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Web Writing Style

You have only split seconds to catch the interest of your reader on the Web. It is too easy for them to click away from you.

For long time Journalists are writing for newspapers in a way that is very well suited for the Web. Give the reader what interests them most.

“‘Why should I care?’, might be the question in the visitor's head. You need to present them the answers right away!”

It is called “inverted pyramids” writing style.

Your Web content should start with the conclusion of your article. Then lay out the details and how the conclusion is drawn. This structure is even more important on the Web than it is in newspapers. The medium is different, and the computer screen shows only a small portion of your page at one time (above the fold). That's the real estate that you have to sell with your writing skills. Get the users attention quickly or loose, if you don't.

Some search engines will show text from your first paragraph on the Web page in their search result page (SERP). Another very good reason for the inverted pyramids style.

Usability testing has revealed that people are scanning text rather than reading each and every character in sequence. They are searching for the interesting parts parts first. A wall of dense text is very bad for an interactive experience, it is painful to read.

Use this well-documented tricks to enhance scannability of your copy.

  • subheads
  • bulleted lists
  • highlighted keywords
  • short paragraphs
  • the inverted pyramid
  • a simple writing style, and
  • crisp language that brings it to the point.

When writing an article, content for a Web page, etc., do not forget that human visitors are not the only audience. Write for Search Engines at the same time and you will save a lot time.

Search engines like content that has at least 300 words. 400 or even 500 words are even better as minimum. Just for comparison, a standard article written for print has about 650 to 700 words per page, when printed on letter or A4 sized paper. While it does not hurt SEO, when the article is much longer than 1000 words, consider that the page loading time will increase. At some point you should break up a large page into smaller pages. Do not let a single HTML page get larger than 30 KiBytes. There are still people with 56kbps modems out there. The quicker your page loads, the better its usability.

Read more about Web Writing Style, Usability, and SEO
Web Writing Style, Usability, and SEO.



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