Writing for the Web

Types of Better Web Writing

When writing for the web, using plain language and sharing information as succinctly as possible allows users to find what they need, digest the content and use it to meet their needs.

Users often skim websites, rather than read them in full. Research has shown that short, concise paragraphs and bulleted lists work best for web use. Other suggestions include:

Be concise

Webpages may not exceed 350 words, however, even that is often too long. Long complext sentences, industry specific jargon and obscure acronyms should be avoided. 

Use the “Inverted Pyramid” style of writing

Your first paragraph is the most important one. As such, it should be brief, clear, and to the point in order to quickly engage the user. Put the essential and most interesting information at the beginning. Include additional information in order of diminishing importance.

Use keywords

Use terms that are commonly used to describe your topic. Avoid using proprietary terms and abbreviations as much as is possible.

Use headings

Break up your text with brief but descriptive headings and subheadings so users can find information faster.

Break up different ideas into different paragraphs

Long, dense blocks of text are intimidating to readers. Several short paragraphs are preferable to a single long paragraph.

Make your text skim-friendly

Use bulleted lists in place of long series or text lists whenever possible.

Highlight only as necessary

Use bold very sparingly to draw attention to an important point.

Use the proper case

Sentence case is much easier to read than uppercase. To emphasize an important point, use bold.

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