Difficult for customers to find everything relevant to their search
Why writing for the web is different?
Harder to read on screen than paper
Takes more time
People don’t read, they scan
Only read about 20-30% of page
Back button third most common button
You can be much more interactive
You must write for the reader and the search engines.
Before you start writing
What are the keywords or phrases?
Wordtracker/ Google adwords
200 word page minimum
1000 word maximum
Exception to limit if full detail required by reader e.g critical piece of legisation
Creating a webpage title
Include Keywords and preferably at beginning
Up to 9 words or 60 characters in title
If using name of org put it at end but preferably leave out
Make sure <title> tag is the first element in the <head> section of your website- make it easier for Google.
“ Improper or non existent use of titles in web pages will keep more websites out of top rankings on Google than any other factor except perhaps for a lack of relevant content on a page or lack of quality links from other websites that point to your site”
Organising your page
First 25 words crucial
Use descriptive hyperlinks (Not click here)-Give SE’s information
Use <H1>, <H2> <H3> heading tags but don’t overdo
Headings should ...
Be short and direct
Point the way forward
Should appear before scrolling more than a screen and a half
Where people’s eyes focus on a webpage
Most important keywords in red area.
Where to use keywords (roughly in order of importance)
Headings <H1>, <H2>, <H3>
First paragraph of page
On last paragraph
In URLs e.g www.keyword.com
Folder and file names e.g keywords.gif
Image Alt text <Img Src=“ ” ALT=“keywords.gif
Passive and Active Voice
Writing for the web, be positive and active
Don’t say “Being negative should be avoided”
Say “Be positive”
Active where possible
“ Application forms must be submitted”
Question may arise “By whom?”
Better to say
“ Employers must submit application forms”
Make it easy for your reader on the web or they will punish you by clicking elsewhere!
But Passive Voice has its use in web writing
Can use it to frontload keywords in headings and subheadings
E.g Alcohol Awareness programme will be made available locally
What readers look for
Headings and subheadings
Scan for hyperlinks
How do they feel?
Tip 1 Be brief! More than 200 but less than 1000 words (approx 600 optimum)
Tip 2 Think of your reader
How educated are they?
What do they need?
..and forget your ego
No nice phrases, limit adjectives and adverbs, no anecdotes
… readers need to find out as quickly as possible that they are in the right place.
Put key information above the fold- first screen before scrolling required
Succeed or fail by your headings
Heading are where you put your keywords
Questions to ask yourself
Is this clear?
Is there a simpler way to say this?
Is there a shorter way to say this?
Is this necessary?
Avoid using long words when shorter substitutes are available (use ‘try’ instead of ‘attempt’, ‘event’ instead of ‘occurrence’).
Where possible, use compact substitutes for long phrases (use ‘since’ instead of ‘in view of the fact that’, ‘consider’ instead of ‘take into consideration’).
Avoid combinations of words with the same meaning (use ‘ principles’ instead of ‘basic principles’, ‘history’ instead of ‘past history’).
Test readability at http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php
Could this be written better for the web?
The Responsible Serving of Alcohol programme
The Responsible Serving of Alcohol programme is a training programme for publicans and bar staff to help them deal with problems such as drunkenness, underage drinking and drinking and driving. The programme was originally operated by the Health Promotion Unit of the Department of Health and Children, in conjunction with the Vintners Federation of Ireland. However, Fáilte Ireland , the government body for training and development in the hospitality and tourism industry, has now taken over its operation. The Responsible Serving of Alcohol Programme encourages publicans and people serving alcohol to the public to be pro-active in dealing with irresponsible alcohol consumption. This includes not serving customers who are already drunk, asking young customers to show Age Cards as proof of age and organising alternative means of transport for drivers who may be over the legal limit . The training itself consists of a three-hour workshop, which costs 25 euro. Each participant is awarded a certificate of completion. Anyone interested in applying to this programme should contact Fáilte Ireland directly