Thursday, 16 May 2013

Top 7 Web writing tips–keeping it natural while sticking to the ‘rules’

Top 7 Web writing tips–keeping it natural while sticking to the ‘rules’
Learning about Web writing has been a bit like learning a new set of road rules.  Before working through the Writing for the Web course I drove pretty casually with my writing like off road on the farm.  After learning Web writing skills it’s a bit like driving on the road using road rules.

A bit of background
I generally like to write about cute things and share them with people on my blog.   This is where I write naturally and mostly write and let the words flow onto the page never thinking about ‘rules’. 
At Not Socks I write copy and articles related to gifts and I work to rules and guidelines as outlined by my Manager so I had a few ideas about web writing.

What I have learnt
The most interesting part about web writing for me was learning that there are lots of rules and guidelines for how you write for the web, basically so that people will:

a.            Read your content
b.            Find your content interesting and easy to read
c.             Traffic will be driven to your site
d.            Get as many of your Web pages credited by the search engines with the
right keyword phrases on each page.

The top 7 most important writing rules I have learnt and will continue to use in all my web writing are:
Headings and subheadings – See if you can spot these above.  People don’t have time to read lines and lines of writing – they want to know quickly what your content is about, the headline grabs them and pulls them in.
Write less! 
Bullet points – breaking up is hard to do….but making it easy for the reader to scan your content is important
Short paragraphs – try not to fit it all into one BIG paragraph.  Make it easier for the reader to scan your writing
Use hyperlinks and anchor text – to important links
Think about what search terms – what do you think people will use - put yourself in the mind of the user to find key word phrases.  What keyword phrases would you enter if you were looking for a product or service on Google
Create trust – with the reader by writing good content, using simple design, and checking grammar. 
So now I have my set of ‘road rules’ I am writing better content that will be seen.  And eventually after you have been driving on the road for a while it becomes a little bit more natural every time you drive.