning. When I’ve been writing for a long time, I feel stiff as I rise from my chair. Oh, yeah, and my eyesight is going, too.
Somewhere about the time we realize that we’ve flipped into middle age, little physical effects of aging sink in. They’re small at first and what gets noticed is what hurts most. Then other changes come to light, slowly but surely.
Lately, I’ve noticed I’m squinting a little more to read text on my monitor. I’m not keen on grey fonts and black on white serves me best. I don’t like Arial 6 (or 8 or 10, for that matter) fonts on websites, and I have to lean in and strain to read or give up and click away.
That’s important. How you write is key to online success. What you write is even more so. But what your content looks like has a huge, huge impact on your future.
I won’t dig up stats and facts on an aging population. It’s common knowledge that there are more people in the Baby Boomer generation than any other age group. These great people who gave the world so much change, innovation, and freedom are…
Well, getting old.
They’re also retiring. They’re looking for something new and fun or maybe investments for their future. They’re dabbling in hobbies and experimenting with all sorts of things.
They’re coming to an Internet near you – and they won’t be very happy when they have to squint, strain and lean forward to read your content.
You won’t be happy either. How will this age group’s needs affect your site traffic, conversion, readership and sales? Make no mistake – it will be affected.
That means you need good content, and you need readable content too. Think you have it already? Run through this quick list and see:
• Use shorter sentences and concise copy
• Describe less; integrate emotional impact instead
• Break up paragraphs into two or three sentences at most
• Use bolded headings and bullet points in your content
• Use a sans serif font that isn’t thin or wispy
• Choose a font size of 12 point or more
• Avoid italics, changing fonts or colored fonts
• Use a black or very dark font on a white or very pale background
Formatting copy for easier screen reading and accessible content is a challenge. It’s not easy to apply a larger font into the limited real estate space of a computer screen and convey the same message.
It can be done. And if your content is good, limited space and big fonts or not, you will engage your reader and compel the person to scroll down to read more. And that’s exactly what you want.