Writing For Web HR

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Ingrid Lee from BCIT's IT Department introduces BCIT staffers to Writing for the Web with this presentation

Ingrid Lee from BCIT's IT Department introduces BCIT staffers to Writing for the Web with this presentation

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  • 1. WRITING FOR WEB Presented by Ingrid Lee
  • 2. Roadmap
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 3. How users read
    • On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 20% of the words during an average visit.
    • Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern.
  • 4.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • What’s next
  • 5. BCIT Guideline
    • Identify the purpose, including who your audiences are. What question are you answering? The answer to this question may be a great first sentence for your page, and will guide efforts to edit.
    • Gather resource materials, including related content such as images.
        • bcit.ca only: Use a search of the BCIT site to see what info already exists on your topic, so you can link to relevant existing pages, videos or PDFs.
  • 6. BCIT Guideline
    • Edit! If you can, edit your writing the next day to be most effective.
        • bcit.ca only: If it has already appeared in print, the guideline is to try and cut the text by 50% if it is to appear online. Less important or background information can always be offered on a related page.
    • Review. Read over work before sending it for publication, ask someone else to review it, and look at numbers and names closely. Typos, inconsistencies, and other errors make readers question the authority of documents, and even of BCIT as an institution.
  • 7.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 8. Usability - summary
    • Website must be easy to navigate (Web Services)
    • Pages must download quickly (Web Services)
    • Information should be easy to retrieve
      • Users are on a mission - “Get in, Get it, Get out”
      • Use of headers, lists, linked text, bold text, short paragraphs
      • Avoid the use of italic text (harder to read on screen)
      • Show numbers as numerals (23 instead of twenty-three)
      • No teaser for headers; users have been burned too many times. Just use plain and descriptive language to describe the page you’re about to present.
  • 9. Usability - summary
    • Make it obvious what’s clickable – do not underline when it’s not necessary
    • Systematically group components together
    • Grammar and usage
      • Sentence fragments, except in captions and blurbs.
      • Subject verb agreement
      • Incorrect pronoun
      • Misuse of adjective for adverb (a good man, a fast computer, a truly good man, a really fast computer)
  • 10. Avoid…
    • Cliché and/or slangs
    • Blah blah text (a.k.a welcome text, happy talks or instructions)
      • introductory text, self-congratulatory promotional writing (small talk – content free, just a way to be sociable)
      • Nobody reads instruction, at least not until after repeated attempts at “muddling through” have failed
    • Long, long paragraphs full of long, long words
    • Important content at the bottom
    • Your page scrolls on forever
  • 11. Page layout
    • Balance, balance, balance
      • Number of pageblocks
      • Width of pageblocks (wide v.s. regular)
      • New BCIT layout (wider pageblocks)
    • Page length should not be longer than 2 “PgDn” clicks
    • Use of table for better organization
    • Stoppage for the eyes – leave enough blank space
  • 12.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 13. What to do to enhance usability
    • Chunking & segmentation
  • 14. What to do to enhance usability
    • Bullet lists
    • Important information at the top of the page (write like a journalist)
      • The first 2 paragraphs must give the most important information (very much like a news story)
  • 15. What to do to enhance usability
    • Be brief, get to the point quickly!!!
    • From print material to web:
      • Cut your original content down by 50%, then paste it on the web page. (THEN if possible, cut it down by another 50%)
  • 16. Use simple, short sentence
      • This website celebrates the career of Holly Cole.
      • V.S.
      • This website celebrates the career of Holly Cole, and it also provides links to other Canadian singers’ sites.
      • V.S.
      • This website celebrates the career of Holly Cole, who is a Canadian singer.
      • V.S.
      • This website celebrates the career of Holly Cole, who is a Canadian singer, and it also provides links to other Canadian singers’ sites.
  • 17. Don’t be secretive. Establish trust.
    • Be factual, not cryptic – tell them before they leave.
      • Don’t open a sentence with a question or a cryptic message
    • Use imperative voice to grab attention.
      • E.g. " Get newsletter here" " Subscribe to our newsletter"
    • Be enthusiastic, but not pushy.
    • Real life example: The following text came off a 'Contact me' page.
      • "Hello, and welcome to the contact page. It is on this page that you can email me via the form on the left, or you can use the means of contact below"
  • 18. Voice: active + actionable
    • Worst: The passive voice should be avoided.
    • Bad: The passive voice should be avoided by writers.
    • Better: Writers should avoid using passive voice.
    • Best: Writers should use active voice.
    Narrative Actionable You’ll be able to see the video clip below.
      • View the video clip now!
  • 19. Different types of writing
    • Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions that draw large crowds of people every year, without fail. In 1996, some of the most popular places were Fort Robinson State Park (355,000 visitors), Scotts Bluff National Monument (132,166), Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum (100,000), Carhenge (86,598), Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (60,002), and Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (28,446).
    • In 1996, six of the best-attended attractions in Nebraska were Fort Robinson State Park, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum, Carhenge , Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, and Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park.
    • Promotional writing (0%)
    • Concise text (58%)
  • 20. Different types of writing
    • Nebraska is filled with internationally recognized attractions that draw large crowds of people every year, without fail. In 1996, some of the most popular places were:
    • Fort Robinson State Park (355,000 visitors)
    • Scotts Bluff National Monument (132,166)
    • Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum (100,000)
    • Carhenge (86,598)
    • Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (60,002)
    • Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park (28,446).
    • In 1996, six of the most-visited places in Nebraska were:
    • Fort Robinson State Park
    • Scotts Bluff National Monument
    • Arbor Lodge State Historical Park & Museum
    • Carhenge
    • Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
    • Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park
    • Scan-able layout (47%)
    • Combined (124%)
  • 21. Hyperlinks
    • Be descriptive
      • E.g. “Click here for more details” is a bad hyperlink
      • Instead of “click here for more details”, write “Full details on English proficiency requirements”
    • Link only to creditable organizations
    • Organize your links systematically
  • 22. Examples http://www.bcit.ca/hr/ http://wwwtest.cmstraining.bcit.ca/hr/test.shtml http://www.bcit.ca/hr/health/ http://wwwtest.cmstraining.bcit.ca/hr/health/test.shtml http://www.bcit.ca/hr/retirement/ http://wwwtest.cmstraining.bcit.ca/hr/retirement/index.shtml http://www.bcit.ca/hr/pd/ http://wwwtest.cmstraining.bcit.ca/hr/pd/test.shtml
  • 23.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 24. Writing to be found: SEO
    • What is PageRank?
      • A link analysis algorithm used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set.
    • How is it decided?
      • Relevance, Relevance, Relevance
      • Credibility – inbound/outbound hypertext links
  • 25.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 26. Keyword selection & combination
    • Brain storming
    • Surveying customers
    • Check out competitors’ keywords/phrases
    • Use key phrases instead of keywords. Users know they can find more relevant pages with more than one keyword
    • Meta keywords tag may work for certain search engine such as Yahoo. But Google and other engines focus more on content and titles.
  • 27. Keyword selection & combination
    • Sort the keywords and phrases in descending order of their perceived importance.
    • If uncertain, leave them in the order used by the highest ranking competitor pages. Be sure to identify two-word or three-word keywords.
    • Each keyword in your Meta tags must also appear within your content to avoid spamming penalties.
  • 28. Keyword selection & combination
    • Consider common misspellings as additions to your keyword lists.
    • It is also important to discard potential keywords that are not likely to be used in a search, especially if they do not contribute to your content. If you add all of the words, it will dilute the importance of each keyword, so select well.
    • Aiming for keyword density of 2-4%
  • 29. Add keyword to your content
    • Meta tags – they’re ignored IF AND ONLY IF the keywords do not appear in the content.
    • You must also unconditionally, absolutely, positively have keywords (and certainly sufficient content containing them) throughout your body section.
    • Body heading (H1, H2…).
      • Write effective headlines: the first 3 words should carry information. E.g. “ Tall traveller’s curse in the hotel” V.S. “ Coping with tall traveller’s curse”. Allow the users to predict what they’ll see.
  • 30. Add keyword to your content
    • Write headlines that sell
      • Reveal fact (e.g. 85% of cigarette smoke is invisible)
      • Use “how to” phrases (e.g. How to be the most respected person in your company.)
      • Use a quote (e.g. “The best material I have seen at this level” Professor C. Banks, Milford University.)
      • Lead with popularity (e.g. Over one million people rely on BCIT Web Hosting)
      • Guarantee a product (e.g. Guaranteed! Cut six to eight strokes off your game… or your money back!”)
      • Give a direct command (e.g. Make $1000s working from home)
  • 31. Add keyword to your content
    • ALT attribute (Carefully reword your keyword list to read as sentences, and place them in the ALT attributes of your image tags as appropriate to the image and page. Do not stuff keywords into ALT attributes; they should be short and to the point.)
    • Links.
      • Be descriptive (e.g. Instead of “click here for more information”, try “Visit xxxxxx section for more information”)
  • 32. Content is KING! - summary
    • The most authoritative site shows up at the top of the search engine result page.
    • Duplicated content is treated as spammer.
    • Add unique relevant content to the page will guarantee that your sitelet will remain in the search and continue to improve its ranking.
    • Replicas are penalized (filtered out, pointed are deducted in terms of overall relevancy score)
    • If your pages are not spam, but have enough similar content, they’re still considered spam.
  • 33. Example
  • 34. Example
  • 35.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 36. Google Analytics 1-3
  • 37. Google Analytics 2-3
  • 38. Google Analytics 3-3
  • 39.
    • How users read on the web
    • BCIT guideline
    • Usability summary & page layout
    • What to do to enhance usability
    • Search engine optimization
    • Keywords & content
    • Google Analytics
    • Finally…
  • 40. Finally…
    • Google Analytics training session – TBA
      • Held by Alan Etkin, Project & Web Analytics Manager
    • Resources
      • http://www.useit.com
      • Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
      • Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works by Janice (Ginny) Redish