Writ­ing for the web is tricky, espe­cial­ly if you come from a print back­ground. Web­site read­ers are finicky: they want con­tent they can read eas­i­ly and quick­ly.

Peo­ple who read web­sites are in a hur­ry, and rarely do they stay for more than a few sec­onds on a page. You want to cap­ture their atten­tion and pro­vide them with infor­ma­tion that’s eas­i­ly digestible.

Here are 7 sim­ple tips to help make your website’s con­tent web user friend­ly.

1. Put conclusion at the beginning

Give the point of the post or arti­cle right upfront. Let them know if it’s worth con­tin­u­ing.

2. Use lists where possible

Web users love to scan, and lists are per­fect for scan­ning. If pos­si­ble, keep each list item to only one line. Try to keep the word count to no more than 7 words per list item.

3. Keep each paragraph to 1 idea

Keep your para­graphs to the point. Say it in as few words as pos­si­ble. Don’t wor­ry if your para­graphs are only a sen­tence or two long.

Web users want meat; they don’t want gar­nish­es or appe­tiz­ers. Just give them what they want.

4. Write short sentences

Don’t get flow­ery. Tell it like it is, and let your read­er know what you mean up front. If you need help reduc­ing wordi­ness, check out How to chop your word count like a lum­ber­jack.

5. Use action words

Avoid the pas­sive voice. Take respon­si­bil­i­ty for your mes­sage and be bold.

6. Include sub-headings

This pairs per­fect­ly with the tip on lists. Sub-head­ings make your doc­u­ment scannable by break­ing up a long post into small­er chunks, thus mak­ing it more use­ful.

7. Integrate your links into your copy

Links act like a high­lighter, mak­ing key words jump out at the read­er. Like their close cousins lists and sub-head­ings, links help trans­form your doc­u­ment into some­thing that is scannable and easy to use.

Fol­low­ing these 7 sim­ple tips will help you bet­ter get your mes­sage across and pro­vide the infor­ma­tion users want.

What are some use­ful tricks you’ve found while writ­ing for the web? Share them in the com­ments below.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

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