In today’s modern world, as a writer I’m competing to get my website content read. I’ve found the best way to get content in front of users is to understand the features of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a communication medium and how this affects my content writing.
Here are my five tips to get you started writing website content:
1. Know what a website page does
Each website page links to different multi-media from text, still and animated graphics, audio and video files, to software applications (apps) and games via web browsers. They’re accessible on smartphones, tablets and computers. Embedded hyperlinks enable users to navigate between web pages to downloadable files, source documents and other web sources.
2. Know how interaction online works
Users interact online to do a range of tasks from social media, shopping, banking, to finding information, and giving feedback. It’s global in reach, but also a personal experience for each web user. Thanks to alternative mediums and formats, people with a range of disabilities can also access the WWW.
The attention span of users is decreasing. Web users are impatient and goal driven. They search and scan more than actually read and approach web content as a means to accomplish a task. As a web writer you need to help users to take the next step and ensure they will trust your content enough to proceed. So, write actionable content in the form of clear instructions, key messages, links with descriptive anchor text and calls to action. Write with search engines in mind. Search engines such as Google are the main way for audiences to find relevant content.
4. Know your role as a web writer to produce the right content
Pitch the content to an international audience in the right tone and style for the user. Content should be well researched and in an easy and digestible format, using good grammar, punctuation, and formatting of text that’s brief and gets to the point quickly. It’s good practice to use the inverted pyramid style of writing; important information first followed by secondary and least last.
5. Know what’s different about writing for the web
Writing for the web is distinct from writing for print and other media. Compared to other forms of communication, the audience for web writing is unique as is the context. Getting the readers attention is important, here are a few hooks you can use to help readers find what they’re after:
- clear, descriptive headlines and subheadings that contain keywords
- short, to the point sentences and inverted-pyramid structure (as above)
- text broken up into readable chunks, short paragraphs, bulleted or numbered lists, blockquotes, changes in spacing and formating
- obvious and informative links
So you see, it can be a challenge writing content for a website. But, if you follow these tips the end result is sure to be well written content that is suitable for the user. Happy website writing!