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Writing for the Web

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  • A June 2012 tablet study by the Online Publishers Association reveals that tablet adoption continues to skyrocket, now up to 31% of respondents — and a surprising 74% use the device daily.http://onlinepubs.ehclients.com/images/pdf/MMF-OPA_--_Portrait_of_Tablet_User-Wave_2_--_Jun12_%28Public%29.pdf
  • Attract attention by being significant – dont bore themMake use of emotion provoking keywords – make them feel againSustain attention by being scan-able – remember, people scan they do not read.
  • Lloyds TSB Insurance study from 2008: http://www.insurance.lloydstsb.com/personal/general/mediacentre/homehazards_pr.aspHow Social Media is Ruining our minds Infographic available at http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/resources/social-media-is-ruining-our-minds-infographic/
  • http://pewinternet.org/Media-Mentions/2011/The-Filter-Bubble.aspx
  • But much more than just news. It’s social proof that something is worth reading!
  • Original article: http://condomunity.com/cheap-condoms-expensive-condoms/2008/07/08/BetterHeadlline at EG: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/green-living/worlds-most-expensive-places-to-have-sex/1405Follow-up: http://condomunity.com/headline-writing-google-social-media-readers/2008/08/14/
  • Original NY Times piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/
  • Source: HaraldWeinreich, HartmutObendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer: “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use,” in the ACM Transactions on the Web, vol. 2, no. 1 (February 2008), article #5.

Writing for the Web Writing for the Web Presentation Transcript

  • Writing for the WebYou have my complete attention for 8 seconds
  • Everything has changedA Nielsen survey conducted infourth-quarter 2011 found that45% of Americans who ownedtablets used them daily whilewatching TV, with 26% notingsimultaneous use of bothseveral times during the day.
  • Everything continues to evolveNew research from Nielsen found that 88 percent ofU.S. tablet owners use their devices while they watchtelevision.86% of smartphone owners say they use their phonesas a second screen at least some of the time.
  • Are you paying attention?• Have you checked your email since this webinar started?• How long do you wait before you look at your phone after it vibrates during a meeting?• Do you have this webinar minimized?
  • Attention is the new currencyYou are competing with every other fragment oflife that is demanding your readers attention.
  • You used to have 12 minutesSince the 1950‟s Americans have beenconditioned to pay attention for 12minutes.12 minutes was the average durationbetween tv commercials…
  • At most, you have 5 minutesIn the 21st century that 12 minutes hasdropped to 5 minutes and sevenseconds.
  • Nobody reads the whole pageAn Associated Press survey conducted in January of2012 found that the percentage of page views that lastless than 4 seconds was 17%, while views over 10minutes was 4%.
  • Content CurationThe way we get information has changed. Walter Cronkite was once the gatekeeper, now people use very different methods to decide what is important.
  • Content CurationThe way we get information has changed. 36 percent of Americans under 30 getting their news through social- networking type sites.
  • Crowdsourced News
  • It’s all about the title
  • It’s all about the title part 1A good title can make the difference betweenbeing found or not.Research in the US showed that it accountedfor 30% of a user‟s decision of which result toclick on.
  • A real life story of a killer title
  • A real life story of a killer title
  • A real life story of a killer titleWhat happened? Some cleverboys read my headline, improvedit and got all my fame (that Ihonestly didnt deserve). But itmade me realise one thing:Writing a good headline is thesingle most important thingyou can do in successfulonline publishing.
  • It’s all about the title part 2You have first think about clickability.Nothing can happen until you get your readerto notice your headline.
  • It’s all about the title part 2Reworking the title of a story can make all thedifference between ho-hum and must-read.
  • How to write better titlesAvoid puns
  • How to write better titlesAvoid punsDon’t be too short. Rarely (almost never) useshort, verb-less labels as main titles for stories. They failto tell the story.
  • Write better titlesAvoid punsDon’t be too short.Be controversial. There‟s no better guarantee of catchinga reader‟s attention than to stir up a little controversy. Bebold, dare to incite a little indignation, or get the pulseracing just a bit. Don‟t be moronic about it though. Youdon‟t need to incite a riot.
  • Write better titlesAvoid punsDon’t be too short.Be controversial.Tell stories people can relate to. Create aheadline, title or slogan that tells a story people canimmediately recognize and relate to, and they may juststart telling your story for you.
  • Write better titlesAvoid punsDon’t be too short.Be controversial.Tell stories people can relate to.Use hot keywords like Apple and Al Jazeera (insteadof Hardware and Qatar TV Channel). People love toread stories about topics they‟re interested in. Sometrends endure longer than others, whilst some are shortlived – but if you‟re writing about a hot topic, be sure todrop in those keywords to whet your reader‟s appetite.
  • How to write better titlesUse plain English. Search engines don‟t understandmetaphors, puns, or other forms of wordplay, andpeople don‟t use them when searching for information– use plain English.
  • How to write better titlesUse plain English.Explain your headline with your subheadings. Add ah2 headline which is a sentence explaining your h1headline. Example: h1 – „SEO Training Raleigh‟, h2 –„We‟re the first professional search engine optimizationcompany in Raleigh offering training services‟.
  • They’ve clicked! Now what?Google Analytic‟s Conversion University: Recentresearch suggests that users decide to stayor leave your site in 8 seconds or less — inthat short amount of time, headlines are theone piece of copy that users will actuallyread.
  • Really, 8 seconds?Yes, you have 8 measly seconds to provethat your content is worthy of their time.Reading to this point just tookabout 8 seconds
  • If you make it past 8 secondsIf you write a very short piece with only111 words (2 paragraphs) most people willread about ½ of it.If you write a longer piece, say600 words, they will read about28% of it.
  • Should I just give up?
  • No, don’t give upEvery word needs to draw in your readerwith the promise of something even better iscoming next.Edit, edit, edit. Then edit some more.
  • No, don’t give upThe only way to make an impact is to put outa stream of high quality content on aregular schedule.Ask yourself before you publishsomething, “would I share this?”
  • Content CreationWriting for the web is about existing within acomplex and vibrant ecosystem where thebest content rises to the top in a meritocracy.Okay, that‟s not actually the case, but greatcontent has a huge advantage.
  • People promote their friends Expand your network online. Use your network to help you when you need a little push, but don‟t become “that guy”.
  • Content CreationFrom a pure SEO perspective, don‟t botherpublishing a page with less than 250 wordson it.If you‟re writing over 800 words, make sureyou stay focused.
  • Learning while doingThere are great tools available for writerswho need some guidance when it comes towriting tight, focused, optimized content forthe web. scribeseo.com
  • Internal LinkingWriting for the web means youhave to be much more aware ofwhat has come before. You needto link to other content you havewritten, products you carry andyou need to do it intelligently.
  • External LinkingYou are not an expert on everything. DONOT BE AFRAID TO LINK OUT to sites thathave more in-depth information.Linking out to other sites can also get youlinks back if done correctly.
  • Thank You Phil Buckley Director of SEO Virante.com @1918