Writing for the Web
Writing content for your website
Writing website contentWriting for the web is a matter of common sense and adjusting your writing style. The way website visitors read website content is unique and is nothing like when they read a book. If anything reading on the Web resembles the way we read a newspaper. The eye jumps around, on a webpage, looking at headings, titles and boldface text only then settling on those areas or website content that piques an interest or satisfies a need.
Even when the visitor decides to read a particular block of text they will tend to skim through it gleaning only those bits of information that interest them. As a result if you want to make your content sticky it must be brief, ripe with ideas and focused only on relevant content that enhances your website theme. Filling your webpages with needless content will only increase its bulk and do nothing to retain visitors.
No successful website wastes any space on filler copy. Filler copy is copy which is written to take up space or feed keywords to the search engines and imparts little knowledge to the people reading it. Even if the search engines take the bait and index your website based on these keywords your visitors will be disappointed and they won't stay long.
Web writing tipsThere are several factors which when properly applied will improve your writing skills and add to visitor satisfaction. They are not difficult to learn and the results will surprise you. They are;
- Make your webpage titles focused and interesting. Short titles that provide clear and directly expressed ideas are the best. Concentrate your webpage titles into 3 - 7 word phrases for optimum effect.
- Maintain a logical structure for your arguments. Each block of text should have a pattern of progression that moves from title to subject to conclusion. Always present your message clearly with structured thoughts and minimum wording.
- Write each block of text beginning with an explanation of the message that it contains. The introduction of any new range of thought should set the stage for the information that is to follow.
- Keep the information that you are imparting to your visitor succinct. Every sentence should provide information that relates to the subject matter at hand.
- Keep your word count within a reasonable range. A good rule of thumb for any webpage is to maintain a word count of 600 to 800 words. This is sufficient for the logical development of any line of thought.
- Use a simple webpage layout that emphasizes the textural content or body of your message. Provide an unobtrusive framework for the information you wish to present.
- Use a clean and simple text font preferably a sans serif font. This will make your web copy easy to read and more easily understood by your visitors.
- Develop each new area of thought it in obvious steps. Never use unnecessary wording. Avoid confusing metaphors or distracting and irrelevant comments.
- Employ the judicious use of bullets and subtitles. Bullets and subtitles can be used to highlight ideas and particular areas of subject matter.
- The use of lists is one of the best ways to show the logical progression of any thought or argument. Use lists sparingly and only when it is imperative to the understanding and explanation of your narrative.
- Spelling must be impeccable. Poor spelling gives the impression of ignorance and will undermine your credibility in the eyes of visitors. Use a spell checker on everything that you write.
- The use of proper grammar is as important as spelling. Awkward grammar will give the same negative impression as poorly spelled words. Always proof read your copy.
- Avoid long winded discourses in your webpage copy. Keep your sentences and paragraphs concise and to the point.
- Use white space to lead your visitors eye around your webpage. Borders and blank spaces, when wisely employed, will focus a readers attention on the subject matter you are presenting.
- Graphics should be only provided as an extension of the textural content of your webpage. Always be sure that the visuals you utilize expand on or emphasize the content that they support.