10 Tips for Good Web Writing

If you follow this advice, people will read your Web pages

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Content is king when it comes to the Web. People will come to your website because of quality content. They will also share your site with others when they feel that the content is worthwhile. This means that your site's content, and the writing of that content, needs to be top notch.

Writing for the Web is an interesting thing. Web writing is similar in many ways to any other kind of writing, but it is also so much different than anything else.

Here are some tips you can follow to make your web writing the best that it can be.

Content

  1. Write relevant content
    All great content is relevant content. It may be tempting to write about your brother's dog, but if it doesn't relate to your site or page topic, or if you cannot find a way to relate it to your topic, you need leave it out. Web readers want information, and unless the page is information relevant to their specific needs, they really won't care. 
  2. Put conclusions at the beginning
    Think of an inverted pyramid when you write. Get to the point in the first paragraph, then expand upon it in later paragraphs. Remember, if your content does not hook someone early, you are unlikely to get them to read further into the article. Start strong, always.
  3. Write only one idea per paragraph
    Web pages need to be concise and to-the-point. People don't often read Web pages, they scan them, so having short, meaty paragraphs is better than long rambling ones. On that note, let's move on...
  1. Use action words
    Tell your readers what to do in the content you write. Avoid the passive voice. Keep the flow of your pages moving and use action words as much as possible.

Format

  1. Use lists instead of paragraphs
    Lists are easier to scan than paragraphs, especially if you keep them short. Try to use lists when possible to make scanning easier for reader.
  1. Limit list items to 7 words
    Studies have shown that people can only reliably remember 7-10 things at a time. By keeping your list items short, it helps your readers remember them.
  2. Write short sentences
    Sentences should be as concise as you can make them. Use only the words you need to get the essential information across. 
  3. Include internal sub-headings. Sub-headings make the text more scannable. Your readers will move to the section of the document that is most useful for them, and internal cues make it easier for them to do this. Along with lists, subheadings make longer articles easier to process.
  4. Make your links part of the copy
  5. Links are another way Web readers scan pages. They stand out from normal text, and provide more cues as to what the page is about.

Always Always Always

  1. Proofread your work
    Typos and spelling errors will send people away from your pages. Make sure you proofread everything you post to the Web. Nothing makes you seem amateurish more than content that is riddled with mistakes and spelling errors.
  2. Promote your content. Good content gets found online, but you can always help it along!.  Take the time to promote everything you write.
  3. Be Current. Relevance coupled with timeliness is a winning combination. Be mindful of current events and what is happening that is related to your content and write about that. This is a great way to get readers and create content that is fresh and new.
  1. Be Regular. Great content needs to be published regularly. You need to maintain a schedule and you need to keep to that schedule if you want readers to stick with your site and send others to it as well. This can be much easier said than done, but sticking to a schedule is very important when it comes to web writing.

Edited by Jeremy Girard 2/3/17

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Kyrnin, Jennifer. "10 Tips for Good Web Writing." ThoughtCo, Feb. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/tips-for-good-web-writing-3471335. Kyrnin, Jennifer. (2017, February 3). 10 Tips for Good Web Writing. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tips-for-good-web-writing-3471335 Kyrnin, Jennifer. "10 Tips for Good Web Writing." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tips-for-good-web-writing-3471335 (accessed November 20, 2017).