Writing for The Web: 10 Rules

by , 14.01.09



Writing for The Web In contrast to printed text, websites are not read, they are "scanned" because reading on a monitor is tiring and the huge offering of similar sites leads to impatience. For this reason, websites and online shops need to supply content that can be quickly understood. We have put together a list of 10 golden rules you should follow.

 

1. Simple and self-explanatory: Short, understandable sentences; activity-oriented phrases (e.g. "Proceed to Checkout" instead of "Checkout")

2. The shorter the better: Don’t make headlines longer than 40-60 characters; reduce the first version of texts by half

3. Get to the point quickly: No long introductions like "Welcome to our shop…"; no play on words in headlines and introduction texts; keep the most important part at the beginning (in every headline, in every text, in every sentence)

4. Good language: Avoid mistakes; take care to use phrasing that sounds pleasing (if necessary, ask people who have a good sense of language for help)

5. Well-known terms: Internet users will intuitively search for well-known words instead of extravagant ones (e.g. "Electronics shop" instead of "Electronics bazaar"; for search engines as well "Electronics shop", since words placed together are often entered separately)

6. Link content: Link to external sites to appear credible and to get points with Google

7. No marketing bla bla: Avoid phrasing like "The best product of all time"; supply "hard facts" instead

8. Emphasise key words: Visually highlight central words and phrases sparingly (!) (e.g. by using bold or linking; do not underline or use italics; colour without risk of mix-up with links)

9. Use lists: Subdivide longer passages into lists to make scanning easier

10. Use numbers instead of numeral words: Use the pull of concrete numbers ("Top 10" instead of "Top ten")

 

This post could be interesting for you, too: Your Online Shop and Google: 10 Rules.

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