Let’s talk about web content.
Web content is literally anything published on the Internet. This could be written, visual, or even audio.
The first thing you want to identify when writing for the Web is What’s your purpose?
Web content typically serves five different purposes: to inform, to provide entertainment, to explore new topics and ideas, to persuade, or to create a brand or image.
The second thing you need to understand about writing for Web is your audience and Internet users in general.
The way we read and receive content now has changed so much. People expect to find the information they need quickly. In fact, most users spend less than 60 seconds on a webpage, and a vast majority of these users leave within 15 seconds. One of the biggest challenges of writing for Web is the fact that you really don’t have much time to grab the user’s attention, so you need to hook them right away.
Most Web users scan content, without reading all of the words, until they find the parts that interest them. Here are a few key things to remember when writing content for Web:
- Use plain but well-written language. The more syllables you use, the less likely your readers are to read and share your articles. You want your readers to absorb information quickly and easily. Regardless of how intelligent your readers are, the way we read web content is so much different; we want it to be quick. Keep the language simple and easy to understand, while also making sure it’s well written. Fun Fact: Studies show that most Internet users respond best to content written at a 7th-8th grade reading level! It has nothing to do with our intelligence; it’s just how we receive content on the Web.
- Make sure it’s well-organized. Web readers like lots of white space. It makes the content easier to read, scan, and is just more visually pleasing. Instead of typing one giant paragraph, which will only look even bigger on mobile, consider breaking it into multiple smaller paragraphs, or even put it in list form.
- Optimize it. Be sure to use related terms, keywords and buzzwords that are industry-recognized for your topic. Not only will you let readers know they’ve landed at the right place, it’ll also give search engines a better idea of what the article, blog or page is about. By keeping your content focused, search engines will know what you’re writing about; in fact, search engines are kind of like Web readers. They skim your content, so you need to be sure to have common terms and phrases used throughout. But always remember to use them naturally. If it doesn’t read naturally, you’re better off not using them at all.
- Keep it free of grammatical errors. It only takes one typo to lose your reader’s trust in you. It might seem dramatic, but it’s true. And typos happen, especially when you’re staring at the same document for hours on end. Proofread your piece as many times as you can. Have someone else look at it. Or you can even have your computer read it back to you, which might help you find grammatical errors you might have missed.
- Get to the point quickly. Users want to know right away if your article is one that will be of interest of them. Make sure your topic is focused and clear. Use a strong lead. Your topic can be focused, but remember it can also be entertaining, so make sure you’ve determined the mood you wish to elicit from the reader.
Readers are looking for articles that are easy-to-read and understand, well-organized, polished, and give them the information they need quickly and easily. Once you’ve achieved these key points, you’re well on your way to delivering solid content! Have a question for us? Just tweet us at @CGRCreative!