Writing for the Web – 10 Top Tips

content-writer-sheffieldWhen internet users browse the web, they want to find the information they are looking for quickly. Readers tend to scan copy rather than ponder every word. You don’t want them to get bored, press the back button and look for another page that gives them what they are looking for more succinctly or in a more digestible way.

There are some techniques that you can use to make sure this doesn’t happen, and I’m going to share them with you. Here are my top 10!

1. Titles Matter

Your title can make or break your article. Even a fantastic article can be lost behind a mediocre or dull title. Make sure your title is eye catching and descriptive. For example, ask a question that your reader is dying to know the answer to, and deliver the answer in the article. Make sure your reader knows what they’ll be getting out of the post. It’s also a good idea to use keywords and make them bold.

2. One Idea Per Paragraph

Only include one key idea in each paragraph, and keep them short.  This will help readers to absorb the information easily and maintain the structure of your article. Generally, if readers are not captured by the first sentence, they will tend to skip the rest of the paragraph and move on to the next one.

3.  Sub-headings

Sub-headings break up the text into bite size chunks. They make it easy for readers to scan over the page, and digest the information without being swamped or put off by text heavy web pages.

4. Highlight Keywords

Highlighting a keyword in bold or adding a hyperlink makes the information easier to scan and digest. Readers are naturally drawn to the highlighted words and phrases, which should be integral to the understanding of the article.

5. Word Count

Opinions differ on the correct length of an online article or blog post. My personal preference is around 400 words, and never more than 600. This might not sound like a lot, but if you consider the attention span of readers and their preference for bite sized chunks of information, you can actually fit a fair few ideas into an article of this length.

6. Bullet Points

Bulleted lists are easy to read and can deliver a great deal of information in just a few lines. They also force you to keep your writing brief and to the point.

7. Proofreading

Before you hit publish, take the time to read over your writing. Look for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. Make sure you’ve done everything you can to make sure there are no typos or mistakes, they will only undermine your credibility and put readers off.

8. Keep Your Reader In Mind

Before you begin to write, put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do they need to know about this particular subject? Would they be interested in it? Keep your reader in mind throughout the writing process.

9. Keep It Simple

This is a classic tip from none other than George Orwell. He may never have written for the web but this still applies – never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday equivalent. Long sentences and large technical words just won’t cut it, you have to keep your language plain and simple.

10. Keep Your Writing Conversational

When writing for the web, you should come across as if you’re talking to someone. Try not to be formal, get your point across in a conversational way.

If you’ve written a blog post or article, and need a hand editing or proofreading to make sure it’s perfect for the web, I can help. Whether you need a full blog or article writing service, or you would just like an expert to check through your grammar, punctuation and style, call Content Writer Extraordinaire on 0114 383 0711, or get in touch by email through my contact form.