Writing content for the Internet isn’t complicated, but it does require a slightly different approach to the basic rules we are all taught in school. In this article, we take a look at the criteria which are laid down by search engines and how to maximise the impact of your writing.
The best way to start any piece of writing is to simply braindump all of your initial thoughts. Think about the who, what, when, where, why and how of what you are writing about. This is a great way to review, refine and create a plan of how to tackle your writing.
Think about the stories you read yourself when browsing the internet. How the page is structured with an attention grabbing headline, a lead paragraph summarising the story and short snappy sentences that are broken up with subheadings, bullet points and photos.
When writing the main body of your story make sure you are clear, concise and correct. Deal with the facts and make it applicable to the audience. Why should people care about your writing? What benefit does it provide to them?
10 Useful Rules When Writing For a Website
When writing the main body of your piece, use the following points as general guidelines to help stay focused:
- Use an attention grabbing headline and include your articles keywords
- Include a lead paragraph to provide a concise overview of the story, expanding on the headline and enticing the reader further into the story
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
- Avoid repition and use simple, jargon free language
- Clarify the who, what, when, where, why and how
- Deal with the facts of story being clear, concise and above all corrrect
- Use subheadings and bullet points to break up the text
- Make your content applicable to the audience and address them directly
- Think about why people should care about this news and what benefits it gives to them
- Tie your user experience together with supporting links and additional information that your readers will find useful
Top Tip: The lead paragraph also provides a handy introduction that can be quickly copied and pasted when posting your article on social media!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Once you’re happy with your content and ready to add it to your website, you also need to make sure that it is fully optimised for search engines to find it.
The art of good SEO is a mixture of understanding how your target audience searches for things and how search engines use algorithms to generate their natural Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
When adding content to a website, we recommend using an SEO checklist. This way you can be sure that you’ve ticked all of the boxes that search engines look for in a good website.
4 key points to consider when optimising your content:
- Check that your copy is free from spelling and grammatical mistakes, and that the content is original. We recommend using a tool like Grammarly as a quick and simple way of proofreading and checking for plagiarism as you write.
- Check that the keywords you want your page to rank for are included within your page content. Keywords placed in headings, lead paragraphs and relevant links, help the page to rank higher. Be careful to get the balance right though. Over using a keyword or ‘keyword stuffing’ can actually penalise your website.
- Build links to appropriate pages within your website and any relevant external website sources. Think of link building as a way of creating a better user experience for your website visitors. Links should be useful for the reader and relevant to the subject that you are writing about.
- Complete your SEO and Meta Data fields within your content management system (CMS). Make sure that the page title and page description are unique so that search engines can tell the difference between your pages. Include a few meta keywords as a measure of good practice but don’t worry too much about these as both Google and Bing ignore them.
For more information on search engine optimisation, Google provides a library of helpful resources through Google Webmasters.
If you still feel that you would like to know more about writing for the web and how to optimise your content, we offer a range of training courses to help you do just that. Delivered by our Google certified trainer, we tailor every course to your business needs.
Contact us today for more information.