If we go back to the analogy of a shop when people come into our website there are two problems. 1 It is like walking in to Arnotts and every product that was ever sold is there but when you pick one up and ask for it, you may be told we do not have it in stock. Lots of courses up there that have not been given for a long time. Frustrates customer experience and they leave. 2 You go to try on a pair of shoes. But want a size seven and those in front of you are only size 6. You would be disappointed if they didn’t have a size seven but annoyed if you found out later that they had them but you weren’t directed to them. It’s a bit like that with the cert and diplom courses in Training and Development and degree and post grad in Education. No link between the two but more importantly form a customer point of view they want to see all the shoe sizes from a cert up to doctorate in one place and see which fits best. In addition the would like to see the add-ons such as relevant publications etc. The technology can facilitates giving information to visitors to the website on all IPA topics related to their search Most people who come to the IPA website will come for information either on specific programmes or publications or on public sector topics. We must deliver that as easily as possible . Some will come with an intention to do business and again that should be facilitated through online booking and payment
Writing for the Web KieranLenihan3 Dec 08
Objectives • To learn how good websites work • To understand the importance of web content • To be aware of the differences in print reading and internet reading • To know how to prepare for writing content for the web • To know how to write for the web.
What search engines look at • Number of Inbound links • Time people stay • Number of pages visited
Three Common Problems with Websites • Irrelevant and non current information included • Difficult to carry out transaction/interact • 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” www.google-secrets.com
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 • Include keywords
Subheadings • Point the way forward • Use liberally • Should appear before scrolling more than a screen and a half
Where people’s eyes focus on awebpage Implication: Most important keywords in red area.
Where to use keywords (roughly inorder of importance)1. Title2. Headings <H1>, <H2>, <H3>3. First paragraph of page4. In links5. On last paragraph6. Drop-down boxes7. In URLs e.g www.keyword.com8. Folder and file names e.g keywords.gif9. 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 webwriting • 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 • Numerals • Keywords
How do they feel? Impatient! Tip 1 Be brief! More than 200 but less than 1000 words (approx 600 optimum)
Tip 2 Think of your reader • How old? • How educated are they? • What do they need? ..and forget your ego No nice phrases, limit adjectives and adverbs, no anecdotes
Remember… …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?
Readability • 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 theweb? 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
Finally some links Introduction to Writing Copy for the Web http://webdesignfromscratch.com/writing-for-the- web.php Writing Content for the Web www.dcu.ie/iss/writing_web_content.shtml How to write for the Web Jakob Nielson www.useit.com/papers/webwriting/writing.html