Winthrop University: Web Services - Tips: Writing for the Web
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200 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
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Tips, Training, and Tutorials

Writing for the Web

Writing for the web is different than writing for other, more traditional forms of media. Here are some tips to keep in mind while creating copy:

  • Brevity - Keep it short
    Users want succinct, easy-to-find information. Studies show that many users scan a page quickly to find what they're looking for, then leave the page.
    Jakob Nielsen suggests that you "write no more than 50% of the text you would have used in a hardcopy publication."
  • Relevance - Highlight what's important
    Make effective use of titles, subtitles, and bolding to draw attention to sections of the page that the user would find most useful.
    Use the inverted pyramid writing style by beginning with the important points of the conclusion.
  • Scannability & Readability - Use bullet points when possible
    Breaking the information into concise statements in bullet points draws the eye to important information.
    Scannability is important to users, and we should never require them to read long continuous blocks of text.
  • Clarity - Make hyperlinks meaningful
    "Click here" doesn't tell the user anything helpful.
    Link text should match page titles, or be similar, to inform the user where the link will take them.
  • Consistency - Use consistent navigation, terminology, tone, and style
    Be sure to check out Winthrop's online style guide.

inverted pyramid writing for the web

Last Updated: 11/14/22