Writing effective copy for the web

Writing for a digital audience requires a different skillset than writing for print. Our guide will get you up and running in no time!

The first thing to know is that structure is important. For online content to work across devices and platforms, you need to be able to tell the story quickly. Ideally, you’ll want to do it in the first four paragraphs and in around 70 words. The crux or main point of the story must be presented in the introduction rather than the final paragraph, and paragraphs must be clear, balanced, and self-standing whilst offering context.

Headlines

Good headlines are essential for human readers and search engines alike. They will tend to mix keywords and have active verbs. Avoid jargon or invented words, and don’t worry about quote marks or attributing a source.

Get the summary right

The article should begin with one sentence that summarises everything on the front page of the website. An agency specialising in digital strategy and web design in Leicester such as Pixel Utopia will be able to help with this aspect. Make sure this summary uses either the present tense or the future tense. Don’t use clauses, and make sure it is self-contained and transferable to other digital assets you may own.

Quotations

Make sure you use quotes correctly and place a comma after the quotation mark when it is embedded into the sentence. The comma goes inside the quotation marks when the quote is placed within a sentence.

Imagery

Make sure the photos you use match the content; otherwise, it can be a real source of annoyance for readers. Check that you have the legal right to use the photo and avoid cheesy stock images whenever possible because they can really cheapen a website and your quality content. Make sure that any captions you use are up-to-date, accurate and add to the overall story. Keep them short and simple.

Other elements

Use subheadings to break up content. Make sure they are intriguing and refer to content in the paragraph directly underneath.

Quote boxes can break up long sections of text but should appear above the actual quote’s location in the body text.

Be sure to use links wisely and make sure they are correct.

What other tips do you follow when developing high quality digital content for your online platforms?

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