Content that converts is inclusive

Imagine you had an employee who would only communicate with some of your visitors. 

Gather a hundred members and prospective donors in a room, and this employee would speak in an inaudible whisper to half of them. When they lean in — “What was that?” — he just whispers the same answer again. Every tenth person he just ignores. He won’t answer their questions at all. It’s like he’s not there.

You’d never put that person in a room full of patrons. But that’s exactly the kind of experience they have on your organization’s website when you publish PDFs or text-heavy images.

I want to persuade you to stop taking shortcuts when you’re publishing content. 

It’s understandable why you’d want to list member benefits and exhibition information in images or PDFs. You made a nice image for your brochure, and it’s so easy to load it onto the website. Why type up all that information again when you can just upload the PDF to the website? Kill two birds with one stone, right?

Those shortcuts come at the expense of your visitors, which winds up hurting your organization’s revenue.

Why?

Because when you trap text inside of images or PDFs, you make it hard for people on mobile devices to read why they should join. They have to squint, pan, and zoom to read the text — and that’s if they have 20/20 vision. Like that employee who will only whisper, your website becomes an obstacle rather than a tool that facilities revenue-generating activity for your visitors.

And publishing text in images and PDFs makes it impossible for people with low-vision to access with screen readers. 

placeit.jpeg

Here’s how that PDF you published looks on a mobile device.

Use HTML to display communicate information to your visitors. The text will resize to accommodate the viewer’s device, and people with low vision will be able to access the content with assistive technology.

You don't want to exclude anyone, do you? You want to reach a diverse audience, right?

Head over to your membership page. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Are benefits and other key information trapped inside of an image or PDF? That only impedes people’s ability to join your organization and give you money.

Take the text that’s inside that JPG or PDF on your website and put it on the site with headers and paragraph text. Maybe it won’t look as pretty on your desktop computer, but it will be accessible to the people you’re trying to reach.

(Bonus: Google can’t “see” the text in PDFs or images either — so now that you’ve placed membership benefit details on your website in text, more of your content will be discoverable to people searching the web for membership information about your organization.)

Taking the extra step of making your content web-friendly will make it easier for young people (who do so much on their phones), the old folks who don’t have perfect vision (like my 39-year-old self), and those who can’t see without assistive technology (yes — they’re out there on your website!) to join your organization.

That’s it for day 3. It may be impractical for you to cleanse your organization’s entire website of these user-unfriendly pieces of content, but today is the day you can clean up your membership page and start a new habit within your organization.

Please do let me know how it goes in a reply.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle