Writing Skills

How to write for the web

A friend asked me if there is a difference in writing techniques when creating brochures, press releases and web sites. You probably know that my answer was YES. I directed him to my blog a few days ago that addressed this issue. Then today, I saw an article that was describing the writing habits for the web.

I was pleased to see another person realized the need to educate publicity writers how different it is when writing anything that appears on the web.

Let me share with you some of my findings and experience.
First you need to accept that the web is different when it comes to writing anything. Here are a few reasons how it is different:

  • Text is hard to read. Most computers have low resolution, even the higher the resolution, and the smaller the type. This makes it more difficult for people to read on-screen text. They tend to read slower, comprehend less and recall less.
  • The web allows you to link pages and sources. Unlike print, you cannot link to other articles, or resources.

Ok, if you agree with these two points let’s move into "How you should write for the web".

  • Keep your articles down to 1,000 words. Why, because of my point above that says text is hard to read!
  • Use sub-headings and bullet text when possible. This gives the reader a chance to scan the article.
  • Give more info. This is where you want to use the links. Provide links to your sources, or references. It helps to build that link strategy you need for the search engines.
  • Speaking of links, use keywords and phrases when writing. Don’t go wild and pack a lot of them into the article. That will get you negative action from the search engines. Use keywords wisely and the engines will treat you nice.

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