Writing web content is different from writing print advertisements, brochures, and sales materials. People scan information rather than read word-for-word. To help your visitors get the most out of your website content, here are eight tips to make your articles and web content more user-friendly.
- Use simple sentence structure – Your web content should be simple and easy to read. Keep sentences short. Avoid jargon and business buzzwords whenever possible. Keep your verbs “active” rather than “passive.” (For example, “Dan won the award” rather than “Dan was the winner of the award.”)
- Keep paragraphs short – Large blocks of unbroken text look daunting to readers. Limit your paragraphs to one idea to make your text easier to scan and digest. Front-load the paragraph content so the most important concept is in the first sentence whenever possible.
- Put important information first – Journalists use an inverted pyramid writing style to convey the most important information first. Put your main point first, followed by additional details so even if visitors stop reading, they still get the gist of your content.
- Break up text with sub-headers - Add sub-headings to break up paragraphs of text and let readers know what each section is about. Aim for a sub-header every two to four paragraphs.
- Bold important keywords – Bold text is easy to skim and helps readers make sense of your page content quickly.
- Use bullet lists – If you have a long paragraph, consider breaking it into a series of bullet points. Lists often help you get your point across more succinctly than paragraphs and they are easier to scan.
- Use descriptive link text – Link text stands out on your page similar to bold text. Use keywords in your link text to other pages rather than generic terms like “click here” to help scanners understand what the page is about.
- Left-align text – Left-aligned (rather than centered, justified, or right-aligned) text is easiest to read on a computer screen. Justified text often leaves weird spacing between each word and slows down reading speed.
By following these eight tips when writing web content, you can dramatically increase the amount of information visitors read on your website.