You’ve found the perfect product to sell and you’ve found the perfect design template for your website, so you assume that you have everything you need to start a successful online business. However, even with a gorgeous website and a desirable product, you could still drive your customers away if you don’t know how to present your information. If you overwhelm them with too much text or too many visuals, they’ll think your website looks tacky and unprofessional, and they won’t want to give you their financial information.

As you put content on your new website, avoid the following mistakes. You’ll look more modern, professional, and trustworthy as a result.

Mistake 1: You use large, impressive words and complex sentence structures to appear more erudite.

Remember when you used your text editor’s thesaurus feature to find the longest and most scholarly words for your college essays? Those words may have wowed your instructors and added authority to your essays, but they won’t do the same for your online customers.

Web surfers don’t search for products or services for the fun of it. They don’t want to puzzle through long words or multi-clausal sentences. They want to find your page’s point quickly. If they feel confused, they’ll leave you in favor of a more straightforward provider.

You can prevent this problem if you keep your content at a sixth-grade reading level. Use short, simple, and active sentence structures, as well. Your sentences shouldn’t span more than a line or so.

Mistake 2: You don’t begin with a hook or call to action.

Many amateur websites begin with the phrase, “Welcome to the website of [insert company name].” And while this phrase seems to convey a friendly atmosphere, it bores readers. Instead, start your website with a command, and make sure that command conveys your product’s benefits.

For example, if you sell fashion accessories, you could say something like “Take your wardrobe to the next level.” Readers will want t o know what the “next level” entails and how they reach it.

Mistake 3: You talk more about yourself than how your product will help the customer.

Sometimes readers want to know when, why, and how you started your business, but usually they don’t. Rather, they want to know how you and your product will help them live a better life.

As you write your content, focus on how your product benefits the reader. Does it make them healthier, happier, or more attractive? How does it do that?

Additionally, talk about other benefits, like low prices, handmade materials, customization, etc. These benefits allow readers to save money, promote artisan businesses, flaunt their uniqueness, etc. Don’t forget to explain why each benefit matters.

Mistake 4: You put your textual content into a big, unbroken, solid block.

Online shoppers like simplicity and open spaces. And if you fill your website with solid blocks of unbroken text, your customers won’t read it, or they may miss critical information.

Break your text into manageable chunks. This division means that your paragraphs should fill four or fewer lines. If they go any longer, they will overwhelm your reader.

Mistake 5: Your text doesn’t include organizational elements.

After you’ve broken your text into shorter paragraphs, you also have to add organizational elements. Every two inches (or every one to three paragraphs), break the section with a subheading. Subheadings give readers a visual break from reading, boosting their attention span. Subheadings also help the reader understand your text’s major points.

Mistake 6: You include hundreds of words of text on each page.

You may think that your pages need 600 words to completely describe your product and your company. You may also make long pages so search engines think of them as more reliable. But when your textual content becomes too long, it overwhelms readers and it may even confuse them because they try to skim rather than read carefully.

On normal webpages, keep your content within 300 and 400 words. Don’t push the boundaries of this word count. If you keep your text short and descriptive, you’ll keep more web shoppers interested.

Mistake 7: You use a large number of fonts and text colors.

Simplicity keeps web surfers more engaged than complexity, as counterintuitive as that might sound. Choose a maximum of two fonts and two neutral text colors so your web pages look neat, modern, and professional.

Mistake 8: Your text and background have similar colors.

Readers shouldn’t have to strain to read your text. They’ll feel impatient because they have to do so much work. Make their job easier by ensuring the background and text have a clear contrast.

Mistake 9: You include a large number of meaningless graphics and photos.

Your online customers don’t need 20 gifs or graphics to keep them interested. They only need one or two high-quality pictures of your product. You can also include a slider near your website’s navigational pane that seamlessly showcases what you have to offer. Or you can include a gallery page exclusively dedicated to neatly organized pictures.

With these tips, you’ll keep your reader informed and engaged rather than overwhelmed. For more tips on creating a successful web site, check out the rest of our blog.