Of course, you do want your visitors to read your content. But based on the loads of websites that follow exactly what I’m going to tell you here, you’d think many don’t. Here’s a short list of ways to encourage your visitors to give up and click away.
1. Keep your type size small.
The smaller the type, the harder to read. Since it’s harder on the eye to read on-screen anyway, this will ensure your visitor will give up sooner—or better yet, not even try. This is especially true if you…
2. Make your sentences and paragraphs long and drawn-out.
If you can run that sentence on to take up the whole paragraph, all the better, and the most sure-fire way to prevent your visitor from even starting to read your content is to give them a “sea of gray” to look at, since it will intimidate them from the get-go, making sure they will click away and probably never come back, especially if your type also follows the above point which, if you recall, is to keep your type size as small as possible.
3. Stay away from subheads.
Subheads by their nature attract attention. They help skimmers know what your page is about without having to read everything. They also break up the text into bite-sized pieces, which completely compromises the point above.
If you don’t want visitors reading your content, don’t use subheads.
4. No bullets.
They also attract attention. Is that what you want?
5. Don’t add space between paragraphs.
Remember, the more gray, the better. Once you start adding white space in your text, it looks more inviting.
6. Use light type on a dark background.
It’s so cool looking – and it’s harder on the eyes than dark text on a light background. So, especially if you have a lot to say, be sure and say it all with white text on black, or orange text on blue.
After a few pages (or even paragraphs), your visitor will gladly leave to give his eyes a break.
7. Use 10-dollar words and lots of technical jargon.
If your visitor is determined to read your content, one great way of forcing her to work harder is to throw around long obscure words. I suggest ones like: petulant, perendinate, objurgate and supererogatory.
Along with that, using jargon will ensure no one outside your own circles knows what you’re talking about.
There are more, but start with these, and you’re well on your way to having content on your website that no one will want to read. The advantage of this is, of course, that you won’t have to work so hard to come up with quality content. Who’s got time for that?
How about you? Do you have other suggestions that have worked for you?
(On the other hand, if you believe in working hard and posting great content, then feel free to do the opposite. When your visitors do take the time to attempt it, they’ll feel welcomed and valued. They’ll be able to easily see what you have to offer them, and come back for more.)