How To Write Good Web Content
Writing for the web is different from offline writing and has its own set of principles. The very nature of browsing online decreases our attention span and is due to the continual distraction of thoughts, which is caused by our brains trying to process and make choices about the huge amount of information available. So captivating attention and learning how to write good web content that relates to online reading habits, is essential.
Web users tend to have the following reading habits:
- Pick out keywords and phrases
- Read in quick, short bursts
- Search for snippets of information that lead them towards a goal
- Scan pages
Here we’ve put together 5 quick tips to help you write great content for the web
1. Know your audience
The first step to good web writing is to understand what your audience wants and who you are writing for? Knowing your audience and doing the initial groundwork will ensure that you write content that is relevant and will engage the reader. Focus on using words that your audience will be familiar with, pitch the piece correctly and don’t try to introduce complexity where it is not needed.
2. Use a headline that attracts attention
A good headline is the first thing people will see and a judgment will be made immediately as to whether a click-through is made. Headers are also an important aspect of SEO, search bots look for headers in order to serve up the correct content in relation to a search query. Plus people want to read interesting, informative articles, knowing your audience is key to providing them with the right information.
3. Explainer subheading
No one wants to read solid blocks of text, use subheadings to break up the content into important sections, this will make the information easier to digest and is good for scan reading. As well as subheadings, bullet points or numbered lists and visuals can also be included to break up the text.
4. Keep to the point
Be Clear Concise and Direct – word limitations for blogs and web articles are not set in stone however under 350 words is frowned upon for SEO purposes. The main influence on length should be about getting across the overall meaning without limitations. Having said that, don’t ramble, padding isn’t necessary, you’re not writing a literary piece, web content is more precise and explanatory. It needs to get to the point quickly, slow burn doesn’t work on the internet.
5. Keyword SEO
Ensure your content includes well-researched keywords, these are the terms someone will search for that relates to your content. It’s always good practice to do keyword research first, this will give you an indication of search competition and if incorporated into your content will improve the chances of being seen in SERPs.
A note of caution! While optimising content is important and will aid search visibility, be aware that purely writing for SEO can leave content a little flat, repetitive and uninteresting, so don’t overdo it! Plus Google will penalise you for keyword stuffing.
Bear in mind when writing for the web that mobile devices are becoming increasingly the method of choice for internet browsing, with an Ofcom report suggesting on average an adult in the UK spends 2 hours 49 minutes on their mobile phone every day. Therefore ensure all content is mobile friendly and appealing to those using a mobile device.