Writing for the Web is different than writing for Print!
There are three basic guidelines for writing for the web:
- “Wasted words, wasted space’
- Limit a page to one topic
- Put information – carrying content within the first few words of the headline and paragraph text
- Avoid words that do not have a specific, concrete meaning. (a historical offender: Facility)
- Concentrate on keywords that your audience will be using to conduct searches
- Opt for real-world examples that readers can relate to, instead of theory, when possible
- Clear writing
- Focus on the reader’s experience and needs. As you write, put yourself in the reader’s frame of reference.
- Make content actionable. The web surfer’s purpose is to find information, not be told a story.
- Usually, the active voice is clearer than the passive voice; but not always.
- Favor clear over clever.
- Two or three levels of headlines (page header, subhead, sub-subhead)
- Highlight keywords (boldface, colored, or hypertext links)
- Use hypertext links to split up long information into multiple pages.
- Bulleted lists
- Short paragraphs – one idea per page
- Inverted pyramid style of writing (Bottom Line Up Front)
- Half the words (or less) of conventional