How to Write For the Web
The Internet is a crowded space.
According to Internet Live Stats, over 3 million new blog posts are published every day. That’s not even including the millions of posts that are published on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Publishing new content on your site then means you’re up against a lot of competition.
So how can you help your webpages stand out? By writing engaging content that provides value and formatting it for better readability. Content that’s optimised for the web stands a better chance of not only ranking online but also delivering measurable results to your bottom line. In contrast, sloppy content that’s poorly formatted gets ignored and leaves a negative impression.
Turning your site into a powerful marketing asset starts with better optimising your content. Here we’ll provide several tips on how to write for the web and turn more traffic into conversions.
Identify Your Visitors’ Top Tasks
Online users browse the web for different reasons – They might be looking for tutorials, researching new products, or searching for quick answers. Think about your target visitors and what they’re trying to achieve before writing anything. That information will help you better focus your content to make it easier for them to accomplish those tasks.
For example, let’s say your business offers managed IT services and has different packages available. A common question you get though is what makes one option better than another. With that in mind, you could publish a post that features side-by-side comparisons to make it easier for your visitors to make the right choice.
Put Your Most Important Information First
Think about the last time you searched for something and landed on a page where you didn’t immediately find what you were looking for. How long did you stay for? Probably not long. In fact, data shows that the average user leaves webpages in 10 to 20 seconds. That’s not a lot of time. Which is why you want to put your most important information at the top.
In journalism, this method of writing is called the “Inverted Pyramid”. The most newsworthy information is put at the top which is then followed by supporting details and other background information. Visitors can quickly find important information without having to scroll all the way down.
Use Readable Fonts
Readable text affects how visitors process content on your pages. Just imagine landing on a page with text that looks like this:
Visitors are unlikely to stay long if the text is hard to read no matter how well-written your content is. Opt for a sans-serif typeface. It offers much better legibility on the web where screens typically have lower resolutions. Equally important is font size. Having to zoom in on small text creates a frustrating browsing experience. Use a font size that is at least 14 pixels to make it easier for your visitors to read your content.
Make Your Content Scannable
Attention spans are short on the web. Online visitors simply don’t have the patience to scroll through pages and pages of text to find what they’re looking for. Most users tend to quickly scan pages rather than read through each individual word.
Make your content scannable with the following tips:
- Use short sentences
- Organise the text with headings
- Include relevant images and media
- Use bulleted (like this one) and numbered lists
- Use plenty of white space to offset blocks of text
Writing is already hard work especially for the web. Follow these tips to create optimised content that stands out online and resonates with your target audience.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and banner printing.