Writing for the web requires a different approach than writing for other mediums. A book allows authors to explore multiple topics in each chapter. Magazine articles can use several pages to convey a message. On the web, readers are searching for a specific topic and want to find the most relevant information, fast. According to the Yahoo! Style Guide, you have just 3 seconds or less to prove your content contains the information readers are looking for so it’s important to provide clear, focused content that quickly gets to the point.
Focus on the Purpose of the Web Content
When writing web content, take the time up front to clearly identify the purpose behind the piece you are writing. Web content can be used to educate, motivate or entertain readers. Decide which of these purposes you want your web content to achieve. You should be able to define the key point of your web content in a single sentence. If that’s not possible, try to narrow your focus even more.
Effective web content focuses on one key point and maintains that focus throughout. Avoid writing web content that is focused on a topic that is too broad. Focus instead on one narrow aspect of the topic. For example, instead of writing web content on gardening consider narrowing the topic down to one aspect of gardening such as growing heirloom tomatoes.
After writing web content, take time to edit the piece. Eliminate any content that strays from the purpose and key points you are trying to make. Focused writing can help you write a coherent piece that clearly conveys your message to readers.
Focused Writing Helps Organize Web Content
Taking the time upfront to identify the focus of your web content can also help you organize your writing. Since most readers find your web content by means of a search on a search engine, strive to instantly engage your readers by providing the most important information in the opening paragraph.
Use headlines to highlight key elements of the article and break information up into short, focused paragraphs. Ideally paragraphs should contain no more than five or six paragraphs for easy on screen reading. Use bullet points or lists to break paragraphs of information up into a format that is easier to read on screen. When possible use common, simple words instead of words that are difficult to read.
Effective web content maintains focus throughout the piece. Focused web content can also help readers better understand the purpose of your writing and find the information they are looking for.
Yahoo! Style Guide:Get to the Point – http://styleguide.yahoo.com/writing/write-web/get-point
Yahoo! Style Guide : Define Your Voice – http://styleguide.yahoo.com/writing/define-your-voice