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Ten Tips for Writing for the World Wide Web

  1. The 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


  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Don't use marketing jargon.
    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Keep your site updated.
    An outdated site damages your credibility and frustrates your users. They may not come back.

  9. Keep moving/scrolling/flashing text to a minimum.
    It's hard to read and becomes distracting and annoying after a few seconds.

  10. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread.
    Web pages are often full of errors; and readers do notice.
    Take the time to make sure your site is error free.

Bonus Tip:
Make sure your contact information appears on every page and make sure every page is printable.

 

 

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