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Writing for maximum readability on the web
 

Writing for maximum readability on the web

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    Writing for maximum readability on the web Writing for maximum readability on the web Presentation Transcript

    • Introduction… Writing Web Copy for Maximum Readability a.k.a. Don’t Put Your Readers to Sleep When you write for the web you are writing for people who are traveling 75 miles per hour in need of immediate information. They skim, they scan, they are not looking for fluff. Web readers are mission minded. They devour content. If you are going to hold the attention of web readers, you’ll need to follow this formula we’ve laid out for you…
    • Before You Write Before typing that first word, have clearly defined goals. Without goals, you will ramble, wander, and quite possibly fill your web content with unnecessary fluff. Ask yourself the following questions: • Why am I writing this? What am I trying to accomplish? • Am I teaching a skill, selling a product, providing useful information? • What will my reader come away with in the end? Once your goal is defined: • Write clear, concise and compelling content. This is a NO FLUFF ZONE. • Your headline should get readers to your first sentence. Your first sentence should bring readers to the second sentence. If this sounds elementary, it is. Think about it this way: Nobody wants to theorize on how to start the car. All they want to do is drive.
    • Visual Elements For maximum readability, there are a few graphic and visual elements you will want to consider, even before you begin creating your content. • Hierarchy • Contrast • White Space
    • Hierarchy • Hierarchy defines how to read through content. Every typographic layout needs proper hierarchy. It leads the reader from start to finish with elements such as Headers, Sub-headers, and Bullet Points to increase the reader’s ability to quickly scan through and understand the content. • Hierarchy is a vital technique that needs to be mastered to achieve readable web content. • With proper hierarchy, the content will flow effortlessly.
    • Contrast Contrast is a vital element in the immediate readability of text. Crisp contrasts will make text easy to scan and easy on the eyes. • Black on white is very readable and obviously the standard contrast colors. In order to achieve maximum readability, it is best to stay in the range of black-on-white contrast. • A splash of a strong color can also be used to draw attention to a certain element or section of content.
    • White Space & Consistency Content-heavy? The general rule for a blog post or web article is 500 words or less. If you have anything to do with the overall layout, spacing will contribute to the readability factor. White space offsets large amounts of text and provides separation between elements in the layout, such as graphics and text. Consistency is achieved by using the same colors, sizes of sub-headings, and creating a uniform, appealing look.
    • Using Bullet Points Because Web readers like to scan, extracting bullets out of compound sentences will help you drive home a point while also increasing the usability of your content. Online attention spans are almost non-existent and reading wordy paragraphs on a computer screen is not as easy as in print. • Keep points in parallel by beginning each bullet with the same part of speech. • Maintain the same grammatical form for each bullet point.
    • Organize With Sub-headers This is a Sub-header The average web visitor will only read 28% of what is on your page. Help them get the most out of the content by using sub-headers. Sub-headers allow the user to disseminate a page of content visually. They divide the page into manageable sections and declare what each section is about. This is important to those scanning the page (your average web reader). Sub-headers also create a visual flow that allows users to move their eyes easily across the content.
    • Write With Authority & Value Writing with authority will build reader trust and work in your advantage. Do the following whenever possible: • Never guess. A well researched article is your ticket to success. • Provide links from trusted sources • Go the extra mile. If you can’t find information on the web, interview an expert in the field. • Don’t regurgitate the same old content that is already found online. Ask yourself, “What NEW and VALUABLE information can I bring to the table?”
    • SEO: Getting Found Writing the best, most compelling web copy in the world won’t do you a bit of good if no one can find your content. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) SEO Involves the skill of writing so the search engines can find you. This is an entire teaching in itself, but one element of SEO you can implement immediately is the use of keywords.
    • SEO: Keywords are King There are plenty of online tools available that provide the best keywords and keyword phrases for any business or industry website. Keywords are used in the content of web copy in order to validate the exact subject matter of the website. Choosing the right keywords is key to being found online. Data available from Google Adwords will allow you to look up certain keyword phrases to see how popular they are. With the click of a button you will find out how many people are searching your keywords. You’ll also receive a list of comparable phrases that you may want to use in your web content.
    • Connections After all the other elements are taken care of, the most vital part of writing web copy for maximum readability is to connect with your reader in some real way. Relationships are built on trust. Trust is built through connections. Be yourself when you are writing web copy. Draw from authoritative sources AND your own personal experiences. Add a dash of humor, tell a story. Do what it takes to connect. If your readers feel a connection to you, you are well on your way to success.