Workshop: Creating Great Web Texts
Reading content online is different to reading content on paper. It follows, then, that writing web-copy is more than just writing. Here we tell you why:
According to studies, it takes more time to read an article online than it does to read one on paper. This means the online-reader reads less and more selectively. On the one hand, this is good since a well written article is also great web content. But as well as being written for the more selective reader, a good web article has to be formulated for search engine algorithms.
Short and clear, shorter and clearer, web copy:
Since reading online is tiring, the writer should place priority on composing short and simply structured sentences, avoiding long-winded phrasing. Together with the sentence length, the length of the overall article also has a deciding role to play: Good online articles need either no, or very few ‘scroll downs’. As long as your introduction and teasers are effective and to the point, the reader will be drawn in and see immediately: Am I on the correct site? Is this actually what I am looking for?
Especially on the Internet, it is very important that the web copy is error-free. The belief and trust in a website increases when the content is not littered with mistakes. It is also worth taking time to ensure the text’s language is suitable for the target site: Words such as ‘beaut’ or ‘plonker’ may be somewhat more colloquial, but there is no denying that they are suitable for certain contexts – describing a fine whisky, or your uncle’s younger brother, for example. Depending upon the target audience, you will be able to determine if you need a more serious or relaxed tone.
Awakening the emotions
The reader stays on a website longer when the text is so good that it provokes feeling-be it interest, disagreement or agreement. So take the emotional route: A jacket which is so well lined that ‘even a sheep would feel at home wearing it’ is going to be sold with greater success than a jacket described with pure cold facts. So avoid the empty introductions. Start your article with an earthquake and then rock the world further. Good online copy never begins with a ‘welcome to this article, we are going to discuss…’ rather jump into the content without decking out an intro with filler text.
The text to capture the eye
Internet readers do not stay for detail. They scan and search for the relevant information they need, meaning your article has to be well laid out. Internet Users are looking for clearly presented texts, enabling them to find the information they need quickly and efficiently, in just one glance. As a writer, you can achieve this by formatting your text into logical paragraphs, with subheadings, bolded text and bullet points where necessary.
The possibilities of the Internet
Whoever composes articles for the web should also have an interest in satisfying the search engines and make full use of the possibilities enabled through the Internet. The webcopy is, therefore, logically linked, and formatted and formulated for search engines. This means that you will have to integrate the fitting keywords to the correct density in your article. Additionally to this, using HTML tags and the semantically connected vocabulary will aid you in making your message clear.
We hope this entry has been useful. Let us know your thoughts and if you’ve any questions or comments, we’re happy to hear them!