How to Write for Your Website

writing4web2smWriting for the web doesn’t have to be a long, difficult process. Because people read differently online than they do when reading print, it’s actually easier to get your point across online in a blog post or article. Readers on the web tend to scan a page rather than read every word in every paragraph.  Eye tracking studies show that they’re looking for keywords pointing to the information they need, and that they tend to read in an “F pattern“, meaning that they look for key words and phrases across the top of the page, another horizontal row under that, and the vertical column on the side.

Here are some hints to make your content easier to read on the web:

 Write using the “inverted pyramid” style. Begin with your main point and then support it with sentences that answer basic questions like who, what, when, where, why, and how.  When you’re done, state your conclusion and add more supporting information. Finish with a call to action, which tells the reader what to do next. Examples include “click this link to subscribe to my newsletter”, or “let me know what you think of this post by leaving a comment”.

Make sure your key words are in the header and title tag of the page. Google determines what an article is about by ranking the information contained in several different parts of your site. It considers keywords in the title and heading most important, followed by those in the body of the post, and those found in the sidebar and/or footer least important. That doesn’t mean you should just cram a bunch of keywords into your article without considering whether it makes sense (which may get you penalized by Google), just make sure that you express your point in a way that reads naturally and contains useful information. It will make your post easier to find in Google, which will in turn help your readers when they’re looking for an answer to a question or an article about a certain topic.

Use a picture that illustrates what you’re blogging about. Graphics will catch your reader’s eye faster than text and invite them to read more about your topic.

Use lists so that readers can pick out important points right away.

Highlight key concepts using bulleted lists, bold or italic text, or a change in color.

Use links to other sites to support your content. That way, readers can see that you’re not just making facts up off the top of your head, and you’re giving them an incentive to visit again when they need more information.


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