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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