What are some writing tips for preparing website copy?

Eva Pettifor

13

September 2013

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You only have a matter of seconds to grab your visitor's attention. Reading a screen is very different to reading a printed page, people scan the content and want their info FAST!

The following tips do not cover the content of your web page itself but the style of writing that I recommend:1. Divide your text into readable portions

Divide your content into manageable chunks using headings (your website editor will have inbuilt heading styles to use). Bulleted lists are also good way to clearly outline important points. Doing this allows your visitors to quickly scan your website content.

2. Use plain english

Keep your paragraphs short and simple using every day language.

3. Don't waffle on

Get to the point and don't include any unnecessary waffle. This will bore your visitors, they want the info now and aren't interested in sifting through a major story.

4. Make sure it's accurate

Proof read your spelling and grammar, then check it again after taking a break. It is also a good idea to get someone else to proof read it if possible. Don't rely on spell checkers. If you cannot write well, you should not be writing for your website at all.

5. Keep your formatting simple

Do not add your own fonts and colours and add too much of any type of additional formatting (eg bold). Use the inbuilt styles included in your editor. This will look more professional and streamlined (and is better for the search engines too!)

Eva Pettifor

Founder and project manager at Darwin Web

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