9 Effective Rules of Writing Content for Your Website
Creating excellent content for the website is half the trouble, but how do you make it readable? After all, there are more than a hundred ways (legal and not entirely legal) to bring the user to the website, but only a fascinating text can make them read something.
Ordinary visitors should easily read your content on the website. If your text is difficult to read, the visitors will leave your website, and you will get bad behavioral factors. As a result, your website will be far from the top of search engine results.
According to digitaljournal.com, the average visitor reads no more than 30% of the text. Unlike leisurely reading a book, when you read the website, it is not reading but scanning the content. According to a FreelancingGig survey, 55% of users spend less than 15 seconds reading some text on a site.
So, your most important task when creating content for the website is to make the text so visitors can find answers to their questions when they browse very quickly. And then, the visitor won’t come back to the search engine results. According to SEO Consultant Luca Tagliaferro, for the search engine, it will be a solid signal that the visitor has found the answer to his question.
And this will increase the position of your website in search engines with more traffic to your site. And more traffic means you’ll have more income.
But obviously, the first attempts to write a quality text can be unsuccessful. Please check the 9 main recommendations for writing content for the website.
- Use subheadings
The longer the text, the lower the probability that the user will read it thoroughly. But break it up if you have a lot of precious information that you can’t condense. It is crucial to divide your content using H2, H3, and H4 subheadings. These subheadings should be clearly worded so that site visitors can immediately understand what these parts are about.
It is also crucial that the individual parts of your text are well organized and listed in proper order. Create bulleted lists, color-code important information, insert quotations, etc. In general, do everything to make the user’s eye stop while reading.
Jobber’s HVAC Salary Guide takes this to the next level, with solid headings, an interactive map, and branded graphs to catch the reader’s attention.
- Proofread each article
Proofreading is checking the text for spelling, syntax, and punctuation errors and correcting them. Also, ensuring there is no content theft or plagiarism. Independent attempts to translate an article into German or Spanish often result in a text that does not meet the high requirements of reputable foreign journals.
- Don’t write very long paragraphs
Visitors are unfortunate when they read a paragraph that stretches seemingly to infinity. This type of text is a nightmare for people who are just looking for a quick answer to their questions.
In most cases, people won’t even try to read such content. They will just leave immediately and never come back to your website.
For this reason, you should try to make your paragraphs shorter, not longer. You don’t need to make super short paragraphs consisting of just one sentence, but don’t make them longer than they should be. It is best if your paragraph consists of 4-5 sentences.
Use line and paragraph spacing – this makes your website content easier to read. Also, don’t write long compound sentences. Short sentences are easier to read and understand. If your sentence has more than two compound sentences, it’s overkill.
Another way to make your content curation less text-heavy and easy to read, is to break up your text by inserting visuals or embed relevant assessments. For example, if you write an article about cybersecurity, you can add in a risk assessment for readers to check their how far they are in securing their website. It doesn’t only help your readers to digest the article more easily, it also makes them feel more engaged about the topic.
- Use the active voice
Readability suffers when the active voice is not used by the author in the text. The content of the website becomes difficult to understand by the reader. Even these sentences are difficult to perceive by you.
Now read the next paragraph.
Readability decreases when you don’t use the active voice in your text. It’s hard for readers to understand what you were trying to convey. That’s why a good writer writes sentences in an active voice to increase readability.
You can notice that the above paragraph is easier to read than the first one.
- Use short sentences
Readers are dealing with an enormous amount of information piled on top of them daily. Give facts and information in short phrases that express common truths. For example, we could describe the previous paragraph as, “Remember! Active voice attracts readers.” Short? Yes. Is it clear? Absolutely.
The longer the sentence, the harder it is to read it to the end. Before publishing content for the website, review the text again and divide long sentences into several shorter ones.
Find large paragraphs. Long sentences are most often hidden there. If possible, use a period instead of a comma in those sentences where there are two or more.
Some sentences will stay long, but these are isolated instances, not the rule. Try to write the content in sentences of medium length (up to 20 words) – and the readability will increase. Ideally, you should alternate long and short sentences. This makes any text more rhythmic and melodic.
- Use a clear and readable font
Choosing the right font for your website content is one of the most important ways to improve readability and scannability. Most normal themes use perfectly usable fonts, so your job is not to ruin them.
That’s why resume experts advise people to use a simple and readable font while sending cover letters if they want to get hired fast.
There are thousands of different fonts available online. Some of them are great to read, and others are just awful.
There are usually two types of web fonts available: sans-serif fonts and sans fonts. In the picture above, you see an “F” and “T” without a serif.
You can get good results with sans-serif fonts as well as serif fonts. As for recommendations, custom paper writing services recommend using a font with serifs for long texts and sans-serifs for shorter texts.
Check your website on different devices, screens, and browsers to ensure your font looks good everywhere. You also may hire dedicated app developers that will make a mobile version of your site if it’s an e-commerce one or a tool representative.
- Put essential information in the upper paragraphs
Reading the website content differs from reading anything primarily due to psychological peculiarities of perception. Take, for example, a book or a magazine. We first read, and only after that form our opinion about it/them. In the case of the website content, everything happens just the opposite: first, we form an opinion about the material, and then perhaps the user will read the article itself. In this case, the text is not read first but is viewed.
Write the most “delicious” information at the beginning of your article. This includes exciting talking points, bright phrases, little-known facts, and stunning confessions. This is information that will attract the user to read your content.
- Cut out jargon and abbreviations
Many writers use jargon or acronyms mechanically, assuming that the audience is familiar with the specialized terminology. This may be true, but only in 50% of all cases. So there is no acute need to get rid of jargon completely.
But for better readability of the content, it is vital to replace the complex words with simpler ones, which will understand not only the person who knows the specifics of your field. If you can’t do this, there is another option. When jargon or acronyms are first mentioned in a text, give them a short definition. Readers who know these concepts will understand: you are doing this for those new to the topic.
- Stick to the topic of the content
Check each paragraph: how far you’ve strayed from the article’s main topic when writing it. This is another easy way to improve the readability of your text.
Authors often use metaphors, examples, and stories to illustrate the text. Therefore, it is easy enough to stray from the previously intended course. In such cases, the reader’s attention is scattered until the more connected part of the article begins again.
Review each part of the content before publication. Identify and correct where you have strayed too far from the main topic.
Topics come in all shapes and sizes – simple, medium, complex, and even super-complex. But in any situation, your texts should be easy to read. If users have difficulty understanding what an article is about, then the probability that they will read it to the end is minimal. And this is a clear sign of the low readability of the website content.
Improving the readability of the content is easy enough if you follow the effective rules mentioned above.