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Writing for the Web

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Website visitors want to find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. Web-savvy writing and editing are essential for optimal content delivery.

Key Concepts

  • Omit non-essential words. Users don't read--they scan.
  • Use "inverted pyramid" writing style: start with the point, then support it, using links for more in-depth details.
  • One idea per paragraph is ideal.
  • Keep the most important elements "above the fold," that is, visible upon initial page view without scrolling.
  • Categorize according to users' needs, not necessarily by departmental organization or hierarchy.
  • When creating a link, highlight only the one-to-three most important words.

DO

  • Facilitate scanning with subheads, bullet points, lists, and captions.
  • Provide links to related and additional detail.
  • Use an active voice: " The company published the book."
  • Use lists or tables when possible.

DON'T

  • Expect your visitors to read everything.
  • Put everything on one page.
  • Use a passive voice: "The book was published by the company."
  • List items in a paragraph to save room.
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