technical illustration blog

Writing for The Web

There are three billion people on the internet today, and most people skim on-line. It is important to keep up with the constant changes in the internet environment. This article offers a few suggestions on how to build content. Organizing content involves creating the right context for users to understand the environment they’re in and what they’re looking at.

A good design will capture their attention, and creative content will define what sets you apart from the competition. Ask yourself this question: “What sets my website apart from someone else, and why would a visiter stay on my sight rather than go somewhere else?” 

Based on the experience that I have gleaned over the years; I’d like to share a few tidbits of information about SEO marketing and writing content for the web. I hope that you find this information useful and encouraging as you begin the journey of building your own website.

Information Architecture 

Making information understandable can have a good impact on a web site. If users can’t find what they need through some combination of browsing, searching, and asking, then the website could fail. Designing for the needs of a user isn’t enough. Web developers who manage the information are important too. Information architecture balances the needs of users with the goals of a website. There are many types of needs from getting everything, a few good things, finding the right thing, and needing something again. A well organized website will assist the user in scanning the content and directing them to the next step.

Web Design Navigation 

All of the information that you want to share on your website should be easy to understand, navigate, and find. Meaningful content involves structuring and presenting information that makes sense to people, so that it can meet people’s information needs. This involves color schemes as well as hierarchies of presenting information. From the words we use, to how they are displayed; keep in mind what your particular content and structure represents.

Key Point: 

The ideas, the findings, and the conclusions expressed in a website are important to the web designer and/or developer. However, the consideration by the user depends on the structural presentation of the information. Ordering the content on the page will provide the user with what they need quickly, and draw out the necessary, detailed information. It’s not that easy to nail clean code and great content, with a good design on the first try. It takes a lot of hard work.

Interesting Note: 

Structured code and well written content will move the visitor into action, increase traffic, and also maximize the chance of a higher search engine ranking. Everything we write requires some type of interpretation if it is to serve as a valuable source of information. We are continuously moving toward simplifying our content and style. Don’t stuff the content with key words or meta tags.

Creative Content 

Good content is the reigning king. It is the basic building block of successful rankings, web site performance, and search engine results. In preparing content for a website there is great latitude in choosing the amount of information, and the method of presenting it in the use of headings, sub-headings, and structured font sizing. As you move down the page a 2.5 ratio from headings to body is widely practiced. Text is easier to read when it is split up or listed under headings, sub-headings, or with bullets. Backgrounds should not be too distracting. Although, it is currently trendy to use light text on a dark background; users still prefer dark text on a lighter background. It’s hard to read more than 100 characters on each line. It takes some work to find that sweet spot. Users are viewing your site on phones, nooks, tablets, and iPads to scan your body copy. Know your audience when preparing the optimal length of your content.

Responsive Web Design 

Over 40% of websites feature some form of scaling when browser sizes change. Websites that are not responsive often rely on either a mobile app or mobile website. Pushing users to first download an app or go to a separate mobile site is an inconvenience. It could take a few updates that range from resizing an image to transforming layouts into single columns. This could involve adding a few lines of code in the CSS style sheet to collapse the design; depending on what size the user is viewing the site. It is better to consider writing in some of this code to keep the visitor interested than have them get frustrated, and move on to something else.

Research Key Words 

Research and select key words and phrases and list them in your headings and as titles on your pages. Place them reasonably and intelligibly. Know the key words that a user will type to search for relevant information that can be found in your website. These targeted words should be listed with search engines and in online directories. Building in key words and phrases into the message will also help you gear the content towards search engines so that the topic is recognized, but not so that it is obviously written that way. Key words and phrases should not be repeated in the same paragraphs.

Bonus fact:

It is integral to the success of your website to have a core understanding of what users will find valuable, useful, usable, credible, and accessible. In order for there to be a meaningful user experience a website needs to be designed and built with strategy in mind. How pleasing to the eye is it? This is just as important as meaningful content and equally important as to how that content is displayed.

Target the Message 

To obtain measurable results know your audience. It’s helpful because you can target buyers who are looking for your service or product. Clearly explain the information. Think about questions your audience will ask. Also, is there a clear call to action on every page? Is it easy for them to get in touch with you?

Optimize User Experience 

Google Ad-Words campaign (PPC programs) is one of the most straight forward marketing tools. By bidding on key words or phrases your website will move into the top search results. These efforts will deliver high quality prospects and produce results. Don’t forget to publish your web site. Submit the URL to a search engines web directory to index it more quickly. Simply type your web URL (sometimes with a verification code) to complete the process. The top 3 search engines to list with are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Eventually your website will be found but this will help you keep up and maybe get there a little faster.

Main Goal 

The main goal is to attract visitors to the site and to convert that visit to a request for information, and ultimately an interest in your product or service.

Best Practices 

As a web designer, you know how important design is to a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, well-functioning website. Generating the content will take a lot of hard work. It also involves taking a deep dive to research your subject to add meaningful information; based on the needs of your target audience. I hope these tips that I have shared here–will help you as you begin to publish your website in this ever changing, fast-paced intranet arena. All the best! 

Takeaway:

  • All of the information on your website should be findable and understandable
  • Keep in mind what your structure represents
  • Well written content is reigning king and is the basic building block of successful ranking
  • Responsive design can be created utilizing a few lines of code
  • Research and select your key words and phrases
  • Target and know your audience to predict what the call to action will be
  • Optimize your web site and move it into the top search results

I hope you find something interesting to take away from this article as you design and develop your website and grow your target audience.

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