How should you write and formulate yourself to keep your website attractive and relevant? In this article, we take a look at just that. Here you get a lot of tips on how to become a professional at writing for the web.
1. Start with the most important
You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your readers and you compete with thousands of other websites, blogs and posts.
When we read on the web, few of us read from beginning to the end. Common to us all - after just a few seconds we decide whether to stay on the site or not. Therefore, you should say the most important first. And you need to be relevant and clear.
A good website has short introductory texts for those who quickly want to find the most important information. Further down in the structure, it’s okay to have more detailed information for readers who want to delve deeper and know it all. Here you can add brochures, instructions and descriptions of various kinds.
2. Be concise
It’s more difficult to write short than to write long. Therefore, it’s easy for a novice to write both too long and too detailed.
Feel free to clear the text in several rounds before you publish it. Think about which paragraphs, sentences or words you can delete. Delete everything that is unnecessary.
- The text should be at most 1500 characters including spaces
- The most important thing should be visible on the screen without the reader having to scroll
- A web text should be about half as short as text to be printed on paper
3. Get to know your target audience
Before you start writing, decide once and for all which target group or groups you are writing for. Is it for potential customers or for existing ones? Hopefully you choose to write for both. Find out what your prospects and old customers want and need to know. And deliver that.
Potential customers want to read about what you have to offer and what sets you apart from your competitors. They want to know if your product or service is affordable, if you know your stuff and if you are serious, experienced and nice to deal with.
You should try to keep existing customers at all costs. It’s expensive and time consuming to get new ones. Give them a reason to look at your website from time to time or to read your newsletter.
Also think about what perspective you are writing from? Is it from yourself and what you are passionate about or from the perspective of your readers? It’s easy to start from oneself and tell, for example, everything that has happened in the company since the start from an inside perspective. Instead, make sure your texts have an outside perspective. Tell your web visitors interesting news and highlight various offers. Share what you can in the area that interests your customers.
4. The headlines - among the most important on your site
Put as much energy into thinking about the headlines as you do into designing the website. The impatient web reader needs the support of clear headlines and keywords to orient themselves. Keep in mind that the headlines should attract clicks.
Above all, the headings must be clear. Also think about which keywords that may interest your readers and put them early in the headline. Your headlines also affects how your site ranks in the search engines, especially on Google. It’s not enough that important keywords are in the body text.
The result will be better if the keyword or search phrase is in the title. Google has tools to help you choose and evaluate keywords, search phrases and headlines.
5. The preamble attracts further reading
Almost all texts need an initial summary, except for very short texts.
The preface gives the reader a chance to understand what the page is about. If it’s well written, it attracts further reading.
6. Informative intermediate headings facilitate reading on the web
The intermediate headings highlight important information and, like the introduction and the main headline, attract further reading. They also make it easier for the reader to find the right information.
Think about what function the middle heading should have and who’s interested in what’s in it. If you don’t find something in the text that serves as a subheading, it’s time to think about the content of the text. The reader expects to find information about what’s in the subheading under the current subheading, not elsewhere.
7. Gather the most important information in fact boxes or bullet lists
Feel free to gather important information or break down long listings in fact boxes. It gives the reader a quick overview. You also relieve the body text by freeing it from long and cumbersome enumerations.
- Fact boxes and bullet lists attract reading
- Feel free to number the bullet list
- Don’t make the bullet list too long
9. Bold style, cursive or underline?
If you want to highlight particularly important information, it’s best to use bold style. Avoid cursive style and underlining.
The bold style helps your readers to orient themselves in the text and to find the right information. You can use bold style in the body text even though you have intermediate headings in the same style.
Use bold style only to highlight important information.
10. Capital letters?
Contrary to many people's beliefs, the capital letters make the text difficult to read.
Capital letters may be okay in headings and possibly in intermediate headings, but in a body text it’s best to avoid them. They tend to tire out your readers.
11. If it's easy, it's the way to go
The main purpose of writing is to be read and understood. Therefore, skip difficult words, clauses and long, complicated sentences.
If you can choose between an easy and a difficult word - choose the light. If you must include technical terms - then try to explain what they stand for in a comprehensible way that even non-professionals can understand.
12. When you have finished writing
Once you have removed unnecessary words and sentences, and corrected spelling, grammatical and spelling errors, it's time to:
- Read the text loud to yourself. Then you will notice if the text flows in a good way.
- Use the spelling program. But remember that you can never trust it 100 percent.
- Let the text rest for a day or two. It gives you distance, which makes it easier to discover more things that need to be corrected.
- Have someone else read your text and ask for help with proofreading.
13. Make use of journalistic tricks and methods
To increase credibility and create interest, you can use the grip of journalists.
Build your text around one or more interviewees who speak out. You use the quotes to support your story and to take it forward. Also refer to surveys, statistics, research, reports and other things that support your story.
Bring with you these questions when you’re about to write:
When did it happen?
When will it happen?
When should it be fixed?
Where did it happen?
Where will it happen?
How did it happen?
How could that happen?
What are you going to do now?
Why did it happen?
Why did it not happen?
Why do/did you not do anything?
What has happened?
What will happen?
14. Remember - when you write texts for your newsletters, the same rules apply as for other web texts.