Content and written articles meant for offline print do not always translate suitably to the online world of web copy. The rules that apply to writing content for the web are different than those for print; excellent content composed offline does not necessarily amount to quality writing for the web.
Three keys for writing successful web content:
1. Be concise. Because most web readers skim through pages; write less content. Research has shown that most readers tend to scan an article before reading it completely. Keep your web copy short, less than 1,000 words; more people may read the complete web content, possibly resulting in more returning website visitors. Include only the most important points or calls to action that you want to make; text is more difficult to read online, so keep it short and sweet.
2. Make the most of headings and lists. People are inclined to scan web copy and web articles instead of reading them verbatim from the first word to the last. Create web copy that is easy for the reader to find what they're looking for by using headings, bold type, and lists. Understandable cleanly written lists makes it easier to skim through web content and let them read only what they are truly interested in.
3. Create clear "calls to action'' and links. One of the primary tools that web copywriters can take advantage of that print writers don't have is the ability to link to other relevant sources. Web content such as text or images; can be linked to other web pages, photos, videos, sounds, and other significant web content. Make your links stand out by making them obvious. A common way to highlight a text link is by using a different color from the standard text and by providing a hover effect, such as underlining the link and changing it's color, when the reader's place their cursor over the highlighted link.
Taking the steps listed above and including links to reference pages, news sources, audio and video, forums, and white papers helps create meaningful web content. Your website visitors can choose which links to follow and which links to skip using your web article as their foundation of information on that particular topic. When you successfully write copy for the web, your readers should feel that reading your web content enhanced their reading experience!
Scott is currently the Director of Marketing and Lead Acquisition for Moonstone Interactive; which provides affiliate program management, channel marketing, paid search management and E business consulting, search engine optimization, and other e-business services. Scott has been involved in online marketing since 1997. His years of experience involve online marketing and lead management process development, partner relationships, and initiating and managing paid search strategies for companies including AutoNation, AutoWeb, E-Loan, and Moonstone.
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