Best Practices: Writing For The Web

When I started my career in the marketing world, I was a day out of college and looking to make a name for myself. I was confident, perhaps overly so, that I knew all there was to know about copywriting. I aced my assignments for my Media Writing class, I received several compliments on my writing talents, and I had my writing put on the web for all eyes to see during my internship with thecelebritycafe.com. It wasn’t until I tried and failed at my first attempt at website content writing that I knew I had a lot to learn.

I went in to research mode. I asked for guidance from my bosses, I read how to articles, and I kept at it until I finally created remarkable content.

You see, writing for the web is different than writing for print or video; your content not only needs to be applicable to the customer, but it has to be succinct and fully optimized for SEO purposes. If you’re just starting to develop copy for the web or if you need some tips to make your content better, I’ve compiled a list of what I’ve found to be best practices.

Keep Content Relevant & Succinct – Studies have shown that over 70% of people scan the page and only about 15-20% of people actually read the pages all the way through. This is why it’s important to keep all content straight to the point. Your most important content should be in the first paragraph, and each paragraph thereafter should feature only one idea that you expand upon.

Use Meaningful Subheadings – Subheadings can be a great tool to help your customers identify important information. Make sure that your subheads speak to the content that will be featured below them. If your subhead reads “Benefits of Teeth Cleaning” and your content is about your company’s history, you’ll confuse your potential customers. In addition, your subheadings shouldn’t be vague. They are there to give an indication of the content to come, after all, so they should be as clear as possible.

Use Lists – This tip follows along the same lines as the first one; customers don’t spend a ton of time reading web pages word for word. Using bullet lists to speak to benefits, services offered, and reasons to buy can help you reach your customers. Be sure to limit lists to seven bullet points, otherwise it becomes excessive.

Keywords – Using keywords is essential to having a relevant and optimized website. Search engines crawl every website they encounter for keywords. The more relevant they are, the better your ranking will be. So, if you are a dental company, some keywords might be “teeth cleaning,” “family dentistry,” “root canals,” “emergency tooth repair,” and more. Be careful not to overuse keywords. Keyword stuffing can be detrimental to your ranking. It’s better to have applicable keywords instead of a plethora of them.

Other tips include: use active language, link to other pages, use calls to action (CTAs), and more. Using the tips mentioned in this article can help take your website content writing skills to the next level.

Do you have any tips for writing for the web? If so, I’d love to hear them! Send me a message today.

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