Business owners know you have to grab the attention of a reader within a few seconds. This is especially true with advertising & marketing copy. However, many business owners think this means you have to cram as many words as possible into the reader's view. They think people will refuse to turn the page of a brochure or scroll down a webpage.
Marketing firms know that approach is counterproductive. In fact, a large study published in Time Magazine found that, on average, internet users on a normal media pages spend about 66 percent of their time below the fold (which means they tend to scroll quite happily).
The secret? MORE WHITE SPACE! And here's why:
Gone are the days of search engines ranking pages based on the number of times a certain keyword or phrase appears. In fact, you could easily be penalized for using this tactic today. Google is now reading text more like a human and ranking pages based on how useful they are to visitors. The amount of time they remain on your site is a factor, so it's okay to make them scroll. That shows that they're engaged and want to learn more.
If a few words are cushioned with white space, whether on paper, on a billboard or on a screen, a reader immediately knows that those words are important. It guides them through the page and leads them to other content.
Subconsciously, consumers attribute white space to high quality. Think about some of the most successful brands (especially the more upscale ones) and how they market themselves in print advertising. Expensive beauty products and luxury items, such as Chanel and Rolex make fantastic use of white space. It elegantly gives a page a feeling of added sophistication and professionalism, making you appear confident in your product or service and making readers feel respected.
When you include white space between paragraphs and around the most impactful blocks of text, it helps visitors absorb and understand the content. Researchers from Wichita State University studied this concept and found that the added white space increased reading comprehension by nearly 20 percent.
The more words a viewer sees at one time, the more daunting a page becomes to read. However, too few words can also ruin the user experience. A good rule of thumb is to try to have about 12 words, on the average, on each line of regular paragraph text.
To designers, white space is just as important as any other element of an ad. To other creative professionals, the same concept can apply. If you're creating content and have no design expertise at all, you can easily incorporate this critical marketing principle into your work. Just remember that when it comes to design and messaging, less is more! Work to create pieces that heighten interest and direct your target demographic to learn more by going to a unique URL or calling a dedicated phone number.