Photo of an antique typewriter

3 Tips for Good Writing on the Web

By Craig.Bailey, December 21st, 2022
Good To Know

One of the most important yet overlooked aspects of web development is writing.

Not code writing. Just writing.

For all of the attention paid to video in recent years, the truth is words do most of the heavy lifting on the web. A website that neglects to pay close attention to the verbiage — or "copy" — it serves to visitors, will never reach its full potential.

Here are three simple tips to improve the writing on your website:

1. Be clear
Use short sentences. Say what you mean and avoid the temptation to complicate your copy to try to impress your readers.

Visitors to your website are there are a reason. There's something they want or need from your site. The faster and easier your site provides it, the more satisfied they are.

Avoid the passive voice. Make it clear who or what is doing the action in every sentence. For example, avoid sentences such as, "Your concerns will be addressed promptly," in favor of, "We'll address your concerns promptly."

Read your copy aloud. Seriously. Good writing is easily spoken. Speaking it aloud will help you identify difficult language and poor flow.

2. Be brief
If you can say it in fewer words, do. My early experience as a radio copywriter taught me the value of getting to the point. That might be obvious when writing a 30-second commercial announcement, but the concept applies in all writing.

Users of the web are famous for their short attention spans. Research shows you have seconds to catch visitors' attention before they click away, so be sure your site's copy says what it needs to say.

3. Use headlines and lists
This is where writing meets design. Most users scan websites for the information they're looking for. So make it easy for them: Use headlines, subheads and bullet lists. Use short paragraphs, and highlight key words or phrases in boldface. Write and design your website so a reader can get the general idea you're trying to convey with a quick once-over.

By following these three basic tenets of good writing, you could improve your website's performance greatly. But if you don't have the writing skills you need to craft your website, consider hiring it out.

Web developers who are also well-versed at writing might be rare, but Root802 fits the bill. Get in touch.