08 How To Write For Web

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Training provided to Springboard Enterprise Programme participants in how to adjust writing style for reading on screens. Includes a little on writing for search engines.

Training provided to Springboard Enterprise Programme participants in how to adjust writing style for reading on screens. Includes a little on writing for search engines.

More in: Marketing , Technology , Design
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  • These slides are not for sharing, copying or redistributing. They are for your eyes only!
  • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html
  • bordbia
  • Spent most of their time above the fold in the top of the F
  • Pictures matter! The F moves more to the centre. Show this: http://mashable.com/2011/11/30/social-profile-eye-tracking/
  • Links on left so they’ll see them when they flush down the f
  • Links on left so they’ll see them when they flush down the f
  • Dermot Ahern’s piece
  • http://ecofarm.ie/horses/connecting.html
  • Options/spelling/proofing/check the box
  • Review/spelling&grammar/proofing/check the box
  • Options/spelling/proofing/check the box


  • 1. Write For Web Training Dec 2013
  • 2. Why Are We Looking At This? • Because it is important! • Jakob Neilson Research: o 5 different versions of the same website (same basic information; different wording; same site navigation). o Invited users to perform the same tasks on the different sites. Results were dramatic! o Concise text was 58% better o Scannable text was 47% better o Concise &Scannable: 124% better
  • 3. All About Me What matters to your user? How can you deliver it?
  • 4. All About Me What do you think of these? http://socialentrepreneurs.ie/ https://www.vhi.ie/global-healthinsurance/index.jsp http://www.libertyinsurance.ie/ http://www.metroherald.ie/ http://www.beauchamps.ie/ http://www.ecmwf.int/ http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/Pages/home.asp x
  • 5. All About Me? • Let’s look at your site
  • 6. Who Are These People? Users are selfish, lazy and ruthless (Neilson) They ruthlessly scan for interesting chunks of information rather than digesting the whole, and they want to be entertained in the process.
  • 7. How People Read Online • They don’t • Fixations…increase the chance of fixation by using longer words (we tend to skip over short words) • F
  • 8. How People Read Online
  • 9. How People Read Facebook
  • 10. How People Read Online What Can You Do? • Get to the point (no nice wordy intro’s) • Don’t centre or justify text • Keep links on the left
  • 11. How People Read Online Examples: http://www.focuskerry.com/jeanie/ http://fixmystreet.ie/
  • 12. How People Read Online
  • 13. Scannability
  • 14. Scannability
  • 15. Scannability • Headlines – Numbers work – Explain the benefits (10 useful tips for writing headlines that will boost your traffic) – Use adjectives: amazing, awesome, beautiful, excellent, useful, brilliant, powerf ul, sensational, terrific, unique, valuable, wonderful – Celebrity / brand names – Create a sense of urgency – 65 chars allows for RT’s – Post a question – How to… – Use your analytics
  • 16. Headlines
  • 17. Scannability • Heading • Summary – Sell the idea in 30-50 words – Who/What/Where/When/how – Last sentence with added punch • • • • Sub headers Use of colour Bold keywords Bullets
  • 18. Scannability
  • 19. Skimmibility • Write less – Half the word count of "conventional writing"! (Ouch!) – Short sentences. Tip: look for commas • • • • • • • One idea per paragraph Active verbs Simple present tense No to the passive voice No multi-syllabic words Lose the jargon Dates
  • 20. Skimmibility
  • 21. Finessing It • Calls to action & point of action assurances – That seductive moment when a user is about to take action – Download a form, add to shopping cart, click a button… – They can lose confidence, so you must add some added text that instils trust
  • 22. Finessing It • Set expectations about how things will be handled, what to expect.
  • 23. Finessing It • No More Click Here!! – Not accessible – Not user friendly – Self consciously writing for web • Don’t be afraid to have long hyperlinks
  • 24. Finessing It • Great online forms are important because they help us achieve our goals (CTA) • This is the best piece on great forms: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2011 /11/08/extensive-guide-web-form-usability/
  • 25. Measuring It • Measuring the results of your copywriting using the Flesch Kincaid Readability Index
  • 26. Measuring It Your new friend: http://www.readability-score.com/
  • 27. SEO Title Tag: appears on the very top of the page. The most important one so get it right! • Try and put your keyword into the start of the tag. • Keep it to 70 characters. • Be emotive – the title tag is the bit that users will first come across in search engine results. • Be mindful of Title Case
  • 28. SEO Description Tag: write for your reader, tell them what this post is about. If you don’t fill in description tag, Google usually picks up the first line from the post. It’s nice to have the option to tell it in your own words. • Try and get keywords in if possible • Keep it to 150-160 characters. • Be careful about punctuation/spelling etc. Keywords. You don’t really have to bother with these as search engines no longer pick them up here, preferring to pick up the actual words in the post.
  • 29. What Is Wrong Here?