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Web Template Guide: Web Writing

Great Web writing

Writing for the Web is different than writing for print materials. Why is this? People scan content on the Web looking for the information they need instead of reading everything on a page.

Follow these tips to write well for your Web visitors.

Cut the fluff. Write only information that your visitors truly need. In other words, cut any “fluff” or out-of-date content from your pages.

Get to the point. Get to the point right away in your paragraphs, just as a news story gives you the nuts and bolts in its first paragraph and then expands further.

Keep it short. Keep your paragraphs short and limited to one idea. It’s okay if your paragraphs are only one sentence long.

Use first person. Use informal writing on the Web. Try to use the first and second person point of view instead of the third person perspective. This will help you make a connection with your reader.

Don't be passive. Use active voice instead of passive voice. Example: write "Pick up application forms in room 26 of the Surge Building," not "Applications can be picked up in room 26 of the Surge Building."

Invite action. Where appropriate, invite action: “Apply” “Learn more” "Explore” “Register” “Visit”.

Link appropriate words. Avoid using the phrase “Click here” for links. Simply place a link on an appropriate word or phrase in your copy.

Use bulleted lists. Where it makes sense to do so, use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs. Always introduce a bulleted list with a sentence that gives the list context.

Use internal subheadings. Use subheadings (Headings 3-6) to break up chunks of content.

Proofread! Check your Web copy for spelling, grammatical and factual errors. If you are writing on a subject that you personally do not have experience with, have a “subject matter expert” look at your copy.

Format your text

Not sure how to create bullets, headings or subheadings?

Wondering if you should use the color pink to emphasize something in your Web text?

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