1) Find your Audience
Ask yourself: Who is my primary audience? What kind of questions might they seek? What type of information do they need?
What search terms might your visitor type into a Google search? Include these terms in your headlines and sub-headers.
2) Inverted Pyramid Model
• Most website visitors decide whether your website has the information they need in just seconds.
• Structuring content like an upside-down pyramid is helpful. The most crucial info goes at the top of each page. The information then gradually drills down to the more specific, supporting information. For example, if you’re promoting an event, put the event’s title, the date, time, cost at the top. Put the sponsors and the more granular details towards the bottom.
3) Short, Simple Sentences
• Typically, people are on the web for information, not for fun.
• Keep sentences short, 25-30 words at most.
• Make your website content easy to read. Use simple nouns and verbs. Use adverbs and adjectives sparingly.
• When you are done, check your text score with an online readability tool. We like The Readability Test Tool. With this online tool, you put in your text, and you’ll get a series of indicator bars that give a visual guide for the readability of your text. Red is a low readability score. Green is easily readable.
• We also love Grammarly, a cross-platform Cloud-based writing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes in real-time. It uses AI to identify and search for an appropriate replacement for the mistake it locates.
4) Active Voice
• Use active voice rather than passive voice. Don’t say, “products may be ordered through our website.” Instead, say, “Order products on our website.”
• Active voice is more direct and reader-friendly.
• Speaking directly to the audience is much more engaging. Use “you” or “your” to address the reader, “we” to speak from the point of view of a company, and “I” if you’re a solo owner or individual.
5) Eliminate Jargon
• The web is for everyone, not just experts. Make your information clear and understandable. Explain complex terms.
• Always spell out acronyms on the first reference.
• Link to articles within and beyond your website so readers can get more information on a particular topic. Here’s a great article from SEM Rush on website content.
• Keep terms consistent across your website to avoid confusing visitors. For example, this article uses the word “website,” not “site.” It’s a small detail, but it helps clarify what we’re discussing.
• Are customers called clients, patients, users, customers?
• Do you offer services, plans, or packages?
• Use abbreviations for days of the week, and eliminate all unnecessary punctuation. This can really help a page look tidy, especially on mobile view. See the difference and space-saving here:
Saturday, November 14th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Versus the short version:
Sat, Nov 14: 6-9pm
• Make a website stylesheet and do your best to stick to it.
7) Nice to Look At and Easy to Read
• Use bulleted or numerical lists instead of text-heavy paragraphs. We like to organize content into labeled tabs or accordions if the text is very long.
• Include white space around paragraphs, images, and other elements. White space may seem like wasted space, but it’s not. White space around text makes it more legible and more enjoyable to read.
• Use headings and descriptive subheadings to break up a page and make it easier to read. These sub-headers help readers navigate the page and help search engines find your content.
• Add the UserWay Pluging to help people with various abilities navigate your website. The UserWay tool can enlarge the text on your website, desaturate colors, create more color contrast, and highlight all links. UserWay can change the space between sentences, and between letters, which also helps with readability. With these simple steps, your website visitors will be able to navigate your accessible website easier. Read more about UserWay on our post, click here.
8) Other Media
• The human brain is, by nature, visual. People process visual information many times faster than text. Therefore, an easy-to-read chart or infographic can better explain a complex topic than text alone. We recommend Canva and Piktochart are good resources for these.
• Images help break up text and make your pages easier to read. Place at least one graphic or picture on each page of your website to break up the look. Keep photo sizes consistent, so your page looks neat.
Click here for our post about legal photo usage, and find links to websites that provide paid and free stock photo images.
• Name your images rather than using the default photo numbers. For example, title the photo SunsetPark.jpg rather than Photo230.jpg. Using searchable terms for titles makes photos easier to manage, can also help with search engine optimization, and allows those with vision issues to understand what the image shows. To read more about the importance of building an accessible website, click here.
• Videos are wonderful. We suggest you put videos on YouTube or Vimeo and embed them in your website so they load quickly and don’t take up your bandwidth.
9) The Power of the World Wide Web
• It’s called the World Wide Web, or WWW, for a reason. The internet is a vast and amazing network of information. Your website is a part of this interconnected web!
• A good website easily directs readers from one page to another using hyperlinks or links. Hyperlink words or phrases on each page to keep visitors engaged and moving through your website and beyond. Building internal links within your own website, and external links, to other websites also helps your SEO.
10) Call to Action
• Good websites include a strong call-to-action per page. Buttons and links that include “Download,” “Contact Us Now!,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” or “Watch” allow visitors to take action with one simple click.
• Speaking of which… if you want more information from us, subscribe to our monthly Enews, click here.
Writing, in general, is very hard work. Writing website content can be even harder. We hope these ten tips will help you streamline your content.
Here’s the good news: unlike any brochure, book, or published piece, your website content can be changed easily. You do not need to make your text perfect the first time around. Even after your content is live, you can do regular checks to tweak, edit and optimize your work.
Call on DevineDesign.com for Website Content
We write the content for most of the websites we design. Typically, clients give us the basics about their business or service in bullet-point format, and we flesh out the text, so it’s easy to read and search engine friendly. If you’re looking for a new or renewed website and/ or website content, call on DevineDesign.com.