Writing for the web can be tricky. It’s not just putting a marketing pamphlet out online. It’s also more than just a list of bullet points. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind to make sure you are creating content that is appealing to your readers.
Don’t Just Copy the Print Marketing
One of the most common mistakes is to just copy and paste the marketing materials from company pamphlets onto the website. Writing for the Web needs to be different from writing for print. The way the Web works is different from print and the writing need to reflect that.
Write for Regular Readers, Not the New York Times
It’s not a reflection of how smart your readers are; it’s a fact that the Web is international, and any page you put up is going to be viewed by people with all levels of English knowledge. If you write to a lower level audience, you’ll be sure to keep people interested because they can more readily understand.
Write Articles in an Inverted Pyramid Style
If you think of your content as a pyramid, the broadest coverage of the topic should be listed first. Then move on to more and more specific as you get further into the page. This is useful to your readers, as they can stop reading and move onto something else once you’ve gotten as specific as they need. And the more useful you are to your readers the more they will want to read your content.
Write Content, Not Fluff
Resist the temptation to write in “marketing-speak”. Even if you’re trying to influence your readers to take a specific action, they are less likely to do it if your page doesn’t have relevant content. Provide value in every page you write so that your readers see a reason to stick with you.
Keep Your Pages Short and to the Point
The Web is not a good location to write your novel, especially as one long page. Even a chapter is too long for most Web readers. Keep your content to under 10,000 characters per page. If you need to write an article that’s longer than that, find sub-sections and write each sub-section as a stand-alone page.
Focus on Your Readers, Not on Search Engines
SEO is important, but if your writing is too obviously geared towards search engines you will quickly lose readers. When you write for a keyword phrase, you need to use the phrase enough so that it’s recognized as the topic but not so much that your readers notice. If you have the same phrase repeated in a sentence, that’s too much. More than twice in a paragraph is too much.
Use Lists and Short Paragraphs
Keep the content short. The shorter it is, the more likely your readers will read it.
Use Images to Expand on Your Text
Images can be tempting to sprinkle through pages. But unless you’re a photographer or artist, having random images spread through your documents can be distracting and confusing to your readers. Use images to expand on the text, not just decorate it.
It’s also important to remember that rules can be broken – what works for one company may not work for another. You know your business, and you know your customers. Writing with them in mind will help you attract similar people who are interested in your products and services.
Content originally published by Jennifer Kyrnin on LifeWire