Writing vs. Writing for the Web
Last week, I attended a seminar at Northwoods Web Solutions on Writing for the Web that was full of up-to-date info and helpful tips, plus it was a great refresher course for stuff I haven’t studied in a few (gasp!) years.
In short, I can tell you there are definite differences in writing vs. writing for web, not only for SEO purposes but for basic consumer and conversion purposes too.
Regardless of the site or what it’s used for, it all comes down to content. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when writing for the web:
- Put your most important information first. It’s been proven that when it comes to reading on the web, people generally scan, they don’t read word-for-word. It’s also been proven that when people scan a webpage, they scan in the shape of an “F”. Thus, your most important information should come simply and obviously before anything else.
- People don’t want to work for what they’re looking for. Think of it this way: YOU are the consumer (because we all are). Think of your favorite website to visit/use. Now ask yourself some questions: What are you going to the site for? Can you easily get to whatever information you’re there for? Hmm! (Don’t forget a useful and visible site search bar!)
- “Feed” people your information in small doses. You have a lot to say on your site. And you can! But keep in mind that people don’t have the time. You have to give your page some organization: informative headers, bulleted lists, bolding where it matters, small paragraphs, and enough “white” space between everything.
- No “marketing mush”! This is the term they used at Northwoods for overly exuberant adjective-filled jargon. It’s one thing to write good, creative copy, but it’s another to throw too many descriptors in to make it look and sound shiny. You’re better to err on the safer and smarter sides and use industry-specific language. After all, you’re trying to engage consumers of this product/place/service, right?
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