Want to write for the Internet? Here are the top seven things you need to know about web writing.
1.On the Web, we read light. In print, we read matter.
Reading light is about 79 % faster than reading matter. It is proven that people read in a sort of scanning fashion, checking to see if the article or post has the information they are looking for. Like a sort of speed reading. Your layout and chunking of the text needs to make it easy for readers to scan your writing.
2. Google algorithms and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When Google and other search engines were born, page ranking came into being. One of the factors that determines your page ranking involves how many times and where your keyword or key phrase appears on the page. In more recent years, search engines have improved their SEO technology, ranking pages according to practical sentences. It detects the entire flow of the article and the key phrases within sentences.
So use pertinent keywords and key phrases to increase your page ranking.
3. Titles and Sentences in Writing for the Web
Titles and sentences are among the most important factors for getting found on the web. They need to be clear, concise and give the browser a clear indication of the contents in your article or on your page. No clever headlines – they don’t work in search engines.
a) Print Title: Empty, empty, empty…where is the petrol in KZN?
b) Web Title: No Petrol at Petrol Stations in KZN.
c) Print Sentence: It is key to eliminate cumbersome, unnecessary words and characters.
d) Web Sentence: Leave out extra words and letters.
4. Make Web Writing Scannable
Disperse keywords, in the form of key phrases, in functional sentences throughout the article. Highlight and tag relevant words that pertain to our article or post. This gives the reader an early idea of what your site, page or article is about.
5. Pyramid Writing
The pyramid style of writing is extremely important in web writing. Starting with the most interesting part of the story, the part that grabs the attention of the reader, is key. On the internet people rarely read the whole article or post word for word. If the beginning of the post grabs them enough, they read on, and possibly read more of your articles.
6. Writing Style
When I first began the Writing for the Web course, I was not too sure of my own style. I didn’t even think it was that important to create a style guide. I have since realised that a consistent style also makes you trustworthy to your readers, and gives them a sense about who you are.
7. Colour Coding is Important.
It is proven that black on white (dark text on a light background) is the most easy to read on the web.
About the author:
Monique is a recent gradaute of the Writing for the Web Course at the Writers’ College. She is now the proud owner of the Blog – Melancholymons. http://melancholymons.wordpress.com/
Photo credit: Flickr.com: Lyn Lomasi