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The best way to write content for the web
All writing should be clear and concise. Writing content for the web is no different. If fact, it’s essential to write well because most users spend less than a minute on any page – often only 10 to 20 seconds, so you have to catch their attention and hold it.
Here are some tips to get your website noticed for the right reasons and keep your visitor on your site.
Know your Aim and Audience
Before you write anything, you need to know your aim and your audience. The aim is why you are writing. Do you want to increase sales? Do you want to influence decision makers? Do you want to give information on your pet subject? Unless you know and keep it firmly in your mind, you will wander away from your subject.
Your audience also matters. What is the age of your typical visitor? Are they mostly male or female? Are they from certain professions?
For example, if you want to sell party balloons for children’s parties, you have a clear aim that you can measure by the sales you get for each 100 visitors. But what is your audience? Is it the children or the parent that organizes the party? It is probably the parents.
When you know your aim and your audience, you can collect your content to write about.
Select content that’s specific and relevant to your audience
You know your subject well. This means you’ll probably have too much information. Don’t fall into the trap of putting down everything. Less is better. Select that information that’s specific and relevant to your reader. If you want to sell balloons you should think of the benefit to the prospective buyer needs to know.
Organize your content to suit your visitor
Use tabs to divide your content into section to make it easy to for your visitor to navigate to the information they he or she needs. Organize each page like a newspaper, with the key, relevant information in the first paragraph so the visitor, even if they are only on the page for a few seconds, reads what’s most important. Concentrate on the Five-Ws of information: Who, What, When, Where and Why.
Use white space and a hierarchy of headings
Don’t make your web pages look too dense. White space relieves the eyes and allows you to direct your visitor to the information you want he or she to notice. A hierarchy of headings, major and minor, also helps to guide the visitor.
Write all headings with a strong verb
Don’t write weak headings. To direct your reader through your page, use at least one strong verb in every heading. This is the way journalists write news headings.
- Google reveals AI breakthrough in detecting cancer
- Price of luxury New York property continues to tumble
- Investors betting on a stock market rebound
Note: Strong verbs show action.
Write in plain English
Your writing style must be easy to read. Follow the plain English model:
- Short sentences
- Active Verbs
- Everyday words
- No wordy phrases
Use StyleWriter to test your writing to see if it keeps to the plain English model.
Involve the visitor and issue a call to action
Try to involve your visitor. Invite them to run a demo, do a quiz or comment on a question raised. If your visitor something other than simply reading, they’ll stay there longer.
Rethink your aim and ask yourself what you wanted your visitor to do when they had visited your site. Was it to buy? Was it to give you feedback? Was it to ask them to recommend your site to others? Whatever it was, make sure you put it in a call to action.
To test how this has worked, don’t just count your visitors, count the percentage that followed your call to action.
Proofread and edit your writing
Finally, proofread and edit your website. Better still, get others to do so. If it’s a new website, even consider having it edited professionally. Use any tools that may help such as spell checkers, grammar checkers and especially a style checker such as our StyleWriter.
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StyleWriter – don’t just proofread your document – edit it like a professional.