Writing User Friendly Content
How to Write Quality and Attentive Online Copy
When it comes to online copy content is king. And this king is one of the determining factors in how successful your website is. Simply enough, if your copy is not up to par users will not read your content nor will they do business with you. Furthermore they are likely to never return to your website. Having good content will make a world of difference.
Qualities of Great Web Content
1. Give Users a Summary
Before diving into the nitty-gritty give users a summary of what they are about to read. This will allow them to make sure your topic is worth their time. If you have written your summary successfully they will continue to read.
2. Get to the Point
If you take away anything from this article let it be this. Users online do not read, they scan. Get straight to the point in the least amount of words possible. Do not beat around the bush. Simply get your point across quickly.
3. Use Small Sentences and Paragraphs
Using smaller sentences and paragraphs makes your content easier to comprehend and take in. Users will not take the time to read long sentences or paragraphs. They will continue scanning down the page. By using short sentences and paragraphs you can pull them in and work them down the page without making them scan too much.
4. Limit One Thought Per Paragraph
Attempting to cram 5 thoughts into one paragraph is not only going to look like you are rambling, but you are also going to confuse all of your readers. As mentioned before keep it short, precise, and to the point.
5. Use Bullet Points
There are many advantages of using bullet points. Many of which include:
- They are easy to scan.
- They break up the flow of the page.
- They draw users in.
6. Use Sub Headings
Sub headings break up the flow of your content and provide a very intuitive way for users to scan the page. Not to mention, sub headings provide a great benefit to search engine optimization. The most effective sub headings are descriptive and if possible make use of a few good keywords.
7. Stay Organized
Ease users into the content and then keep them reading by staying organized. It is difficult to talk to someone who is jumping from one topic to another. Most of the time you can hardly understand what they are trying to say. The same thing goes for online content.
8. Stylize Your Content
Adding a little stylization to your content will allow you to add emphasis to key statements. Using bold and italics are both great for capturing user's attention and driving your point home. Avoid using underline for anything but links. Underlining any text that is not a link can be very frustrating for users as they are preconditioned to think they are links.
9. Do Not Over Use Exclamations
Using exclamation points here and there can really help add emphasize, however using them after every sentence is only going to annoy users. You will sound like a loud advertisement that no one cares to hear. Keep your exclamation points to a minimum and use them only where effective.
10. Remember Users are Pessimistic
There is so much garbage and hoaxes online that users are immediately skeptical of any and all content published online. Write using unbiased language and avoid any sales pitches. Build your creditability and cite any sources if available.
11. Do Not Worry About Contingency
Do not pad your sentences in attempt to cover all your bases. While using a more daring statement may not convey the strict truth, it will make a stronger impression. For example, "The majority of monkeys prefer to sleep at night." is weaker than "The monkeys sleep at night."
12. Use Repetition For Emphasis
Using repetition is an effective method of getting your point across. Using repetition is an easy way to create a pulse within your writing. Using repetition is simple to do, however it is also simple to overdo so practice with care.
13. Drop Unnecessary Adjectives
There are a million different ways I could explain my love for cupcakes, however no other is more effective than "I love cupcakes." If your adjectives are not providing any significance or additional information to your content then drop them.
14. Use Details and Be Specific
No one is really interested that your product or service is "new and improved". Tell users exactly what is new and improved. The more descriptive you can be and the better explanation you can give, the more likely users are to continue reading.
15. Use Links Within Your Copy
Remember this is the internet after all and linking from one page to another is acceptable. Links will also standout amongst the other content on your page and help users to quickly scan the page and identify what the page is about.
16. Use A Personal Tone
Writing your content as if it is a law document is boring and will put users to sleep instantaneously. Make your content personal and users will be able to relate, furthermore allowing them to trust you. I must warn you though, going too far can make you seem immature and unprofessional (ya' meanz omg lol). Speak to your readers as if they are next to you and you will find a happy medium.
17. Be Unique
One of the best ways to stand out is to be unique. Give your content some personality, make readers laugh, and enjoy reading your content. If you can do this you have struck gold as users will continue to come back for more.
18. Escape Content Overload
Too much content can overwhelm visitors and furthermore drive them away from your page. Upon landing on a page of your website, users are typically going to scroll down to see how much text there is to read. If it looks like a wall of text odds are they will leave before even reading the first line.
19. Always, Always Proofread
The last thing you want is a potential client or customer to come to your website and start pointing out your spelling and grammar errors. Yes, updating copy online can be accomplished quickly and easily, however by the time you notice the errors so have thousands of others. Always proofread your content.