“ Good writing…must capture the reader immediately and force him to keep reading.” - William Zinsser, On Writing Well.
<ul><li>Your Presenter </li></ul><ul><li>Aidan Crawford </li></ul><ul><li>Short Circuit Media </li></ul><ul><li>www.shortc...
<ul><li>A Bit of History </li></ul><ul><li>2001 - 2004 Canada Life </li></ul><ul><li>2004 - 2005 BMO Mutual Fund </li></ul...
<ul><li>Synopsis </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it keyword rich  ...
<ul><li>Nature of the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Web users expect something more active than...
<ul><li>Function of Content </li></ul><ul><li>Content serves four primary functions online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communica...
<ul><li>Content Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Know the purpose of the website </li></ul><ul><li>Understand why the audience v...
<ul><li>Create a Keyword List </li></ul><ul><li>Google Keywords tool </li></ul><ul><li>Add your site to the tool </li></ul...
 
<ul><li>Write for your reader (and Google) </li></ul><ul><li>Use a casual style – speak to the user as though one-on-one. ...
<ul><li>Less is more </li></ul><ul><li>Web users have a very short attention span  </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your text to a b...
<ul><li>Be Concise </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb - 1/2 as many words as print but sometimes even less </li></ul><ul><li>...
“ Don’t write about the thing you’re selling. Write about the people to whom you’re selling it.”  - Nick Usborne
<ul><li>Writing to Brand </li></ul><ul><li>A brand is a promise </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes expectations </li></ul><ul><...
“ Helping people achieve more.”  Canada Life branding message. You’d find it sprinkled through all sorts of communications...
<ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Too many hyperlinks interrupt text flow </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperlink to more detailed infor...
<ul><li>Don’t Click Here!! </li></ul><ul><li>Write about your subject, not the medium </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid references t...
<ul><li>Addressing the Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Address the audience in the first person and they will: </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to web users the same way you would talk to a friend – in a simple conversational mann...
<ul><li>To convey a customer service message, ensure the tone is: </li></ul><ul><li>positive, </li></ul><ul><li>enthusiast...
<ul><li>Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Lists are an effective way to: </li></ul><ul><li>unite unrelated information, </li></ul><u...
When creating lists: keep them short; use ordered lists when sequential order is important (e.g. to indicate steps in a pl...
<ul><li>The Active Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminates unnecessary words in a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthens the im...
<ul><li>Minimize use of lingo and jargon </li></ul><ul><li>If you can find any other way to describe an technical  term, d...
<ul><li>Layout and Spacing </li></ul><ul><li>Keep text line length to about 40—60 characters per line. </li></ul><ul><li>D...
<ul><li>Paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>A paragraph contains a single idea.This idea must be clear in the opening sentence – ...
<ul><li>When creating text: </li></ul><ul><li>keep bolding to a minimum  and  do not italicize </li></ul><ul><li>AVOID USI...
<ul><li>Creating titles and Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Be concise –  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Titles: 80 characters max. ...
<ul><li>Spelling and Abbreviations </li></ul><ul><li>Use American spellings and abbreviations if your clients are American...
“ Online, your brand is only as good as your customer’s last experience.”  - Tony Russell
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Writing for the Web

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A short presentation on how to write effective web copy for your website.

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Writing for the Web

  1. 1. “ Good writing…must capture the reader immediately and force him to keep reading.” - William Zinsser, On Writing Well.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Your Presenter </li></ul><ul><li>Aidan Crawford </li></ul><ul><li>Short Circuit Media </li></ul><ul><li>www.shortcircuitmedia.com </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>A Bit of History </li></ul><ul><li>2001 - 2004 Canada Life </li></ul><ul><li>2004 - 2005 BMO Mutual Fund </li></ul><ul><li>2005 - 2007 Critical Mass </li></ul><ul><li>2007 - 2010 The Clemmer Group </li></ul><ul><li>2010 - present Short Circuit Media </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Synopsis </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it keyword rich </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Nature of the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Web users expect something more active than reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Content, design and navigation interact </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Function of Content </li></ul><ul><li>Content serves four primary functions online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Action/sale </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Content Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Know the purpose of the website </li></ul><ul><li>Understand why the audience visits </li></ul><ul><li>Create content to appeal to the audience </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Create a Keyword List </li></ul><ul><li>Google Keywords tool </li></ul><ul><li>Add your site to the tool </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on words and terms that are low competition but highly searched. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Write for your reader (and Google) </li></ul><ul><li>Use a casual style – speak to the user as though one-on-one. </li></ul><ul><li>Be concise and clear. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize scrolling on navigation pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Update information on a regular basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Use an RSS feed display on your home page to show the latest blogs. </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Less is more </li></ul><ul><li>Web users have a very short attention span </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your text to a bare minimum </li></ul><ul><li>If you can find a shorter word that has the same meaning, go short. </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize use of cliches, superlatives. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Be Concise </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of thumb - 1/2 as many words as print but sometimes even less </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be too short - brevity can affect clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid vague references - be specific </li></ul>
  12. 13. “ Don’t write about the thing you’re selling. Write about the people to whom you’re selling it.” - Nick Usborne
  13. 14. <ul><li>Writing to Brand </li></ul><ul><li>A brand is a promise </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Is an expression of what a company is </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for a brochure or writing for the web should reinforce what the brand is. </li></ul>
  14. 15. “ Helping people achieve more.” Canada Life branding message. You’d find it sprinkled through all sorts of communications online and off. Didn't speak to product, but promise. What is your promise?
  15. 16. <ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Too many hyperlinks interrupt text flow </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperlink to more detailed information from keywords to minimize scrolling - deep links </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t add links that will lead the user to another terrain of thought </li></ul><ul><li>Place links to other websites or resources at the end of the page/article </li></ul><ul><li>Open external links in separate window </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Don’t Click Here!! </li></ul><ul><li>Write about your subject, not the medium </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid references to Web actions </li></ul><ul><li>Bad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ For a list of resources about how to create an acceptable PowerPoint presentation, click here .” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Use our PowerPoint resources to create stronger presentations.” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Addressing the Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Address the audience in the first person and they will: </li></ul><ul><li>identify with a company </li></ul><ul><li>increased confidence in its products and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service. </li></ul><ul><li>Our customers are our priority. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to web users the same way you would talk to a friend – in a simple conversational manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid lecturing or listing information. </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>To convey a customer service message, ensure the tone is: </li></ul><ul><li>positive, </li></ul><ul><li>enthusiastic, </li></ul><ul><li>believable, </li></ul><ul><li>appropriate, </li></ul><ul><li>human, </li></ul><ul><li>customer-centric. </li></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Lists are an effective way to: </li></ul><ul><li>unite unrelated information, </li></ul><ul><li>draw attention to key information, </li></ul><ul><li>move the reader through the material efficiently, </li></ul><ul><li>improve the appearance of dense text. </li></ul>
  21. 22. When creating lists: keep them short; use ordered lists when sequential order is important (e.g. to indicate steps in a plan); use unordered lists to present items of equal status or value. Bullet points make the contents of an unordered list easily scannable.
  22. 23. <ul><li>The Active Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminates unnecessary words in a sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthens the impact of what you are communicating. </li></ul><ul><li>An active voice: </li></ul><ul><li>emphasizes the subject; </li></ul><ul><li>shortens the message; </li></ul><ul><li>clarifies meaning; </li></ul><ul><li>conveys a sense of action. </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Minimize use of lingo and jargon </li></ul><ul><li>If you can find any other way to describe an technical term, do it. </li></ul><ul><li>If you must include an acronym, please reference what it stands for. </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Layout and Spacing </li></ul><ul><li>Keep text line length to about 40—60 characters per line. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use indentations. </li></ul><ul><li>Use one full line space between paragraphs or between heading and body text. </li></ul><ul><li>Use one space after periods. </li></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>Paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>A paragraph contains a single idea.This idea must be clear in the opening sentence – the rest of the paragraph supports or illustrates this idea. Paragraphs should be kept reasonably short; break long paragraphs if possible. </li></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>When creating text: </li></ul><ul><li>keep bolding to a minimum and do not italicize </li></ul><ul><li>AVOID USING ALL UPPERCASE HEADLINES. </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Creating titles and Descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Be concise – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Titles: 80 characters max. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abstracts: 256 character max. (which includes French, so we only get 70% of that). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key words are important (ie. online writing, estate planning, investments, etc…). </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>Spelling and Abbreviations </li></ul><ul><li>Use American spellings and abbreviations if your clients are American. </li></ul>
  29. 30. “ Online, your brand is only as good as your customer’s last experience.” - Tony Russell

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