Writing for the web, content length, and keyword usage

When you're writing for the web, there are some considerations to keep in mind that differ from writing for newspapers or magazines.

Capture Readers' Interest from the Start

Most online readers tend to skim or scan text. It's important to remember this, so you must capture the reader's attention as quickly as possible. Impatient readers who click around the web spend only a few seconds deciding whether to visit your page or not. If you can grab the readers' interest right away, you're well on your way.

Make Content Easily Accessible

Help with Writing for the Web with Sonar

There's an incredible amount of information on the internet. To interest readers as early as possible, your text should be scannable. Scannable text allows readers to quickly understand what you're trying to convey and can be critical to getting them to read further.

When we scan text, we typically look for:

  • Paragraphs
  • Descriptive subheadings
  • Bullet lists
  • Highlighted words
  • Links

Use Keywords When Writing for the Web

Since readers often skip large blocks of information when they can easily navigate through links, and many don't even read beyond headlines, it's important to make your keywords as prominent as possible. Readers typically look for keywords that confirm they've found what interests them and are on the right track. So, ensure these words are clear and stand out. You can choose to emphasize them, create links with keywords, use them in titles and subtitles, or similar strategies.

Write Concisely and Get to the Point Quickly

It's important to write concisely and get to the point as quickly as possible. When people read on the web, they are often impatient and want value for the time they spend reading. When writing, go through the text and eliminate unnecessary words. Often, text can be nearly halved without affecting the content!

At times, it's necessary to write a long text, and it may seem challenging to reduce it without losing important content. In such cases, it's a good idea to start the text with a summary so readers get the main points right from the beginning. This way, you convey what you want, and readers save valuable time, which they'd rather use for something else. It's also much easier to maintain readers' interest when they're already well into the text without having to navigate through a jungle of words. Don't forget to use paragraphs!

Some important things to consider when writing text for the internet include:

  • Write concisely
  • Think about SEO
  • Identify your target audience
  • Get to the point!
  • Make the text easy to scan
  • Use shorter paragraphs
  • Start with the most important words
  • Proofread before publishing

Write SEO-Friendly

If you want to be found on various search engines, it's crucial to include keywords in the text as many times as naturally possible, without overdoing it. It should feel natural to the reader – and when it feels natural to the reader, it's natural for search engines as well. The text can quickly become "busy" to read if the same words are repeated too many times. So, it's essential to find the right balance. Think about what readers are looking for and incorporate the words into the text as naturally as possible. Make the keywords as accessible as you can and include them in the text as early as possible. This gives you a better chance of being found by search engines without readers having to search for too long.

It doesn't need to be lengthy to be good. To provide readers with an efficient reading experience, it's important to stay on topic and skip any unnecessary "filler text."

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