• Writing for Web

The Art of Writing for the Internet

Website visitors don’t read web articles like they would printed text. Writing for the internet requires stepping out of the rules print writers are familiar with, and changing your habits.
If you only take one piece of information from this article, it needs to be this:

WEB CONTENT IS NOT READ

Users typically scan for information. They skim the pages looking for highlighted keywords, meaningful headings and lists. They will skip everything that does not look instantly relevant to them. Your paragraphs of perfect content convincing them to stay aren’t even registered. They just want to make a quick decision about how relevant your content is to their needs.

Your visitors consider two things:

  1. Does your website have what they are looking for?
  2. Can they find it easily?

It is your job to make sure they can:

  1. Find it
  2. Action it
  3. Share it

BE CLEAR AND CONSISTENT

Know who you are and what you do before you start writing. It will make it much easier to:

  • Create a clear and consistent message
  • Stand out and be found
  • Write persuasive content
IF PEOPLE ONLY GLANCE AT MY WEBSITE, HOW DO YOU I GET MY MESSAGE ACROSS?

USE HEADINGS AND GET TO THE POINT

Headings very quickly grab readers’ attention. You should use short, catchy headings to give people an idea of the contents of your writing before they start to read through it.

Your customers need to know the big picture first. You need to let them know what’s in it for them from the very first paragraph. You have a very short period of time (about 3-5 seconds) to grab a reader’s attention before they lose interest. Respect their time by getting straight to the point. They might even respond by taking a look at your site beyond the article you’ve presented them with.

A WEB PAGE IS NOT A BOOK

There’s no need explain what you’re going to discuss, present an overview, and draw your conclusion at the bottom of the page. There’s no time to build intrigue and suspense. The most important point needs to be stated first.

KEEP YOUR WEB CONTENT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE

  • Use short headlines
  • Change lengthy paragraphs into bullet points
  • Highlight, make text bold or use italics for emphasis
  • Replace or complement text with images or videos
  • Add whitespace

WRITING FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)

This approach also applies to writing for SEO. If you keep your message consistent and targeted at your audience you’re off to a great start. Back up your approach by:

  • Answering the questions that potential customers are asking
  • Doing your research. What are they asking?
  • Using phrases and words your potential customers are looking for
  • Discussing one key topic (keyword phrase) for each page
  • Including links to relevant pages and sites
  • Being helpful. Attract potential customers to your website by providing them with useful information

WRITING SIMPLE CONTENT IS HARD

We’d love to tell you that writing persuasive web content is easy, but we prefer honesty. Writing simple content is really hard.

You can’t be everything to everybody, so don’t try. If you have multiple audiences and purposes for writing your article, break it up. Three targeted articles are far more valuable to your reader than a single general one.

FEELING UNCERTAIN?

You can test the readability of your content through a variety of tools. You may be able to use tools such as Yoast in WordPress, or you can copy your content directly into an online reader such as Readability to assess its reading ease.

2018-05-20T00:01:55+00:00March 17th, 2016|Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Websites|

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