How to Write Website Copy

by Todd Bertsch - Evolve Owner/President

KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid

I’ve been eagerly awaiting to write about this subject for quite some time. There is a lot to cover, but in lieu of the main lesson here…I’ll keep it short and sweet! Let’s get started.

KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid…remember this one? It holds true more than ever on the web. Web users are impatient. You only have 3-8 seconds to grab their attention.

People don’t read web pages word by word on the web. THEY SCAN. If you perform a simple usability test, or just simply watch over someone’s shoulder as they browse the web, it’s pretty obvious…we’re scanners! Impatient and ready to move on.

As a result, Web pages have to employ scannable text, using:

  • Highlighted keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others)
  • Meaningful sub-headings (not "clever" ones)
  • Bulleted lists
  • One idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
  • The inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
  • Half the word count (or less) than conventional writing

Provided by Jakob Nielsen's Useit.com

Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.

F Pattern

F for fast. That's how users read your precious content. In a few seconds, their eyes move at amazing speeds across your website’s words in a pattern that's very different from what you learned in school. View eyetracking study heat maps from Useit.com

New Web Words
The internet has become a part of our everyday life. And so we’ve adopted some new words into our vernacular. Many of us (including myself) often wonder what's the best practice for spelling these words. I’ve pulled together some resources below to help explain this.

Great resource for AP style. http://www.tameri.com/edit/style.html

Web Site - capitalize. AP style also capitalizes Web site and Web page.

Email - preferred AP style, though Email and email are preferred by some publications. We prefer e-mail, but assume email will become standard.

Home page - preferred AP style, though homepage is preferred by some publications.

Writing for Search Engines
When you start writing content for your Web Site, it’s very important to keep in mind that search engines are sifting through the content and looking for “keywords/phrases” that are relevant to your business. Start with a Keyword Strategy. Decide what keywords are important to you for search listing rankings. Then try to integrate these as best as possible into the content of your site. The copy should still be relevant and make sense to a human. But tossing in relevant keywords, when it makes sense, will help with your search engine placement.

To learn more about SEO – Search Engine Optimization strategies give us a call.

Double Spaces NO MORE
One of the most common mistakes in writing these days is putting a double space after a period. According to Wikipedia, Double spacing at the end of sentences is a typographical convention that has sometimes been termed English spacing.

Should you put one space or two spaces after a period?

The debate over how much space to put between sentences (whether they end with a period or other punctuation) may seem petty, but often it's the little details that make or break a design.

It is generally accepted that the practice of putting two spaces at the end of a sentence is a carryover from the days of typewriters with monospaced typefaces. Two spaces, it was believed, made it easier to see where one sentence ended and the next began. Most typeset text, both before and after the typewriter, used a single space. In short…let’s all start to adapt the ONE SPACE motto.

Would you like to learn more about Evolve Creative Group and our services? Visit our Web Site or give us a call today at 330-331-0211.

 

Blog Post Author Todd Bertsch

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Located in Akron OH, Evolve Creative Group offers a full suite of professional web design and online marketing services including:

 

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