Archive for November, 2009

Ten Tips for Creating a Website Your Visitors Will Want to Read

Writing for the web is a whole different art from writing for print, especially when it comes to company websites. Before you decide what to put on your website, you need to consider the type of service you provide and what information your prospects are looking for. There are a number of reasons people visit your site, including:

  • to obtain more information about your company
  • to determine whether your product or service meets their needs
  • to view your portfolio or case studies

When creating text for the web, keep two things in mind:

  • writing for the web is different than writing for print
  • the average reader tends to have a short attention span

Here are ten tips to help you write website text that your visitors will want to read:

  1. Keep it short.
    If your visitor has to scroll down the page to see the rest of your text, in most cases, your text is too long.

  2. Make it meaningful.
    Only include the information your readers will care about.

  3. Use short paragraphs.
    Short paragraphs can be read or skimmed easily. If your paragraphs are too long, your readers will move on to something else.

  4. Align the text to the left.
    Web text that is aligned to the left is much easier to read than centered or right-aligned text. Take it easy on your readers and they’ll be more likely to stick around.

  5. Use lists.
    Breaking up your text with bullet points or lists helps make your text easy to read.

  6. Use a bigger font than you would for print.
    Reading text on a computer screen is hard on the eyes. To make it easier for your readers, you should use at least a 14 point font.

  7. Determine your message and the information you want to share, then ask yourself if people will care.
    You want to give readers the information they are looking for. If you provide information that fails to interest them, they will move on.

  8. Assume people don’t want to read your text.
    Only use what you need to get your message across. Most people don’t really want to read your text. They just want to obtain the information they went to your website for.

  9. Edit the text for word flow by reading your text out loud.
    If you stumble or need to take breaths at the wrong times, rewrite your text.

  10. Proofread your work before publishing it.
    I have seen so many errors and typos on websites that could have been avoided had more time and attention been given to reviewing the text. Take your time. A good website is much more effective than one with errors.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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