Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

  • Write Less Web users scan, they don’t read. The more concise the content, the easier it is to scan.

    • A good approach is to write concisely, then cut, edit, paraphrase and finally trim.

    • Readers aren’t sitting in a leather chair in the living room ready to soak up your text. They’re often busy, distracted, multitasking, or some combination.

  • Front Load

    • Put important content first so that is above the fold of the window. People on the internet don’t read much anyway.

    • Inverted Pyramid -If essential info is first, the reader can decide whether to read on.

  • Use Headlines and Headings

    • Headlines and lower-order headings benefit from being large and high-contrast, so they attract the eye.

    • Once you’ve attracted the eye, a headline needs hooks to catch the reader’s attention.

    • Present info in chunks or sections for easy scanning.

    • Many people read out of order so chunks help with this.

  • Establish Trust

    • Imagine you’re stopping people on the street and have to get your message out quickly.

    • Don’t oversell, set out the facts plainly and clearly.

    • Be enthusiastic, but not pushy.

  • Use an Active Voice

    Passive voice uses slightly more words than Active, and takes slightly more decoding.

    • Active voice – the subject of a sentence in the active voice performs an action or does something.

      • Example: Upload new contact information on the Contact Us page.

    • Passive voice – the subject of a sentence in the passive voice is acted upon, something is done to it.

      • Example: New contact information can be uploaded on the Contact Us page.