Writing for the Web – What’s the Difference?
People online are often looking for the answer to a question, and they don’t want to muck around hunting for it. This means that your readers aren’t really reading at all, so writing for the web is quite different to writing for print.
Here’s 5 tips for good web writing, to get you started:
1. Give the goods upfront
Place the most valuable information right at the beginning – in your first paragraph, and in the first sentence of each paragraph. This keeps people reading because they see they’ve found what they need.
2. KISS (Keep it simple… sweetie)
Stay on topic. Cut out any waffle, jargon and fancy wording. Just get straight to the point in simple language so your writing is accessible to as many people as possible.
3. Create clutter-free content
Like I said earlier, readers aren’t reading. They’re scanning. Make it easy!
- Use bullet points
- Use numbered lists – your reader knows how far through they are
- Create headlines – they should be able to stand alone whilst making sense, the shorter the better
- Keep paragraphs short – 3-4 sentences, you can even get away with 1 sentence provided it contains valuable information
- Use white space – it makes your page attractive and the text easier to read
4. Use an active voice
Speak directly to your reader. I am talking to you. Web writing is more like a conversation. Try reading your work out loud – it should sound natural, not awkward.
If you’re anything like me, you get stuck editing as you go. Resist that urge and just get the words down! This helps you get into the flow of writing, and spend less time over-thinking the details.
Proofread your work a few times and absolutely have someone else look it over. It’s too easy to think you’ve been crystal clear, and it’s not until you have another person read it that mistakes become apparent.
Webstruxure is here to make the web work smarter. Let us know how we can help you for user friendly, mobile friendly and search engine friendly websites. Our services include:
Briaane currently works for Webstruxure as a website coordinator in Wellington. Between plugging away at Search Engine Optimisation and content creation, Briaane can be found curled up with a coffee and a Sci Fi book, or broadening her skills and talents. You can connect with her and see samples of her writing on LinkedIn.