Ten tips for writing effective website content

You?ve probably discovered already that writing for the web is different from other forms of writing. For anyone starting up their own website it can seem a daunting prospect.

But as with all writing, it comes down to what you hope to achieve by doing it. By creating your site in the first place you obviously want to attract visitors to it. Here are a few tips to not only attract their attention but hang on to it as well;

1) Know who your target audience is. It?s easier talking to people if you have some idea of what makes them tick.

2) Use words in your title that they?re likely to type into the search engine. They?ll be specific so you have to be too.

3) Although you?re hoping to reach a wide audience, write as if you?re having a face to face conversation with one person. If someone feels you?re speaking to them directly they?re more likely to respond.

4) Talk to them in their own language. That doesn?t mean you have to be multilingual. Just use the style and terminology familiar to them.

5) Don?t underestimate the importance of the first paragraph. As soon as someone starts reading it it?s make or break time. They?ll decide there and then whether it?s worth going on.

6) Once you?ve got them reading keep to one idea or point for each paragraph. And keep those paragraphs short and sweet.

7) Keep it simple. Complications bog things down. Everything should flow smoothly and easily leaving no doubts in the reader?s minds about what they can expect.

8) There?s nothing worse than having to wade through swathes of text to discover what the next step should be. Make sure everything is signposted so they can go straight to the next step.

9) Be consistent. Don?t jump about from one style to another, or use different terminology to describe the same thing. People need to know exactly what they?re letting themselves in for.

10) Be positive. If you are those reading it will pick up on that and react in the same way. It?s up to you to set the pace for your website. Make sure it?s the right one.

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