How to Write for the Web
Writing web content sounds easy enough: if you can write, you can write for the web, right? Not necessarily. Some small business owners find writing for the web to be a time consuming and frustrating task. It’s not always easy to put your thoughts into words–and optimize those words for search. Here are a few tips on how to write for the web from The Website Wordsmith, Alexa Steele .
Web Writing Tip 1: Start with the headline
Headlines are, in many ways, the most important aspect of your website content. They are the first thing your reader sees and must therefore be attention-grabbing. They are also indexed by search engines, and so need to be optimized with keywords. Writing your headline first can focus your writing and help you establish a connection with these two distinct audiences.
Web Writing Tip 2: Know your keywords
One of the biggest differences between writing for the web and writing for other media is the need for search engine optimization (SEO). Keywords are at the heart of all SEO. By using a tool like Google AdWords Keyword tool you can identify keywords and key-phrases people are using to search for your topic. You should then include at least two or three of these keywords in your content.
Web Writing Tip 3: Know your audience
Who’s going to be reading your content? Do they know your subject well or are they beginners in need of detailed explanations? Are they looking for information or entertainment? Are they familiar with your brand or do you need to introduce yourself? The answers to these questions–and others–will impact how you write your content so get an idea of who your audience is before you begin.
Web Writing Tip 4: Make it an easy read
Web surfers are notorious for their short attention spans. They have a tendency to scan webpages before (or instead of) reading them thoroughly. By including headlines, sub-headings, lists, quotes, and bold lettering you can highlight important points and make skimming easier . Also, unless you know your audience is more advanced (see tip #3) it’s a good idea to keep your writing at about an eighth grade reading level. Have someone proofread your writing, too, to edit out errors that can trip up and confuse a reader.
Web Writing Tip 5: Give it a call to action
Ultimately, you’re creating your content for a reason: you want the people who read it to take an action. Including a call to action like “call now,” “click here,” or “leave a comment” lets your readers know what they should to do next, which increases the likelihood that you will get conversions.
SEO copywriter Alexa Steele works with marketers and small business owners to create engaging, persuasive, search engine optimized copy for websites and other forms of Internet marketing. To read more of Alexa’s articles–or to engage her for your next SEO copywriting project–visit www.thewebsitewordsmith.com.