Web content writing is a different animal than writing for print. Web copy is scanned, or glanced at. Not read for enjoyment.
Visitors to your web site are looking for two things. Does your website offer that they are looking for? Can they find it easily?
- Good content writing puts the most important information first. Even if a visitor only reads the first line or two of a web page, they should understand the big picture of what you do.
- Good content writing doesn’t try to be cute or clever. Simple statements work best, and the writing should be easy enough for a 12 year old to understand.
- Good web content writing is written for scanners. People who glance at a page, scan some of the text, and then click on the first link that resembles what they’re looking for. Research suggests that only 16% of people read web pages word-for-word. Most people scan. (source: Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox). Good writing for scanners includes bulleted lists like this one.
- Good web content writing uses familiar words. These are sometimes called carewords. These are the words people are looking for. An example would be if you need to fly to Chicago. You might look for “cheap flights to Chicago”, but not “cost-effective flights to Chicago”. This is where SEO writing comes in. More on that below.
- Good web content is easy to read:
o Uses short paragraphs
o Uses short sentences
o Skips unnecessary words
o Avoids jargon and gobbledygook
o Avoids the passive tense
o Avoids needless repetition
o Addresses your web visitors directly. Uses the word you and your
- Good web content writing extends across the website. Visitors to your web site might not start out on the Home page. Each page should be easy to scan and should make it obvious what your web site is about. Each page should have a call to action, such as “Buy Now”, “Call Now” “sign up for our newsletter”.
- Good web content writing makes it easy for people to find you. You can lure potential visitors to your web site with useful information. That’s how writing for SEO works.
o Answer the questions potential customers are asking
o Discuss one key topic for each page
o Include links to relevant pages on your own website or to other websites
o Use phrases and words your potential customers are looking for
Few professionals or small business owners have the time or the talent for web content writing. To get the most out of your website, consider hiring a professional.