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Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web is very different from writing for printed publications. There are several things to keep in mind about how people interact with Web pages:

  • People generally do not read Web pages; they scan them. Studies have shown that readers will spend no more than two minutes skimming the content of your Web page before moving on.
  • It's hard to read text on a computer screen; therefore people tend to read more slowly. Because of this, they will try to minimize the number of words they read.
  • People are often in a hurry and want to find information quickly on the Web. If your site isn't easy to read, there's sure to be another one that is only a click away.

The content on a Web page should be short, easily scanned, and to the point. Here are some tips that will help your readers skim the information on your Web page more easily:

  • Use short paragraphs. Paragraphs with more than three sentences are harder to follow. Present only one idea per paragraph.
  • Use bulleted lists. Information that is broken up into concise points is easier to read.
  • Use meaningful headings and subheadings to organize the information. Avoid clever or cryptic headings that do not make sense on their own.
  • Highlight key words. This is another way to give a reader quick information about the content of your page.
  • Aim to provide HALF the word count as in a conventional publication.

Topics for Web Writing