Did you know?
on the average web page, users read around 28% of the text
2. Remember the inverted pyramid. It may be an old journalism trick, but it works. Draw readers in with a title or sub-heading, make sure the crucial facts are contained in the first three lines, then go on to any useful information, and finally background details.
3. Content is king - use the six Cs! Ask yourself: who cares? Is it clear? Is it concise? Is it compelling? Is it consistent? Is it correct? If you answer no to any of those questions, that copy shouldn't be on the web.
5. Help readers to find their way. Signpost your content using headings, sub-headings, bullet points and links - anything that will catch a reader's eye while they're scan reading your website.
6. Don't hide hyperlinks. Hyperlink text needs to be short and it needs to make sense out of context - often, a link will be a different colour or underlined, so will be the first thing the reader sees. If it says "click here", they won't know what it's for! An example of good link text might be "Download course details" or "Book your place here"
7. Be consistent. There's nothing worse than a website that you can't find your way around, because there are different fonts and styles all over the place. Screen reading isn't easy - so make your layout as clear and easy to read and navigate as possible.
8. Don't bury important information in PDFs. On a website, PDFs are a dead end. Once a visitor has opened a PDF they're taken away from your website and have to put in some effort (yes, I know it might just be clicking one tab to the left!) to get back there. Use PDFs for background information and fluff if you absolutely have to. Make important details visible up front for all to see.
9. Stay on brand. Your website is your organisation's shop window - everything about it should reflect your company's brand, from the design and navigation to the functionality and content. If your web copy doesn't resonate with your customers because it sounds entirely different from your corporate brochure or emails, there'll be a disconnect and your brand will suffer.
10. And finally... ALWAYS proofread before you publish! It's a good idea to get someone else to check your work before it goes live on your website - when you've been concentrating on writing something, you're often too close to it to spot mistakes, long sentences, or sections that don't make sense. Nothing is more unprofessional than a website littered with typos.