Writing website content is an entirely unique concept and is one that few Webmasters ever get to grips with. The reason it is difficult is because most of us are tuned to writing for paper publications, in the same way that our brains find it much easier to read from a paper publication. When we read from a book, a newspaper, or a magazine we are able to digest approximately 60% of the information we see. Another problem is that Internet readers are much more impatient than their 'real life' counterparts and, as a result, they skip passages and digest much less information.
Website Content Techniques
It is these differences that makes website content difficult to write for the majority of people. There are several key factors to remember that should assist you in creating content that is easier and quicker to read and digest.
- On average we read 25% slower on a computer monitor than we do from paper. Combine this with the fact that we want quick access to information it means that website content should be half the size of offline content at the very most. If you write a magazine article of 2,000 words then you should be aiming to reduce it to between 700 and 1000 words for the Internet.
- We really are lazy online readers. We want all the most important information as soon as we can get it. Some authorities will tell you that this means you have as many as ten seconds to get your message across, others will say it's as little as three seconds. Regardless of which is the most accurate, it means you have the first couple of sentences to convince a reader to keep reading.
- Sentences should be shorter. Paragraphs should be shorter too, and each paragraph should contain just one idea.
- Headings and sub-headings are absolutely vital. Because we scan text to find the most relevant portions any formatting that stands out is the most likely to be read. As well as headings this includes bold, underline, and even hyperlinked text.
- Every page of your website is independent of one another. Your website content should read as though your visitors have no prior knowledge of any of your other pages. Visitors arrive from a number of different places including search engines, and there is absolutely no guarantee that they will arrive on your homepage and work systematically through each of your pages.
- Use every trick in the book, but don't overdo it. Bulleted lists, minimal graphics, formatted text, and legible quotes all draw attention. However, if you include too many your page becomes a mess and almost impossible to read.
- For longer pages include an index at the top of the page with anchored links to the relevant sections of your page content. Make sure that the links are appealing and include the most important sections.
- Captions for images are one of the first things that many people will read, almost ignoring the rest of your website content if they don't see an interesting caption.
WebWiseWords is an experienced website copywriter and can incorporate all of these website content methods and many more.