Web writing has a different style other forms of communication. People who are looking for information online want their information in relatively small chunks. They aren’t likely to sit down at their computer for an extended time to read information. Even if they are spending a lot of time surfing the Internet, they are jumping from one site to the next. When it comes to style vs. substance, where do you put most of your efforts?
The answer is that both of these components are equally important. You can have wonderful content that your readers will find relevant and helpful to whatever problems they are trying to solve, but if it isn’t presented in a style that catches the reader’s eye, they are simply going to click through to the next site.
What you should be striving for is quality content that gives your readers the answer to a question or a problem they are having. People are using the Internet like a giant library to look up information quickly. If you can satisfy that thirst for knowledge, you will get repeat traffic to your web site and increase the likelihood that the casual Web surfer will become a paying customer.
In the same way that presentation sets off a well-prepared meal, you can present your web copy in a way that your readers will find attractive. Be sure to use the following techniques and you will achieve the goal of style and substance in your web copy:
- Use a headline includes your keywords
- Divide up your copy with subheadings
- Use numbered or bulleted lists when appropriate
- Keep paragraphs relatively short – between three and five sentences in length