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How to Write for the Web

By Chris Brown
Writing for the web

Do you like to read every detail or are you a quick skimmer?

When you are writing for the web you need to be able to cover both of these browsing styles. Some people love reading every single detail and can't get enough information. Others just want the important points and don't have time to wade through endless lines of copy.

Keeping these points in mind and using some simple techniques, you can easily write web content that satisfies both the info-hungry detail browser as well as the speed-reading main-point gatherer.

Using headings to break up your copy

There's nothing worse than coming across a web page that has wall-to-wall text in 9pt. Usually for me this means hitting the back button and finding another site that is easier to browse the information I'm looking for. Using headings to break up your copy is the best way to provide a user experience that makes finding relevant information easy. As long as the heading is specific and meaningful to the copy that follows, your eye can quickly scan the page, get the over-all idea of the article and see where to focus your attention for more detail.

Highlight main points with bullet points

Don't under-estimate the power of using bullet points to bring attention to your main points. This is another great device for focusing attention on the points you are getting across. For technical writing or product descriptions, this is a great way to show-case the features or specifications in an easy to read format that is to the point and easy to find.

Showcase words of wisdom with Block Quotes

Are there quotes from your article that are so important you don't want the reader to miss? Block quotes are a perfect way to highlight these not-to-be-missed bites of brilliance. They separate a small block of text out into it's own space and styling, emphasising their importance even more.

Block quotes are a perfect way to highlight these not-to-be-missed bites of brilliance.

Improving your website SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Formatting your article or web content using the techniques outlined above is a great way to improve your web site's SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.  Google places more weight on words in your web content if they are in a heading or even a bulleted list. The days of tricking Google with hidden key words are long gone - relevant, unique and well structured information is now your best ticket to top search engine rankings. The place to start is formatting your copy with well-worded headings and information that is relevant.

You don't have to have a website full of great content that nobody will read. Spending a small amount of time to make your website copy more readable will ultimately make your website more successful and give you a greater return.


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