Five writing tips for better Web content

Posted in: In Practice | Permalink

The basic rules of writing still apply online—know your audience, give them the information they want, in the way they need it. Keep the following five Web best practice copywriting tips in mind when writing content for your website.

Tip #1: Page titles matter

The page title (or title tag) is what shows up at the top of the browser window. It’s also what shows up in search engine result headlines. The first ten words are the most important. Structure it with the main idea of the page first, supporting information, and only then company name. An example of a page title for this blog post is “Writing for the Web: 5 Tips to Better Content | Michel Godts eDesign.”

Tip #2: Summarize in 55 words

Search engines, social media tools, and RSS feeds often pull over the page title and usually no more than the first 55 words on the page if no meta description is provided in the HTML code. If both the page title and the first 55 words on the page (or in the meta description) relate to what people are looking for, they will click through to see if the page is indeed relevant.

Tip #3: No one reads, they scan

Once they get to the page they think they want, they scan the headlines and sub-headlines. Make every headline and subhead count. The subheads will convey the marketing message for the page. Write short paragraphs to facilitate speed-reading.

Tip #4: Keep top level pages under 500 words

People want information quickly without having to read or scroll. Summarize on top-level pages and provide users the opportunity to learn more on the next level.

Tip #5: Use keywords

Keywords and keyword phrases are what people type into search engines to find answers. They may not know industry terms, buzzwords, or your product name. They have a question or problem that needs solving. Work those keywords and keyword phrases into the page content. Key placements are the page title, headlines, subheads, and summary text.

Also see, Web traffic marketing—driving visitors to your website for more tips on getting relevant visitors to your site.

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