Sunday, March 23, 2008

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

There are plenty of obvious reason you need good text on your website—you need to let your customers and potential customers know who you are and what you do. And those web visitors are going to visit your site and read what your content—well actually, the majority of them are going to just scan your content! So how do you give them the content they need, in a way that they will read it, or at least get the point while they scan it?

Here are some tips to consider when writing for the web visitor:

Use links on keywords: Make the important keywords link to the inside pages of your site, (for example: on your home page when you list your services, make each service a link to the page that gives more information about that service).

Use clear headings: Make your headings simple, and obvious. These will be one of the few things read by almost every visitor to that page.

Use bulleted lists: Quick and too the point is best—keep the visitor’s attention!

Start with the conclusion: Remember that your website visitor will read the content at the top first. If they are really interested they will click a link to another page or keep reading.

Be trustworthy: Write honestly and with personality. This is your chance to get the respect and interest of your potential clients, patients or customers. The website visitor wants to get to know you, and trust that what you are saying is true.

As you research how to write good content on the web, you will find plenty of information, some of it good and much of it bad. In addition to writing well, and clearly for the human-being visitor, it is also equally important to consider how a search engine reads the content. Content is an important factor in how and where your website is ranked, so knowing what the search engines are looking for will get you the much-sought-after qualified traffic.

Here are some tips to consider when writing for the search engines:
Use keywords: Think carefully, even research the best keywords for your site. Then make sure that they are included in your text frequently and appropriately. (A good rule of thumb is to use a 4-7% keyword density)

Do not “Spam”: As much as including your website keywords in your site frequently is important; not listing those keywords in a long string, or over and over again is also important. Should you choose to employ this tactic, you may found that the search engines lower your rankings, or ban you entirely. I usually limit my lists to three or four keywords in a row if I must, (for example: keywords, keyphrases, and targeted key words).

Use H1 tags: When writing a clear and simple heading for the page, put it in H1 tags. This will tell the search engines that it needs special attention and in important to the site.

Link from your keywords: Linking from your keywords is a way to tell the search engines that the keyword is important, and lead them to a new page with more important information.

Stay of topic: The search engine will look for content that has similar phrases and theme. So stay on topic use each page to give as targeted an explanation as possible.

You will find a lot of advice on writing for the web, and a lot of the time the information you get for writing for the human being will be at odds with what you will read about writing for the search engines, but if you follow the tips above, you should be able to produce well-written, search engine –and visitor friendly content.

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