Clear, concise content is essential.
People read differently on the web and mobile devices. They scan quickly and have limited attention.
You should tailor your writing to this audience. It will help your organization meet its communication goals.
Tips for Writing Effective Web Content
- Be concise.
- Use headings.
- Use lists (bulleted and numbered).
- Use very short paragraphs.
- Use the styles provided by the content management system's visual editor. Do not apply custom styles.
- Avoid “click here” as link text. Link the name of the website, page, or file instead.
- Avoid writing out web addresses. Link the name of the website, page, or file instead.
- Use correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and mechanics.
- Use a professional but approachable tone.
- Create webpages rather than relying on PDFs. Use PDFs as supplement or when a printed form is required.
These tips will also help you write pages that are more friendly to search engines and people who use assistive technology.
- Say What? The Benefits of Plain Language in Academia (PDF) - Sasha Im, Content Strategist for UMAC
Online Guides and Examples
- The Federal Plain Language Guidelines
- Plain Language: It’s the Law
- Usability.gov: Writing for the Web
- Nielsen Norman Group Writing for the Web articles