Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

When writing for the Web, naturally, the pressure is on to attract readers. Cyberspace is filled to the brim with millions of articles, many containing the same information, so it is critical that you ensure your writing respects the rules of the Web. And fear not, for though there are many rules, your writing can only succeed if you follow them to a tee.

The Web, of course, is an active medium through which information sharing and gathering are accomplished; users browse for both pleasurable and practical content that can quickly satisfy their wants and needs. Because web readers scan content for a mere fraction of a second and will only read a few words before they decide to scroll to the next article or result, the name of the game is speed and appeal. Unless your content can purchase their interest quickly with clear, interesting language, and ultimately, appealing, worthy substance, you’ve already lost.

Keep it simple, yet efficient. Remember: bulky or long paragraphs and unnecessary verbs or words scare readers away. In addition, it is best that you get yourself into the habit of writing at a low reading level when creating content for the Web. This is very important because a lot of Internet users in the United States, 16 years or older, only read at the 8th grade level. A low reading level expands your audience and keeps them in “the know” on what you’re trying to communicate. In fact, most web writers suggest writing at the 6th grade level for homepage content and at the 8th grade level for content meant for the site’s interior.

Furthermore, your writing, on every page, should be able to make sense by itself and without reference; this way, each page is full of independent information with value in any context. Never do you want to stress your reader out, especially if you’re attempting to sell a service or product. If you complicate a user’s experience or compromise their ability to pull precise information, easily, from your site, your visitor will find another option.

When it comes down to it, the 21st century businessperson must optimize his or her web writing if he or she desires to stay relevant and successful in the online marketplace. It’s not that web writing is hard so much as it is an involved process, tweaking what appear to be minute details in one’s content. But every action and effort counts for something, and by bettering your writing, you’ll undoubtedly better your business.