Content: Writing for the Web
Writing Headlines for the Social Web
When using the Social Web to post WPI-related events, please consider some of the helpful suggestions we have put together on Writing Headlines for Web. (pdf, 223 kb)
Web writing tips:
Users generally scan the content on a web page, rather than read every word. Web readers want quick and easy access to the information they are looking for. Therefore, it is important that users find the most relevant information on your site quickly. Below are some tips to help make your site content stand out:
- Write compelling headlines
Always use relevant, attention-grabbing headlines. Use sub-headings to define different sections of your content, helping readers locate the information they find pertinent.
- Make it concise and scannable
Write succinct paragraphs and use bullet points and lists to break your content into scannable sections.
- Consider search engine optimization as you write
Before you begin to write, think carefully about the keywords that your target audience may use in an Internet search. This will optimize your page so that it is easily found when people search the Web.
- Edit your words
Have two or three people proofread your text. Check for consistency in grammar, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, etc. Read your text backward - you'll be surprised how many errors you spot.
- Remember: writing for the web is different than writing for print
- Why differentiate between these media?
- Users don’t read entire web pages, they scan looking for headlines, key words, or links that interest them.
- It takes users 25percent longer to read text on a computer screen compared to on paper
- Some tips:
- Avoid taking content from printed pieces and placing it verbatim on your web page. Websites should generally have half the amount of text as their printed counterpart.
- Keep it short and sweet. Assume the reader doesn’t have much time to read through long paragraphs of text.
- When linking to other web pages, avoid the use of "click here," "follow this link," or other non-descriptive actions.
- It is outdated. In the early days of the Internet, people believed that novice users wouldn’t know what to do unless a link said "click here." Users are much savvier now and will follow a link only if it has descriptive text letting them know what information they will find on the linked page.
- It doesn’t give the user enough information to determine what is on the other side of the "click." Our goal is that a site visitor will be able to find their way through a site without thinking. Each step should be clear and logical; information should be easily found and communicated. "Click here" provides an action, but not a reason.
Therefore, instead of: "Click here for more information." Consider: "Visit the Marketing and Communications website for more information about our web content writing services."
If you have a question about WPI capitalization, hyphenation or abbreviations, see the WPI style guide.Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: Apr 16, 2009, 13:50 EDT