Writing Effective Text for Your Website
1. Write Text To Attract Search Engines
Your web pages should be written to attract search engines, not people. Why? Because if search engines do not rank your page well, the only visitors you will receive are those you give your link to directly, or from websites that link back to yours. To accomplish this objective, identify keyword phrases of 2-3 words the keywords that relate to your business and use them in the text you write.
2. Never Use Acronyms & Text Messaging Shorthand
Text used in business web pages should use correct, grammatical English and not shorthand of any kind, including emoticons. Also avoid the use of acronyms.
3. Avoid Overuse of Punctuation
Do not add gratuitous punctuation as in:
- We’re the Best!!!
- We’re Exciting!!!
- Buy from Us!!!”
The same goes for commas and semicolons. They make sentences harder to read and may turn people away.
4. DON’T USE ALL CAPS
THIS IS CALLED “SHOUTING” AND IT IS GENERALLY INAPPROPRIATE IN BODY TEXT. USE NORMAL SENTENCE CAPITALIZATION IN PARAGRAPHS. If You Are Writing a Headline Then Capitalize All Major Words Like This.
5. Use Short Sentences
Long sentences are harder to read. Break them up into shorter ones. Also, break up large paragraphs into smaller ones to make them easier to read. Avoid one sentence paragraphs.
6. Spell Check Everything
Spelling mistakes make it seem that you are not educated, or that you do not pay attention to detail. Both of these turn people away from your business.
7. First Person or Second?
Do not switch styles or tense when you write a page of text. If you say “We offer services…” do not then say “I also offer …” Likewise, if you switch often between past, present and future tense, it gets confusing.
8. Write for an 8th Grade Readability Level
More than 50% of the people who visit your website will have trouble if it is written beyond the 8th grade level. Test your prose against the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test by using this online tool.
Make Your Words Count
For SEO, the most important factor in your web design is the wording, not how pretty it looks. Search engines read words and do not care about appearance.