7 Quick Ways to Write Good Web Content
When writing for the web, it’s important to consider how web users consume their information.
When visiting a website, users seldom sit and read the website word-for-word, rather they skim through to find
what they’re looking for. With this in mind, your website content must aim to be:
- Scannable (people quickly scan or skim to see if they have found what they’re after) – use headings,
subheadings, highlighted keywords, links and bulleted points. Aim for half the word count of traditional
- Scrollable – or rather, not scrollable. No-one wants to sit and scroll forever to try and find what they’re
looking for, so make sure your content is organised well into separate pages for separate topics, and
each page is kept to a good length. Consider using anchor links to skip to different sections of content
contained on a long page.
Here are 7 quick things you can easily put into practice when writing your web content.
- Use keywords
Make sure your user can easily find what they’re looking for by using keywords that will catch their eye.
e.g. Your page may be about running shoes – you could use words like comfortable, running,
supportive, cushioning etc.
- Emphasise keywords
To make your keywords easier to find when skimming, consider using bold, italic and hyperlinks to draw attention to them.
Warning: be careful not to overemphasise or it will defeat the purpose and create visual noise.
- Use simple headings
Your headings must aim to inform the user at a glance. A heading of “Supportive running shoes” is much more to the point than “Designed with arch support for your running comfort”.
- Put important information first
Make sure the most important information is placed at the start of the paragraph, and less important information further down – chances are that visitors will only read the first sentence.
- Swap lengthy paragraphs for lists
Bulleted and numbered lists are great for skim reading, so consider using these where possible instead of cumbersome paragraphs.
- Minimise guff
Kill the airy fairy writing and replace it with clear, uncomplicated information. Web users are busy people and want their information quickly and easily!
- Tell the users what to do
If you want your users to click somewhere, tell them so. If you want them to email you, tell them so. Make sure calls to action are visible on every page of your website and predictable in their locations.
e.g. Phone number in top right corner of your site, mailing list signup form in the right sidebar etc.