Working better

Tips for writing websites that people want to read

Getting people to your website with good SEO is one thing. But how do you make sure they stay there?

1) Make it easy to scan

Your customer shouldn’t have to think too hard when they’re scanning the page. They should be able to find what they want by looking at the words rather than reading them.

2) Write headings that grab the customer’s attention

When you read a newspaper, you don’t read every word of every story. You scan the page until a headline reaches out and grabs you. Web pages are similar. We’re all looking for that headline.

3) Don’t try to be clever

Go for something short, simple, and instantly meaningful over something that may be witty but only works when the customer has time to think about it.

4) Highlight keywords

You want to hook your customer’s attention as they skim over the page.

5) Use bulleted lists to break up information

The shorter the bullets, the better.

6) Put what’s important to your customer first

If the customer has to read through blocks of copy to find the key information that they’re after, you’ve lost them. They’ll never get there. Don’t make them work to find stuff out; do the work for them by giving it to them immediately.

7) One idea at a time

Only write one idea or point in each sentence, paragraph, or section.

8) Chunk it up

Break your information into small chunks for the simple reason that it’s easier to read and won’t overwhelm your customer with huge slabs of copy (that they won’t bother reading).

9) Make every word count

You’re not writing a novel. On the web page, every word has to earn its place. So reduce the copy to the absolute least number of words you can get away with.

10) Be concise

Tell your customer what they need to know. Cut out anything they don’t need to know.