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Sunday, September 03, 2006

How To Write for Maximum Search Results : Writing for the Web and Internet Marketing

Plain and simple, people read differently on the Web! Writing for the web is different than writing for print because people read differently on the web. According to Sun's Science Office, 79% of readers scan the page instead of reading word-for word. Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than reading from paper.  

Here are important lessons to remember when writing for the web!


• Keep the length short-Web content should have 50% the word count as the print equivalent.

• Keep paragraphs short-Paragraphs should be roughly 50% the length of a standard print paragraph.

• Use one space- There should be no wasted space when writing for the web. Use one space after a period rather than two as in traditional print. Always pay very close attention to both word AND character counts.

• Make each article independent-Users may enter a web site anywhere.

• Link to background information when relevant.

• Use outside links sparingly but consistently- Outside links are subject to change rendering the article obsolete or requiring maintenance. Refer visitors to the "outside sources" page for more information. Do not link sentences but rather keywords or key phrases.

• Cluster cross-references- Use a "See also" heading for related information when appropriate.

• Don't use "click here"- Links should be embedded in the information when possible. The exception is a direct “call to action”.

• Make it easy to scan-Use subheadings, bullets, bolded text, etc. when possible.

• Write in an active voice- Visitors want authoritative information. Give them the security of knowing the information is solid.

• Keep it simple- Visitors want quick and concise information. Readability should remain at the 8th-10th grade reading level. If you are unsure how to perform a readability test, please consult the end of this document.

• Do not use humor, metaphors, or "cute" headings- Remember, visitors scan information. Immediate identification of relevant information is critical. Visitors may take information literally or not find your use of humor amusing. Also, keywords are used in ranking a site on various search engines. Ranking on search engines requires specific analysis of keywords that are purchased. Keep it concise and relevant!

• Inform readers first-Remember, visitors have short attention spans online. Tell readers WHY they want to read your article in the first paragraph. Engaging readers early is crucial. Re-engage them in each paragraph. At the end, tell them what they learned. Invite them to learn more.





 

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