Effective web writing is the key to a successful website.
According to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), 79 percent of web surfers only scan web pages instead of reading them thoroughly. The university said further that web readers read 25 percent slower than they do on paper.
The secret to catching visitors and making them read on is by providing them with focused, concise and informative web content that caters to the readers’ needs.
Here are some ways to write effectively for the web:
1. Write to your specific audience.
– Imagine yourself as an individual in the audience you wish to target;
– Write your article for that person
2. Recognize the most important message you want to convey
Writing a concise, informative article is just like solving a problem. You must identify it so that you can find the most effective approach to solve it.
– Before writing the message, you should be able to identify the single idea that you want to get across on that particular page;
– Use simple sentence structures which are easy for your audience to understand. The ability to make complicated things simple is an indication of intelligence and finesse.
3. Establish and maintain focus in your content
– Provide a summary or a good introduction about the page’s subject matter;
– Deliver what you promised
– Recap the important points in your conclusion
4. Format the text for easy scanning
– Items that make long lists are better presented in bulleted format;
– Keywords and sub headings become more effective when they are presented in bold characters. Avoid bold-facing entire sentences; they can be a turn-off for most readers;
– Shorter and fewer words are better than long ones if they provide the same meaning;
– Short sentences are easier to follow than long ones. Each sentence in an article should not exceed 25 words.
– Like sentences, short paragraphs are more understandable than long complex ones. An average of five sentences is sufficient to make an effective paragraph.
5. Use titles and sub-headings that express Ideas
– A focused headline that tells the reader there’s value underneath is sure to catch the attention of your visitors;
– Each paragraph should focus on a single idea;
– Avoid using jokes or slogans in your content, except if your website is made for entertainment purposes;
6. Use portal resources to guide your readers through
– Summary is the field that provides a brief outline of your article;
– Links will lead your reader to content related to your articles;
– Contact information will give your readers access to you or somebody in your company or business. It should contain a name of a person or department with a phone or fax number and an e-mail address. This will give your readers the impression that your website is serious about its business because it makes itself traceable.
7. Avoid using passive voice
As much as possible, avoid using passive voice in your content as it obscures clarity. Use active voice with verbs that show action; this will energize your readers.