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Writing for the Web


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How to write web content that people will actually read.

Published in: Education, Technology, Design
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Writing for the Web

  1. 1. Writing for the Web How to write web content that this guy will actually read.
  2. 2. What I’m Going to Talk About  Purpose/Goal of your website  Your Audience  Structuring  Writing  Getting Visitors  Did people do what you wanted them to do?
  3. 3. What’s the Point? What is the purpose of your website?  Persuade them to act?  Sign up for something?  Do something?  Get them to buy?  Get them to invest?  Teach them something?
  4. 4. Who is your Audience? Gather as much information as you can. Like:  What are their perceptions of the project? Any preconceived ideas?  What is their knowledge of the project?  Are they busy people?  How do they use the web?
  5. 5. Structuring  Usable Users should be able to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for. Your content should be scannable; break up text, highlight key points, and put important information at the front of your headings.  Searchable Google robots scan the page and pick up headings first, looking for keywords. Put keywords first in your content.
  6. 6. How to Structure Your Content  Think about your audience. What are they searching for? Use those key words and phrases in your titles.  Use headings and subheadings to break up the text (H1, H2, H3). Make them descriptive and relevant.  Use bullets and bold headings to draw the readers attention to sections.  Be short. Limit titles to 64 characters.
  7. 7. Writing: Paragraphs, Sentences, Words  Usable Remember the 5 second rule: If a visitor to your site can’t figure out what it’s about within the first 5 seconds, you’ve probably lost them. What is the page about? What do you want your visitors to do on the page? Make it clear!  Searchable Write for your audience. Use keywords naturally throughout your writing that your audience would search for. This is best practice for visitors and search engines! Add new content regularly to keep it fresh for visitors and to keep Google coming back.
  8. 8. How to Write for the Web  Keep paragraphs short – no more than 50 words  Keep sentences short – between 20 – 40 words.  Break up the text with bullets  Use active voice (easier to read) and pronouns (easier to relate to)  Add a clear call to action that points back to your purpose/goal  Don’t sacrifice usability for SEO.
  9. 9. Getting Visitors  Do your keyword research. Use these keywords in headings, titles, content, images and links.  Use links. Link to outside websites, link within your site. Google sees this as people verifying that your have great content.  Be social. Use social media channels that best target your audience.
  10. 10. Is your website successful?  What is success? –> go back to your goals, did you achieve them?  Use web analytics. Look at not only how many people visited your website, but how long they spent on the page, where they left.  If you don’t have analytics, use bitly as links on your call to actions. At least this way you can track how many click on your links. If they’re not clicking, you need to change something.
  11. 11. Putting it all Together Before and after…
  12. 12. Web Services Carleton University @cuweb