posted on May 13, 2010 14:56
Web Effective Copy Writing
As more and more people turn to the internet for information, products, and services, the ability to write effectively for the web is becoming increasingly more important. These days, anyone with an internet connection and the motivation to do so can start a website or a blog – it’s not like print media, where journalists and writers go to school to learn how to write well, and magazines hire teams of copy editors to make sure everything’s correct. When you write for the web, you have to be your own copy editor, and believe it or not, it’s a whole different ball of wax than writing for print.
Writing for the web has its own unique set of difficulties and idiosyncrasies. One of the most important factors to keep in mind while writing for the web, aside from simple readability, is Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”). While writing content for your blog or website, you must keep in mind how best to optimize (See our blog post “Is Your Website Optimized?” for more information on optimization) your words.
One of the best ways to help maximize the effectiveness of your writing online is to recognize that many different people, not just people with a knowledge of your industry, might be reading what you write. And if you want a wider audience to be able to find you and your website, you need to cut down on industry jargon and use broader, more reader-friendly terminology. People often search with familiar language, so try to think of how you would say what you’re writing if you were just speaking to a friend or relative about the topic. For example, most people might search for “Nursing Home” rather than the industry standard “Assisted Living Facility,” so to gather more search hits, you might want to use the former rather than the latter. It can often be a fine line between political correctness and familiarity, though, so be careful and use your own best judgment based on knowledge of your field.
Another thing to keep in mind when writing for the web is to use keywords in headlines and page titles. Search engines such as Google place an increased amount of importance on words used in those areas of a web page, so be sure to be descriptive and accurate there. Be careful not to overdo it, though - maintaining clarity is much more important than trying to cram as many words as possible into a title.
Next, you’ll want to keep in mind your overall keyword density and variety. Use important keywords multiple times throughout a content area – be careful to keep it natural, however, and not overbearing. Also, try to use different variations of key words and phrases where you can – that way you’ll be able to capture even more traffic as users search for slightly different things.
Finally, make sure different sections and pages of your website remain clear and consistent. Consistency is crucial, because you don’t want different pages of your website to say different things. This can be confusing to visitors and might frustrate them with your site and your organization – even worse, it might lead incoming traffic astray and cost your website hits.
These are just a few tips and tricks for improving your web copy writing. What techniques do you use to make your words stand out on the web? Tell us in the comments!
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