How to Write Compelling Content for the Web
Web writing is more than just a pamphlet that is put online. It’s more than just a list of bullet points about a topic. Use these tips to create Web content that appeals to your readers and is fun for you to write.
Don’t just copy and paste
One of the most common mistakes that a beginning website owner makes is to copy and paste marketing materials from brochures onto the website. Writing for the Web needs to be different from writing for print. The way the Web works is different from printing and writing needs to reflect that. You may use some material from the outside world for a kickstart but in that case, you must be good at paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism. There are many free online tools out there such as paraphrasingtool site to provide you paraphrase job, you can get them to your service.
Write for the BBC reader, not the Reuters
It’s not a reflection of how smart your readers are – it’s a fact that the Web is international, and any page you post will be visible to people with all levels of English proficiency. If you write to a lower-level audience, make sure you keep people interested because they are easier to understand.
Write in an inverted pyramid style
If you think of your content as a pyramid, the broadest coverage of the topic should be listed first. Then move on to more and more definitely less on your page. This is useful to your readers because they can stop reading and move on to something else when you’ve got as specific as they need. And the more useful you are to your readers the more they want to read your content.
Avoid fluff and write pure content
Resist the temptation to write in “marketing-speak”. Even if you’re trying to influence your readers to take a certain action, they’re more likely to do so if your page feels fluffy. Give value to every page you write so your readers see a reason to stay with you.
Keep short and to the point
The Web is not a great location to write your novel, especially as a long page. Even one chapter is too long for most Web readers. Keep your content under 10,000 characters per page. If you need to write an article longer than that, find the sub-sections and write each sub-section as a page independently.
Improve readability not seo
SEO is important to get readers. But if your writing is clearly focused on search engines you will quickly lose readers. When you write for a keyword phrase, you need to use the phrase enough so that it is recognized as the topic but not so much that your readers notice. If you have the same phrase repeated in a sentence, that is too much. More than twice in a paragraph is too much.
Use lists and short paragraphs
Keep content short. The shorter it is, the more likely your readers are to read it.
Ask for feedback from your visitors
The Web is interactive, and your writing should reflect that. Asking for feedback (and providing links or forms) is a great way to show that you recognize that you’re writing for the Web. And if you include that feedback in the article the page will remain dynamic and current and appreciated by your readers.
Use images to expand on your text
Images can be tempting to sprinkle on pages. But unless you’re a photographer or artist, having random images spread through your documents can be distracting and confusing to your readers. Use pictures to expand on the text, not just decorate it.
Do not apply these rules blindly
All of these rules can be destroyed. Get to know your audience and find out why you are breaking the rule before you do. Have fun with your writing on the Web, and your audience will have fun with you.