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10 Web Writing Tips

tips for web writing

Last Updated on September 25, 2020.

To write well for the web, you need to understand what today’s Internet users want and expect.  Users want web content that:-

  • Is easy to skim & scan
  • Is written in a style that is direct, concise and factual
  • Is focused around their needs (not yours)
  • Has credibility and inspires trust

10 Web Writing Tips

1.  Understand how users read on the web

Users read differently on the web – unlike when they are reading a book from cover to cover. On the web, users don’t read word for word. They skim content, trying to get a quick impression of what it’s about.  They scan for the bits they are interested in and ignore the rest.  You need to understand how users read on the web, then write content in a style that makes it easy for them.  More about how users read on the Web.

2.  Write content that is easy to skim & scan

  • Be direct
  • Start with your conclusion – this is called the Inverted Pyramid style
  • Limit each paragraph to one key concept
  • Use meaningful headings
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists
  • Include summaries or overviews

Learn more about how to write in a style that keeps your readers reading

3.  Keep your wording short & simple

Be brief and concise. Reduce your word-count to a minimum. Write clearly and simply. If you are writing for an expert audience explain your terms. Give your users links to simple  background information, so that the most casual visitor can work out what you are talking about.

4.  Know your audience

Who are you are writing for?  What are their needs? What will they come to your web page to find or achieve?  What is their level of expertise? Build a profile of your various audience groups. Focus your content around your users’ needs and tasks, not around yourself or your organisation (user-centric content writing).

5.  Engage your user

Imagine who your user will be, and keep that imagined person in mind as you write for him or her. Talk directly to your user. Provide interaction.

6.  Build trust

  • Be factual and accurate.  Where appropriate, prove the verity of your information with links to trusted websites or by quoting trusted authorities.
  • Include only content which conforms to the purpose of your website.
  • Protect privacy and respect copyright.
  • Keep your content up to date.
  • Publish your contact details.  Provide users with a sense of knowing who is behind the website.
  • Spell-check your content. Invite people to report errors, then fix them.

Read more about building trust and website credibility.

7.  Test then refine your content

First test it yourself – review each web page while imagining how it reads to a new user. Then test it on users to learn what works and what causes difficulties. Test your content on different audience groups with different levels of knowledge. Test web page performance in all common browsers. Test, refine, test, refine, test … (You get the idea).

8.  Help people (and search engines) find your content

Organize your content so that your website is easy to navigate. Use hyperlinks to articles on your own website and to other helpful sites. Do keyword research to determine what keywords people are likely to use to find your content. Sprinkle your content with those keyword phrases, paying particular attention to your article title, headings and your leading paragraph.  Provide alternate text descriptions for your images (Google loves knowing what images mean).

9.  Create the right tone, look and feel

When you create web pages, aim for a unified tone, look and feel throughout your site. Aim for the right tone to suit your audience group and your subject matter. Keep the tone of your website unrelentingly positive. Use multi-media cautiously – it should enhance the page, not distract the user.  Develop an appropriate identifying brand if you do not already have one, and include it on every page and communication. Color, images and the ‘tone’ of your conversation with the user all help to create a psychological impact on your users, and help to communicate a subtle message about who you are.

10.  Be generous with your expert knowledge

Users value expert knowledge.  It can be a draw-card for visitors to your website and it helps to build credibility because it establishes you as an authority on your subject. Don’t give your expert knowledge all at once.  Organize it into digestible pieces. Give a summary first, then let your users drill down for more details.

21 thoughts on “10 Web Writing Tips”

  1. Hi,
    I am a university student and currently taking writing composition class. My assignment is to do research to develop my own top ten list of effective WEb writing principles, so can you please assist me in my research. Our teacher asks us to find three web sites that exemplified the principles of effective writing for the web. I am new to this web writing principles, it is like a blog analysis. I also need a short presentation on the exemplary sites and explain why I selected these examples. Can you get back to me to my email, please. I do appreciate your huge help.

    1. Hi Jo

      You’ve picked a good page to get a list of effective Web writing principles. May I suggest you visit your favourite websites/blogs, and see if you can identify any of the above writing principles. Some of these writing principles may be the reason why you like a particular blog or website.

      If you don’t have blogs or websites that you visit regularly or subscribe to, perhaps you can ask your friends what their favourites are, and why.

      Does that help to get you started?

      Best of luck,

  2. Hi Jana,
    I am from Chennai, India. I went through your writing-tips. Great !!!
    Do you know what ‘Jana’ means in Hindi?
    ‘Move on,’ and that’s what your tips exactly asked me to do !!!
    I am moving on to the next stage of web writing.


    1. Hi Velaydhan

      So glad to hear the tips were helpful, and helped you to ‘move on’! How interesting to learn the Hindi meaning of ‘Jana’ … thank you for your lovely message. All the best,


  3. In writing article in the web It is important that you need to understand how users read on the web, then write content in a style that makes it easy for them. Glad to read this post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Indeed a great post about writing tips.

    I believe that writing quality is just like an addiction. If we have the qualities to write awesome content then our readers can easily get addicted to our content.

    All we need is to improve our writing style.

    I have seen most of the people don’t care about their writing style and just keep writing heavy heavy paragraphs. Instead of writing heavy paragraphs, they should understand that It can scare any reader before reading the 1st line of the paragraph.

    According to me, We should always write short and to the point paragraphs. Short paragraphs can easily attract readers and can encourage them to read the complete article.

    You have written such an awesome article. Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀

  5. Thanks for another valuable article. I can see in your post itself that how your tips can make a big difference. I found this article very easy to read, engaging and most important to the point! Thanks

  6. Hi Jana,

    Good advice!
    I used information from your site with a citation in my paper for a HTML5 class at college.

    Thanks, U.S. Wes

    1. being a content writer at upwork , i have worked 790 hours and written a lot of web content writing. Thanks for sharing the tips my dear friend. i am a synthesizer, harmonica, keyboard and guitar teacher at performing artist society affiliated under srijony bangiya sangeet kala kendra. I also teach anthropology and hospital administration and reiki courses at institute of performing art and mind power development .

  7. I_ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this web
    site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all
    of your time & work.

  8. This is an awesome piece. I liked that bit on building trust- I usually insist that writers proofread their work before submission/publishing; somehow, it helps in building that trust- my site is Subscribed to your feed!

  9. Md Dalour Faruque Thalukdar

    the technique you expose for writing web content is absolutely right, but in non English speaker persons are not able to maintain your describe promotion.
    overall it’s great. want more from you.

  10. Set clear, achievable objectives for creating content and put some real thought into it. Develop good content and gain readers confidence, these readers will always come back to your site for new updates.

  11. Pam @ Proofreading Services

    Hey there Jana! I love all your tips, especially the last one. You really have to know your forte, where you’re good at. In my experience, it’s hard to write something that you’re not even familiar, and it’s so easy to write one when you know the ropes of it. When you have knowledge about something, it easier to share that.

    1. Hey, Pam! Great to hear from you. I totally agree – it’s much easier to write on a subject you are familiar with – and even then, it can take a lot of time to research the finer details.

      I love the final tip too. It is surprising how many people with websites under-value their own ‘expert’ knowledge. If you are willing to share that knowledge with generosity, the benefits tend to flow back to you.

  12. When I started blogging 3 years back, writing content was the biggest obstacle for me. I kept on reading too many blogs to understand the proper way to make a post more sharable and readable.

    With time I found some of the hidden techniques which are working great for me and I am writing good headlines for my articles now.

    Building trust is most important from the points you mentioned above, because you cannot hit the nail if you don’t know how to build the trust.

    It was a good read for today. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Thomas. It’s interesting to hear your story. Good headlines are so important these days! I found an interesting article on the subject the other day

      I totally agree with what you say about trust. I think you have to know how to create that first millisecond impression that tends to win trust visually, and then you have to “build” it as you say.

  13. Measure your capability what your strength and weakness. Focus on strength during writing. If you want to be a professional writer, you need some patience and motivation. Hey Jana Brech, Thanks for your effective tips. Got something to be motivated.

    1. Hey, mhrahman! Thanks for commenting. It’s a good tip to focus on your own strength during writing. I agree it requires patience and motivation … and TIME (something I am short of these days!). Thanks for letting me know this has motivated you 🙂

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