Top 10 tips for writing for the web | The New Times

Top 10 tips for writing for the web | The New Times

Know your audience

Having a proper understanding of who your audience is creates a basis for realistic web writing. The primary audience of the website determines what pages are prioritized and how the wording of the text is curated. For example, writing for a ministry or missions organization is very different than writing for a corporation or online business. Consideration should be placed on the secondary audience so as to reach the intended primary audience.

 

Use the inverted pyramid

 

Place the most important information first when writing using the inverted pyramid concept. Website visitors want to know why your site should matter to them. Through sharing the purpose of your website and providing information about who you are leads them deeper into other pages. Web writers need to be intentional about the About page because people spend about 15 seconds scheming a website before they decide to stay or leave. They also need to trust a brand and the information they read hence the need to for credibility.

 

Keep sentences short and simple:

Most people searching the web are easily distracted and do not have the patience to read long sentences. Keeping sentences short and choppy while providing the necessary facts in bullet point will engage site visitors. This means keeping sentences to 35 words or fewer in paragraphs of 4-5 sentences. Additionally, using simple words fit for 7th grade readers is the key. Most site visitors are not interested in reading word-for-word unless they are the 16% academics, researchers or rocket scientists. searching technical terms, they do not understand.

Write in the active tense

It is necessary to relay a message in the active tense than any other way when writing for the web. Instead of writing, “when planning to order both coffee and cinnamon rolls to go, click this button” write, “order coffee and cinnamon rolls here.” This direct communication leads to customer engagement and response.

Writing for SEO

Today’s brands are heavily investing into expansive digital marketing and the use of Search Engine Optimisation cannot be ignored. SEO keyword research determines what Google and online searches will consider relevant and important. Companies have benefited greatly from investing in SEOs on their websites and even hired experts to run their digital marketing efforts. The result is a high ROI for start-ups and websites due to increased traffic. Thus, including keywords in all your text, makes it easy for people to find you.

Get creative with visual content

Writing for the web, doesn’t have to be daunting. Mixing text up with visuals and multimedia content reflects professional and visually engaging pages. If a photo or video with captions can be used instead of descriptive narratives, then steer away from text. Research shows that, “people process visual information 60,000 time faster than text” because 90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual. In this case, the saying holds true, “A picture speaks more than a thousand words.”

Have a clean homepage

The attractiveness of a website centers on the design and ease of navigation on the homepage. This is the face of the business or organization. With a clean, concise and direct message, the purpose of the website can be found. Most site visitors appreciate finding the information they need at first glance and this should lead them to your calls to action.

Establish clear CTAs

A call to action (CTA) has the sole purpose of engaging, retaining and converting site visitors into clients or customers. When writing for the web, increasing traffic, user experience and engagement is only great if the CTA buttons or phrases are utilized.   These CTAs like, “Join” “Sign Up”, “Give”, “Donate”, “Watch”, “Contact” or “Subscribe” should be intentionally placed across the website and have working links. This way, a website becomes profitable with a rewarding Return of Investment (ROI).

Check for errors

Once your web text is written, take time to edit and clean up any excess wording, grammatical errors and mistakes. Having a clean copy online is essential for online readers. Evident errors discourage readers even with the best web design and esthetics. Utilise editing platforms like Grammarly and look up words with online dictionaries.

Link up sources

One way to increase website engagement is linking keywords or sentences to previously published articles. Referencing articles within your writing reflects maturity and professionalism—even if it is from your competition. It is preferably wiser to internally link keywords and reference content that can be found within the same website. This is a great way to generate site loyalty, traffic and subscribers.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com


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