Writing for the web

Accessibility is the word to keep in mind when writing for the web.

Accessibility is the word to keep in mind when writing for the web – you want your copy to be easily accessible for skim-reading, so time-pressed online readers can quickly find what they need.

You also want it to be keyword-rich to catch the attention of search engines like Google.

Writing for online readers

People who visit your website won’t read everything word-for-word. They’ll skim read to see what information is available, and to find the information they need – whether it be:

  • Details on your products and services.
  • Prices.
  • The location of your store.
  • How they can purchase online.

Clear and simple

Some tips to help you make the content on your website as reader-friendly as possible and to get your business’s information across, include:

  • Use concise headings and subheadings – to let readers know what’s on a given page.
  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short where possible.
  • Use plain and simple language – avoid using jargon and if you need to use technical terms, define them clearly.
  • Highlight important words and phrases in bold.
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists – for example, when listing your products’ features and benefits, or when giving instructions on how to use your products.

Test your content

You want your site’s copy to be clear and concise, and informative.

Have friends and customers review your site to get an idea of how it reads through their eyes. Could they find all the information they needed? Was it easy to find? Was there any information or descriptions they didn’t understand?

Use the answers to these questions to make tweaks and changes to your site, to increase its readability and usefulness.

SEO copywriting

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) copywriting means writing copy for your website that targets your chosen search terms. This helps your website rank highly on search engine results pages, while retaining reader-friendly text.

It’s widely believed you need to include at least 200–250 words of text on any page that you want search engines to be able to index and rank, especially on your home page.

When writing for the web, you should choose a few search terms, often called keywords or phrases, and incorporate these words into the flow of your website text.

Using keywords

For search engines to consider your site relevant for a search containing certain words, they have to be able to find those keywords on your website. To ensure this, you should allocate relevant keywords (for example, three per page) to each of your site’s pages. Then, use each word or phrase about three times in the text, including titles, headings and links.

You probably have some idea of the keywords people are likely to search for when looking for businesses like yours, but to learn more, take a free trial with Wordtracker.

Blend in your keywords

Once you know the top keywords relevant to your site, you can incorporate them into your content. But be careful not to overdo it – search engines might rank you lower if they think you’re trying to trick them.

Next steps