Annette Riley Web Design 
Wednesday Web Tip                                          August 15, 2012

I will be sending a quick Web Tip to you on the first Wednesday of each month, or whenever I have a tip to share! The tip will be short, important to know and easy to implement.  


Blah, Blah, Blah and Yakety Yak - Writing Better Content    


In 1958, The Coasters released a song entitled "Yakety Yak," which was glimpse into teenage life. The parent is giving the teen a list of chores, and consequences for not doing them. The teen is responding with "Yakety yak" (the 1958 version of an eye roll + whatever). The frustrated parent retorts, "Don't talk back."


Does your website just yak at your visitors with an overload of words, but little useful content? Very often, text just takes up space because it is never read. Your visitors won't talk back, they will just go away.


Usability expert Steve Krug offers a solution for unnecessary text in his classic book, "Don't Make Me Think. "Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left." In other words, be ruthless in your quest for good content.


What kind of text can be eliminated? Here are is an example to get you started:


Limit Happy Talk. We all know "Happy Talk" - it usually starts with the words "Welcome to..." It is supposed to welcome us to the site, tell us how great it is or what we're about to see in the section we've just entered. Unlike good promotional copy, it conveys no useful information. Get rid of it! Don't focus on saying how great you are; focus on how great your solutions to your visitor's problems are.


What difference does clear, concise make?

  • It makes the useful content more prominent.
  • It reduces the noise level of the page.
  • It makes the pages shorter. Users see more of the page without scrolling.

Get rid of useless text and welcome visitors to your Web site with a clean page, useful content and intuitive navigation instead.  


Enjoy a blast from the past: 


The Coasters- Yakety Yak (with lyrics)
The Coasters- Yakety Yak (with lyrics)


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