Tips for Writing for the World Wide Web
Web is a specialized medium that requires a specific style.
Don't just paste your old marketing
materials onto your new website. Create something powerful and effective especially for the web
- Make sure your home page tells exactly what you do in clear and understandable terms. You have very few seconds in which to convince your visitor that you have what they want or need. Tell them immediately and in a very direct way.
- Web users
want information quickly and easily
Online readers are scanning your site for information. Make
it easy for them to do so. Use headlines and bullets, and "chunk"
information so it's easy to find at a glance.
- Keep it short.
Search engines require more text than they used to, but this principle still applies. Use short sentences, short paragraphs. Online
readers do not like to wade through dense text.
- Start with
the important stuff.
Don't assume your reader will stay with you long enough to get to
your point. Put the important stuff at the top -- what newspaper writers call "above the fold" i.e., what's visible on the screen without scrolling.
- Don't use
Online readers want information that's direct and to the point. Studies
show that they won't wade through marketing fluff to get it. They'll
just move on.
- Write from
the user's point of view, not your own.
At every moment, ask yourself: What information are my visitors seeking
and how can they most easily find it? "About Us" should
be your last category. Make the site about them.
- Keep your
An outdated site damages your credibility and frustrates your users.
They may not come back.
- Keep moving/scrolling/flashing
text to a minimum.
It's hard to read and becomes distracting and annoying after a few
Web pages are often full of errors; and readers do notice.
Take the time to make sure your site is error free.
Make sure your contact information appears on every page and make sure every page is printable.