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Step-by-Step Guide: Creating a Website Using HTML Code
Are you looking to create your own website from scratch? If so, using HTML code is a great way to get started. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard language for creating web pages, and learning how to write HTML code will give you full control over the design and functionality of your website. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a website using HTML code.
Understanding the Basics of HTML
Before diving into writing HTML code, it’s important to understand the basics of how HTML works. At its core, HTML consists of elements that define the structure and content of a web page. These elements are represented by tags enclosed in angle brackets. For example, `
` represents a heading tag, while `
` represents a paragraph tag.
HTML uses a hierarchical structure known as the Document Object Model (DOM). This means that elements can be nested inside each other to create a structured layout. Understanding this hierarchy is crucial when organizing your web page’s content.
To start creating your website using HTML code, you’ll need a text editor or an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to write and save your code in plain text format.
Building the Structure with HTML Tags
The first step in creating your website is building its structure using HTML tags. The most essential tags include “, `
`, and “. The “ tag serves as the root element and encapsulates all other elements on your web page. Inside the “ tag, you’ll find the “ tag which contains metadata about your web page such as its title and character encoding.
` tag is where all visible content on your web page resides. Within this tag, you can add headings (`
- `), and many other elements. By combining these tags, you can create a basic structure for your website.
Styling Your Website with CSS
While HTML defines the structure and content of your web page, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is used to control its appearance. With CSS, you can change the colors, fonts, layout, and other visual aspects of your website.
To style your website using CSS, you have two options: inline styles or external stylesheets. Inline styles are added directly to HTML tags using the `style` attribute. However, this approach can become cumbersome as your website grows in complexity.
A more efficient method is to use external stylesheets. By linking an external CSS file to your HTML code using the “ tag in the `
` section, you can apply consistent styling across multiple web pages. This allows for easier maintenance and updates in the future.
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Writing for the Web
Websites require a unique style of writing. Novelists paint a picture with words. Reporters report the news with dramatic flair. Academics explain complex ideas in context with citations. Web content writers share information as succinctly as possible.
People consume websites differently than other forms of media: they don’t read; they skim. They will read only about 20 percent of the words on the average page.
How do you make your website easy for users to digest?
Do not say in 150 words what could be said in 75. Do not say in 75 words what could be said in 30.
Long sentences with complex structures that endeavor to explain in complicated terms a topic that could otherwise be described in a more straightforward manner are best avoided. Use simple sentences.
Neutral language is easier to read and understand than subjective and boastful text. Be clear and direct.
Use the “Inverted Pyramid” style of writing
Put the essential and most interesting information at the beginning. Include additional information in order of diminishing importance.
Use terms that are commonly used to describe your topic. Avoid using proprietary terms and abbreviations as much as is possible.
Break up your text with brief but descriptive headings and subheadings so users can find information faster.
Break up different ideas into different paragraphs
Long, dense blocks of text are intimidating to readers. Several short paragraphs are preferable to a single long paragraph.
Make your text skim-friendly
Use bulleted lists in place of long series or text lists.
Highlight only as necessary
Use bold very sparingly to draw attention to an important point.
Use the proper case
Sentence case is much easier to read than uppercase. To emphasize an important point, use bold.
Make links easy to identify
Links should be a consistent color and style. Do not change the color of a link to make it stand out. Do not underline any text since it may be confused for a link.
The 11 Golden Rules of Writing Content for Your Website
- Website Tips
- February 6, 2019
Capturing readers’ interests with good website content can be really challenging. Most visitors will spend just a few seconds on a web page before deciding what to do next.
Good website writing is the key to beating these odds. Well-written content that’s optimized for the web rises to the top of search results and holds readers’ attention.
Some writing tips apply regardless of whether your text appears on screen, in print, or carved into a pyramid wall. Other tactics are especially relevant for professional writer/author websites and online stores . Follow these 11 principles to make sure your website content gets the attention it deserves.
Learn how to start your website today!
1. know your audience.
It sounds simple, but so many writers put pen to paper—or finger to keyboard—before thinking about who it is they’re trying to reach. Before drafting content, ask yourself these questions: Who is my primary audience? What about a secondary audience who can influence and inform my primary audience? How will they find my site online?
For example, say you’re creating a coaching website or an online portfolio . Your primary audience might be existing clients. However, your secondary audience is much broader and could include other professionals, reporters, or anyone who might need your services in the future. You’ll need to make sure your content is both accessible and interesting to all of these audiences. What kind of questions might these groups ask about a particular topic? Where are they most active online? What kind of information do they need?
Audiences find web content through many different paths—social media sharing, links from other websites, email sharing, and search engines . That last method is especially important when you write for the web. Text could be extremely well-written and informative, but if it’s not optimized for search engines, chances are few people will find it. Think of your audience again: what search terms would they type into Google? If you’re posting a resume online or making a website for your freelance work , what kind of jobs are you looking for? Make sure to include those terms in headlines and sub-headers.
2. Follow the “inverted pyramid” model
Web readers have short attention spans—they’ll decide whether your site has the information they need in seconds. Structure your content like an upside-down pyramid or cone. The most important messages go at the top of the page. Then, gradually drill down to the more specific, supporting information.
For example, say you’re creating a web page about a conference. The most pertinent details—a description of the theme, date, and location—would appear at the top of the page. Supporting details like speakers and their lecture topics would follow. The less important information—such as conference organizers, the history of the conference series or a list of related resources—would appear at the bottom of the page.
Bring your business online with Jimdo.
These two graphs helped guide our own website makeover and can help you conceptualize the structure of your site.
3. Write short, simple sentences
Long sentences are for Charles Dickens—the short attention span of today’s reader demands sentences of 35 words or fewer. So website content that’s accessible and easy to read will naturally reach a wider audience.
Focus on using nouns and verbs. Use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. Don’t use words like “equanimity” or “obfuscate” when words like “calm” or “confuse” will do.
If you’re not sure how to judge your own writing, then it’s useful to check how your texts score with an online readability tool. Most of the popular models are based on the length of words and sentences in a text. Your text’s readability is then scored by a number or an education level. These three tools will scan your text and score its readability:
- The Readability Test Tool
- The Readability Calculator
- Microsoft Word
Can your text be easily understood at a 7th to 9th-grade reading level? Check how it scores on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level to find out.
4. Stick to active voice
Use active rather than passive verbs, and specify the subject of the sentence. For example, rather than writing “products can be ordered on our website,” say “You can order products on our website.”
Active voice helps create succinct, reader-friendly sentences. It’s also more direct; when you speak directly to the audience (“You can do it”) it’s more engaging than saying “It can be done.” This is important on your website FAQ page as well.
5. Show, don’t tell
Don’t limit your prose to generalities and high-level statements. Specific, real-world examples help readers better understand and visualize your messages. Consider these two descriptions:
This is the best dog toy money can buy.
We made the “Rough Rover” dog toy from durable, 100 percent natural rubber, designed to resist punctures and tears from even the most dedicated of chewers.
Which version gives you a clearer picture of the type of toy you’re buying? Specific details in the second description show readers the dog bone rather than tell them about it.
As an added bonus, more specific, descriptive product information helps your website’s SEO and gives customers the information they need to make those purchases.
We love the product descriptions on Zingerman’s website—they explain in mouthwatering detail why their gourmet foods are the best choice. Here are more tips to writing great product descriptions for your online store .
6. Nix the jargon
The web is for everyone—not just technical experts. So make sure information is understandable for the educated non-specialist. Spell out acronyms on first reference. Avoid insider language. Explain complex or niche terms. And provide hyperlinks to other articles where readers can get more background information on a particular topic.
Consider this sentence:
The journalist grabbed a SOT from the MOS, drove back to the station and put the story in the can.
Many of these terms are comprehensible only to broadcast journalists. A reader-friendly revision would be:
The journalist interviewed a bystander about the incident, and recorded her statement to include in the story.
This tip is especially important if you work in a technical industry, but want your website to attract non-expert customers. Remember that you need to write for your audience (see point #1) and not for your colleagues. Using accessible language will help you come across as approachable and open—just what you want to convey to future customers.
7. Mix up your word choice
Words are like cookies—we all have our favorites. But when it comes to keeping your visitors interested, variety is key! Word clouds are fun to use and can help you vary your word choice by visualizing which words you use the most. Just copy and paste your text into a free word cloud tool to generate your cloud. The more you use a word, the bigger it will look in your cloud. Have you overused a certain word? Type it into Thesaurus.com to find new synonyms to enhance your text.
Negative words standing out in your cloud? Now you know exactly what to tweak for a more positive tone. Keep an eye out for your website keywords as well: these should appear several times in your text, so it should be easy to recognize them in a word cloud.
Here’s the exception: keep key terms consistent across your site to avoid confusing your visitors. For example, if you’re a photographer, don’t offer “photoshoots” on one page then call them “photography sessions” on the next.
Make a list of terms that describe your company and group together any words you use to mean the same thing. Pick your top choice and stick to it everywhere on your website. Like this:
Use: invoice .
Not: photography session, photo appointment, shoot
Do you call your customers clients, patients, or users? Do you refer to services, packages, or plans? Once you have this list or glossary, you can use it to review any text before you publish it.
8. Make text scannable
In addition to putting the most important information up top, make sure text is easy to skim. Most web readers will scan the page to find the specific piece of information they’re looking for—if they don’t find it easily, they’ll move on .
Don’t believe it? Try paying attention the next time you open a webpage you haven’t seen before. Are you reading every word beginning to end? Or is your eye jumping around, looking for the information you want?
- Instead of text-heavy paragraphs, use bulleted or numerical lists . Instead of one long page of text, organize content into labeled tabs.
- Always include “white space.” This is the empty space that surrounds paragraphs, images, and other elements on your web page. Though it may seem like this is just wasted space, it’s actually a web designer’s best friend. Comfortable amounts of white space around text make it more legible , and more enjoyable to read.
- What Is Climate Change?
- Drivers of Climate Change
- Current and Projected Impacts of Climate Change
- Solutions to Reduce Emissions
These sub-headers not only help readers navigate the page, they’ll help search engines find your content.
9. Incorporate multimedia
Research shows that most the human brain is visual, and people process visual information many times faster than text.
An easy-to-read chart or graph can also do a better job of explaining a complex topic than text alone. If you’re not a graphic designer by trade, there are lots of ways to use visuals on your website and some great services out there to help you make graphics yourself, like Canva and Piktochart.
Images also help break up text, making your page easier to read. We recommend having at least one image on each page of your website. Here are more tips for how to optimize your website images .
10. Layer website content
The great thing about a website is that it’s easy to direct readers from one page to another. Help readers find more great content by hyperlinking certain words or phrases to other relevant resources, especially those on your own website. This will help keep people engaged with your content and moving through your site.
For example, say this sentence appeared on your cooking website: Ratatouille is a low-fat dish that consists of seasonal ingredients like eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. You could hyperlink “low-fat dish” to a page with other blog posts on healthy eating.
Building these internal links within your own site also helps your SEO, but keep in mind that links should always be relevant and helpful. Visually, if you overload your text with links, people won’t know what to click on. Google recommends keeping the amount of hyperlinks on a page to a “reasonable number.”
11. Leave them wanting more
Here’s an example of what a call-to-action button can look like on your website.
Good websites end each page with a strong call-to-action (or CTA for short). Is there a person a reader should contact for more information? An interesting video they should watch? How about a related blog post they can read or a report they can download? This strategy helps direct readers to other areas of your website and encourages them to promote your content to their friends and family.
Keep these calls-to-action succinct, and start them with action verbs like “Download,” “Share,” “Join,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More” or “Watch.” And of course, make sure to include a link that actually allows readers to fulfill the action you’re asking them to take.
Writing, in general, is hard work—writing content for your website, even more so. But remember, you don’t need to write perfect texts first time around! Once your content is live, you can do monthly website checks to monitor and optimize its performance. With these tips, you’re prepared to create effective content that resonates with even the most flighty and time-pressed of internet readers.
And once your content is written, read this checklist for designing easy-to-read text on your site.
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How To Write Website Content That Attracts People
- Matthew Woodward
- Updated on Sep 11, 2023
What Will I Learn?
A TRUSTWORTHY Link Building Strategy Starts With Us....
Want to know how to write good content for a website?
You’re in the right place…
Website content is anything on your website that a user can use, read or interact with.
It’s split into three categories:
- Textual: This is anything written or text-based; like blog posts, news articles and even the words on your homepage.
- Visual: This is anything your user can see; like a video, an infographic or just a photograph.
- Aural: This is anything that can be heard on your site; like songs or podcast episodes.
These three can be combined to create great pieces of content.
For example, a great blog post might contain…
- 2,000 words
- An audio snippet
In terms of SEO , textual content is the most important.
Although I’m sure Google will be able to interpret video and image content in the future, the majority of its search algorithms are based on written information.
Google’s crawlers can read but they’re not adept enough at viewing or hearing just yet.
(They can make out some objects and text in images.)
The more in-depth your content and the more of these different mediums it draws upon, the more valuable it’s going to be to search engines .
On the flip side, bad content can hurt your website.
If you’re creating thin content that’s stuffed with keywords , doesn’t add any value to the reader and is only there to generate advertising income… it’s going to lose favour. Fast.
Why Is Good Content Important For SEO?
The goal of any search engine is to connect its users to the best possible content.
This means that good quality content is incredibly important for SEO as Google will only pick good quality content to not only rank highly but to index in their database.
They want to link to resources that help people…
- Find answers
- Solve problems
- Buy products
- Get accurate information
If it doesn’t help their users do that, it doesn’t make it into their index.
To ensure they’re always sharing the highest quality content, they constantly update their algorithms to help them cut out any bad content from their index.
Kind of like how a wolf picks off the weakest sheep in the flock.
So if you want to stand a chance at ranking in a search engine you need to be creating a website content template that is:
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Well organised and easy to read
- Long enough to cover the topic thoroughly
- Newsworthy or adding new insight to an old topic
- Utilising all three forms of content: visual, audio and written
- Referencing other sources and industry leaders
- Free from spammy links or too many affiliate links
To give you some reference to what I mean…
Let me show you an example of a good piece of content and a bad piece of content.
Let’s say you were looking for a review of Rosetta Stone’s language learning software.
This first piece is a bad piece of content for someone looking for that software.
It’s poorly written, formatted and no focus on why you’d want to buy the product.
If you took the time to read any of that content, you’ll notice that it’s basically orientated around the Rosetta Stone keywor and doesn’t provide much value.
Let’s compare to this blog post which is the first Google result for ‘Rosetta Stone Reviews’.
There are some stark differences.
I’ve annotated some of them for you to see:
Their layout could be better, but the content itself is miles ahead of the other post!
I hope you can see the difference too.
Now you’ve got an initial idea of what good content is…
Let’s look at different ways good content can be presented to your audience.
8 Frameworks For Amazing Content
The first step to creating good content is putting it in the “frame”.
A “frame” is a simple way of saying the type of post you’re going to write.
Thankfully, there are lots of tried and tested ways to do this.
#1: List Posts
List posts (also called listicles ) are the most shareable type of website content.
They’re great for sharing…
…on specific parts of your niche.
Having numbered lists makes them highly clickable and shareable.
See below, list posts always make an appearance in BuzzFeed ’s most shared content:
These don’t just have to be for cheesy viral content, either.
You can use it to create many different styles of content. For example:
- Tutorials: 23 SEO Copywriting Tips That Work
- Photo Posts: 24 Best Spots In The Caribbean
- Round Up Post: 12 Expert Tips On Becoming Vegan
List posts also give you the opportunity to show up in rich snippets , which are the text boxes of content that show up before the first result in Google.
If I search for different types of guitar the data from a list post is extracted to show me:
There are so many benefits to list posts.
#2: How To Posts
How to posts (also known as tutorials) are the cornerstone of SEO friendly content.
Someone asks a question, you give them an answer and a solution.
This post is best written in long-form containing at least 1,500 words.
The idea being to go to depth and help the reader solve their problem.
They’re also a great place to share…
- Audio snippets
…to help people find answers.
Which is why they often work their way to the number one spot, or wind up in rich snippets , in Google for problem related search queries:
Some great examples of how to posts are:
- How To Start A Blog
- How To Start A Freelance Writing Portfolio From Scratch
- The Ultimate Guide To Travelling Cheap
They use multiple types of media to help make their point and create a lot of value.
These are the types of blog posts you want to bookmark!
Resource posts bring together tools , tips, articles and tutorials from around the internet.
They’re great for SEO because they attract a lot of backlinks and social shares, especially from the people who have been featured in the posts.
You can check out this post, Free SEO Tools to see an example of one.
This type of post can be used in conjunction with any of the other types of posts.
This will create good website content.
Reviews are great value-adding content.
Like you saw at the start of this article, reviewing products is one way to approach this.
You can also review songs, events, movies, books and anything that requires an opinion.
Here are some more examples of great review posts:
- SEMRush Review – 68 Ways To Take Your Site To The Next Level
- DC Rainmaker: GoPro Fusion 360 Camera Review
You can even combine these with a how-to post, like I did in my Ahrefs review .
This creates original long-form content beyond just saying if it’s good or bad.
If you combine this with rich snippets you can create a Google SERP result that is attractive and enticing to click-
Not only can you add stars, your name and other information but you can also add FAQ Schema as well!
(Don’t forget to test your schema with a schema tester ).
#5: Expert Roundups
Expert roundups ask experts in their industry to answer a specific question.
You then display the different answers to your audience as unique content.
The industry leaders are likely to share the post to their followers, and other sites are likely to link back for specific quotes.
Here are some examples of posts:
- 50+ Internet Security Tips From Experts
I have a blog post about how to create expert roundups which you should check out.
#6: Podcast Or Video Show Notes
If your content is audio or video based this doesn’t mean it can’t be found in Google.
Using transcriptions or creating show notes, is a great way to repurpose your podcast .
I use this to add to blog posts or to send to my email list, after any video training I create:
And if you’re a podcaster…
Here are some show notes for you to look at and use as inspiration for your strategy:
- James Altucher with Annie Duke
- Side Hustle School
- Lewis Howes with Daymond John
#7: Thought-Leader Posts
If you run a personal blog or website, thought-leader posts can attract a lot of attention.
You take a stance on an observation you’ve made in your industry and argue your point.
Rand Fishkin the ex-ceo of Moz.com, has used thought leader posts to help grow him and his brand over the last twenty years. (You can read his heartfelt departure post here.)
Tim Urban is another example of someone who has built an entire business around this.
His ‘Wait But Why’ blog is one of the world’s most subscribed independent blogs.
#8: Case Studies
Case studies are another great way to create good, original content.
By performing an experiment or trying something new within the bounds of your industry, you can create valuable and unique content whilst sharing new ideas with your audience.
I have a lot of case studies on the blog you can use for reference:
- How To 14x Search Traffic
- Ahrefs vs Majestic
- Zero Link Building Case Study
How To Generate Ideas For Website Content
One of the hardest parts of creating website content is how to come up with new ideas.
You ask yourself – what should you write about, and will anybody care about it?
But there are a few ways to generate consistent new ideas for content which your audience will definitely love.
Asking your audience is arguably the best way to start generating content ideas.
Simply put together a survey through SurveyMonkey and send it out to your audience.
Ask them what their biggest problems are and are there topics they’d like you to cover.
You can also use Google Forms if you want a simpler looking & completely free, version.
If you don’t yet have a mailing list or an audience, you can do this through Facebook groups or other communities you’re a part of.
Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a free keyword scraper tool that pulls together search queries and FAQs.
In the search bar beneath the impatient bearded dude, type in the broad keyword for your subject. Like “hairdressing”. Then hit the get questions button.
You’ll then be presented with a wheel of questions people are constantly asking.
They’re split into questions with different intent.
This helps you decide on the right content for your site, too:
All you have to do is pick a question and write a piece of content that provides the answer.
Another great question platform is Quora .
You can see people asking and answering questions about your niche in real time.
There are a few options here:
- You could use any one of the question headlines as the basis for your content
- You can try to answer the content, see what reaction it gets and then decide whether or not to use it on your site
Depending on the topic, you’ll have to do some digging to find the real golden topic ideas.
But the important thing is this:
Someone, somewhere, is searching for answers to this question .
If they’re doing it here, they’re probably doing it on Google too.
If you want to create content that’s on-the-pulse, a great way to do this is newsjacking.
Which is a fun way of saying you’ll “hijack” a news topic.
One simple way to find topics to talk about is to head to Google and search for your topic in the “news” section of the engine:
This will come up with all of the latest news stories in your niche from the last few weeks.
You can create a Google Alert to send you an email whenever a new story is posted.
So you get ahead of the curve and beat all of your competitors.
Want to appear in the Google News section? Follow my step by step tutorial on how to get on Google news .
How To Write Great Content For Your Website
If you follow the best practices below, you will be able to write great content for any website:
- Write how you speak
- Longer content is better than shorter content
- Write meaningful headers
- Use white space and subheadings to help scanning
- Keep it short and sweet
- Link out to reputable sources
- Use videos and images
- Follow these SEO copywriting hacks
- Sprinkle keywords, don’t shove them in
So with your ideas in place, it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)…
And start creating content.
But this begs an important question:
How do you go about writing good content for your website?
Although there will be a variation for every niche, the principles remain the same.
Consider these best practices when you’re creating your content:
Write How You Speak
Your content should be easy to read.
Few people open a website in the hopes of reading an in-depth University thesis.
Instead, writing for the internet should be conversational and fit the cadence of your voice. When writing your post, read sentences out loud to see if they fit how you talk.
If not, edit them to fit what you would say.
It’s also important to set a “tone” for your voice.
In all of my writing I aim to hit these six points:
- Tell it like it is – straight & to the point
- Like I’m talking to a friend
- No more than 3 sentences in a paragraph
- Short & punchy
- Keep it simple
This is what my readers expect of me when they come to the blog to read.
It’s also what resonates with the people I want to read my content and become part of my sphere of influence.
Depending on your niche and your audience, your tone of voice will change.
But it should feel honest and true to how you want to create your content.
Longer Is Better Than Shorter
Good content is usually longer than it is shorter, and ranks higher .
But you should never go under 500 words.
I have blog posts that are in excess of 10,000 words. That’s bigger than some books!
But they rank well and gather lots of attention.
Use White Space And Subheadings
Big paragraphs with little space around them can be intimidating and overwhelming for a reader. Especially if they’ve found your content through search.
They just don’t want to dive in and start reading.
Instead you can follow my unwritten rule of: no more than three sentences per paragraph .
This allows for lots of white space and easy, fluid movement down the page.
When you pivot to a new part of the topic, be sure to add a subheading so that skim-readers find the parts they’re looking for too.
Link Out To Reputable Sources
Whenever you make a claim in your content, find a way to back it up. This could be a research study, another blog posts or a place where you’ve read a quote.
This is great for SEO and your readers will love you for citing credible resources.
Use Videos And Images
When you make a point, try to go as deep as possible to make sure the reader gets it. You can aid in this by adding videos and images to illustrate what you mean.
Also research shows that articles with images perform better in every way.
Follow These Copywriting Hacks
If you want to know how to make your writing crisper, sharper and more readable…
I recommend you check out all of my SEO writing tips too.
Sprinkle Keywords, Don’t Shove Them In
Use your keywords sparingly.
They should definitely be in your content, but don’t force them into every possible gap.
The more natural you can make them sound, the better. If it’s jarring to find one of your keywords, there’s a good chance you’ll lose their attention.
But Matt, What If I Can’t Write?
If you feel you can’t write (or you don’t want to do it)…
You can buy content for your site by hiring a freelance content writer or outsource it to a content writing service that specializes in SEO copywriting.
I use freelance writers to help me on projects, especially when time is tight and I have more important things to do.
The best way to find freelance writers is to ask around in your network and see if any of your contacts can recommend someone.
But if that doesn’t work, you can look for writers on ProBlogger Jobs or UpWork .
Alternatively, you could just use the voice typing feature of Google Docs-
Then you can just talk about the subject like you were explaining it to a friend.
Bonus: An other solution is to use Frase .
Frase is an AI powered content marketing tool that helps people write search engine optimised content quickly and ealisy. Check out my Frase review to see how it works.
How To Create A Simple Content Strategy
A content strategy is a defined way of creating content for your website.
- Define Your Goal
- Get Clear On Your Audience
- Research Your Search Queries And Keywords
- Set A Regular Posting Schedule
- Set Aside Time Each Month To Write
- Repeat steps 3 to 5
It means you can generate ideas and continue to deliver over the long-term.
Let’s take a closer look how to quickly set one up:
Step #1: Define Your Goal
The first step is to look at what you want to achieve with your content.
If you’re on this site, it’s probably attracting people to your site through SEO.
But get specific: how many people do you want to attract and in what sort of time frame?
Step #2: Get Clear On Your Audience
Figure out who the “persona” of the person you’re writing for.
- Who are they?
- What are their problems?
- What are they searching for and why?
Really dig deep to find the one or two people you’re trying to have a conversation with.
This will help you choose things like:
- Where to share your content
- When to share your content
- The type of search queries you should target
Don’t skip this step. It’s hard to do, but it’s worth doing right.
Step #3: Research Your Major Search Queries And Keywords
What are the major keywords you want to target?
What types of searches are people performing to find them?
This should directly link to the last step.
You can do this by using some of the methods in the keyword research section of this guide, or you can use some of the idea generation tools mentioned above.
Step #4: Set A Regular Posting Schedule
Decide how often you’re going to share content on your website.
- Do you want to do it every day?
- Do you want to do it every week?
- Do you want to only do it every month?
The more frequently you post the better in terms of traffic.
But it could also be overwhelming for your audience. You’ll need to test this one.
Step #5: Set Aside Time Each Month To Write
Define time in your schedule to write.
Once you start posting content…
It’s important to keep your blog fresh and updated with new content.
Set aside time in your schedule that’s protected for content creation.
Your website will thank you for it.
Step #6: Repeat Steps 3 To 5
It’s that simple.
Research queries to generate ideas. Post regularly.
Set aside time to write, and actually do the writing!
Wrapping It Up
Website content is anything on your site that a user can interact with, learn from or use.
Google’s job is to connect people to the best content for their queries.
If your content is below standard, it won’t make it far up the rankings.
If you want to attract people to your site and have more success with building links to your content, you need to be sure it’s outstanding.
There are eight types of good content I recommend you use:
- How to posts
- Expert roundups
- Case studies
- Thought leader posts
- Podcast/video show notes
Once you’ve published your content, submit URL to Google to get it indexed as soon as possible so people can find it in the SERPs.
If you don’t know how to do that, check out my complete search engine submission guide – NO SEO submission software required!
Now you understand what makes great content, it’s time to leverage that with some SEO copywriting techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Use titles and headings
- Create a clickable table of contents
- Include your keyword in the content
- Use multimedia and spaces to break up the text
- Be concise, go straight to the point
- Write for a middle school reading level
- Use the active voice
- Check your grammar
You Might Also Like
What Is Canonicalization & Why Should I Care?
How To Use Footer Links To Boost SEO In 2023
What Are Your Thoughts?
How can I add Meta Keywords on wordpress?
This is what I think about meta keywords https://searchlogistics.com/seo/on-page/meta-keywords/
Wonderful Post.It includes almost everything newbies need to ace content creation.Keep it up, Matthew Sir!
Cheers Affan Khan!
Always, thanks for the tips Matthew! For sure this is one of the newsletters worth being subscribed.
Thank you, Carlos! Cheers 🙂
Thanks for your important information.
No worries 🙂
This has NUMEROUS broken images.
Just checked and couldn’t find any!
Found you via Brandbuilders podcast with Bradley glad I found you, the content on this post was really helpful and was just what I need to hear this morning during my writers block, thanks. Look forward to checking out more of your stuff.
Thank you Carlos & Welcome to my blog!
Wow! What a great article, and so useful. I appreciate how in-depth it is, which is just how you write posts.This post gave me a ton of content ideas, and the right way to go about writing it.Thank you!
Glad to hear that. Good luck Gale!
Great and very informative article.There are some methods here I have not thought about and may implement with my newer blog posts. I usually have list or point posts separately, but will try to do both in one when the content asks for it.I love these kinds of posts since they offer great content and value.
Great news! The best way to find out whether it works or not is to try it!
Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.
I hope you will apply what you’ve learned. Fell free to share your experience and result with us!
Thank you, Sonali. Now, it’s time to put on practice what you’ve learned!
Nice post! Thanks for sharing with us.
No problem… hope you were able to pick up some helpful content writing tips.
How do you make your images and graphics? Which software do you use thank you very much. You can’t imagine how much we appreciate you thanks again my brother. I’m from the states
I work with Kapa99
Great post as it covers most of the aspects of content writing in nutshell .
I certainly hope so, thanks
wow! nice article…i love this site
Thanks very much 🙂
I kinda like the simple way you make your points Mat. i will still have to settle down and read this article again.is there a way to reduce my website bounce rate?
Take a look at this – https://searchlogistics.com/seo/on-page/reduce-bounce-rate/
Thank you very much because you are willing to share very useful information to many people
That the main purpose of my blog – glad it’s doing the job!
Thanks for this article. it helps us a lot!.
Happy to help 🙂
Great post!! Thank you very much for sharing.
No worries – hope you can use these tips in your own content 🙂
Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circles.
Thanks for the shares – hope it was helpful Sourav
Hi Matthew!Thank you for this post.Do you think that those without a content team, or those blogging part-time (for instance, I can spend 8 hours max to blogging on weekly basis) should write long-form stuff as well?For me, writing a 2000-word post (from the first word to a phase where I can hit “Publish”) takes approximately 1.5 weeks.I’m worried that this phase is too slow for Google to notice my writings … what do you think?Cheers,Timo
Hey Timo – I think you should take a look at the content length of your competitors who are sat in the top spots in the SERPs and then write with their average word count in mind.
Matthew, thanks for writing this all down. I think often in our scene we tend to focus too much on writing for SEO – and forget to make our content appeal to PEOPLE first. Although both have their place, focusing on people will eventually make SEO also easier.
Very true Arie, search engines take user experience seriously.
Hi Matthew,Just Before reading this article I was doing a meeting with my content team and I was telling them to give reference links on related words. Give government, research, study official links to back up your data. and you have also said the same thing here, I am glad to read your article.
Great minds think alike 🙂
Thanks a lot for this, Matthew. It’s true what you say, as I already do many of these content factors you mention and my site content is above-average. Over time, my sites have been rewarded more and more with increased traffic & ranking etc.I wasn’t aware of that podcast so I’ll take advantage of the tips about hiring writers which is what I’ve not yet been able to do with good results.Have a good day, and thanks again!
Hey Marty – glad to hear of your success’ so far. Good luck finding a good writer and when you do… hold onto them 🙂
Thank you Matthew for this awsome post actually for few days I was looking for the posts like yours, like what type of contents should I write for my blog and now this problem solved now I got stuck in what types of topics should I cover I am really getting tired from this. Can you help me or share some tips… Thanks in advance Matthew…
Yeah easy – ask your audience what they want and then give it to them.
Awesome advice. As a freelance writer, I love the practical tips, and I’m sure my clients will appreciate them as well. Thanks a lot.
Haha awesome – glad to hear it Timothy
Great post as it covers most of the aspects of content writing in nutshell. But it is easy to say than doing!!!
Practice makes perfect!
Your post is really simple and attractive to read until the end;my question is here about how grammar strength is important while writing content.Is that enough to make understand what reader required or it should be as highly professional in language?because why i am asking; am not native English speaker as like you dear; if it is important then you can add in this post also.
Yes you need to have good grammar.
Thank you so much Matthew for such an awesome post! I took notes and am currently planning out a content creation schedule for one of my client. Do you have any tips on hiring freelance writers? Should we send them your “23 SEO Copywriting Hacks That Get Instant Results” post to read, or should we let them do their job? I know it might be hard for some people to receive suggestions about the way they work. I was wondering how you deal with that 🙂
Well when you hire anyone, it’s on you to provide them with an exact process/writing guidelines you want them to follow. And also remember you get what you pay for. I talk about it more in the last 15 minutes of this podcast – https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/marketing-mantra-by-99signals/e/63375028?autoplay=true
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- Content Production
Written by Brian Dean
What Is Content Writing?
Content writing is the process of planning, writing, and publishing written material, such as articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and marketing copy, that is intended for online consumption. The goal of content writing is to inform, educate, or persuade readers, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Building brand awareness
- Increasing website traffic
- Generating leads
- Improving search engine rankings
- Establishing credibility
Why Is Proper Content Writing Important?
When most people hear “content writing”, they think “writing articles”.
However, writing content isn’t just important for blog posts.
In fact, content writing is important for all types of different content formats, including:
- Video scripts
- Email newsletters
- Keynote speeches
- Social media posts
- Podcast titles
- White papers
- Web page copy
- Landing pages
- YouTube video descriptions
Or put another way:
Writing is the foundation for pretty much any content that you publish.
Create an outline.
Creating an outline is a GREAT first step in the content writing process.
Outlines help your content come out better for two main reasons:
First , outlines force you to put all your thoughts down in an organized way (rather than writing everything off the top of your head). Which really speeds up the writing process.
Second , outlines usually lead to a much better structure for your content. That’s because an outline lets you see your content from a “high level” that’s impossible to see as you’re writing.
Plus, because you have an outline, your final content will hit all of the major points that you set out to before you started writing.
So: how do you actually go about creating an effective outline?
Here are three main strategies that work well:
So when we start working on a new guide, we use a lot of the structure from our existing guides as a base.
- Use a template: Most professional content writers work off of proven templates. Here are 5 content templates you can use to create outlines .
For example, let’s say you’re about to write a guest post about the keto diet.
Well, you’d want to type “keto diet” into BuzzSumo to see what’s already done well.
Then, read some of the best posts to see exactly what you should cover in your article.
Make It Easy to Consume and Share
Content that’s super easy to read and share is of the keys to great content .
You can have a post written by the world’s top copywriter. But if that post is hard for people to consume, no one will read it.
Here are a few tips to help make your content easier to consume, skim and share.
Keep it Snappy, Rich and Entertaining
Whether you’re writing about content creation or cars, your writing needs to grab (and keep) people’s attention .
Otherwise, they’ll click over to something else.
How you grab someone’s attention depends on the format you’re working with.
When I create videos, I use “Family Guy moments” throughout the video. These are little asides that add some humor to and spice to my video content.
And when I write videos, I focus a lot on formatting and layout.
Specifically, I try to keep my paragraphs short:
I also sprinkle in visuals and screenshots to mix things up.
And if you’re about to sit down and record some audio, you want your lines to be short and snappy. You also want to avoid parenthetical statements. Content in parenthesis is easy to follow when you’re reading it. But you can easily “lose the thread” if you’re listening to your audio as a podcast.
In short: your final content needs to be super engaging to work. And no matter what format you’re working with, that starts with the content writing process.
Quotable On Social Media
According to a study that we conducted, very few blog posts get shared or linked to .
And to increase the odds that your content ranks in search engines and gets shared on social media, add shareable quotes.
For text-based content, this can be a statement that you highlight in your post.
And if you’re making a YouTube video, you can pull out a short snippet from that video to share on LinkedIn.
The important thing here is to have these quotes ready before you publish the post. Then, highlight them in your content.
Choose Interesting Angles
With 2.3 million blog posts going live every day , you can’t just publish something generic and expect a wave of visitors.
Instead, to get traffic to your content, it needs a compelling angle.
An angle is simply the hook that makes your content stand out from all the others on that topic.
Your angle can be a personal story. A bit of controversy. Or something that simply looks better than what’s out there.
The angle you go with depends on your target audience.
For example, when we published our guide to becoming an SEO expert , our 8-bit design helped it stand out.
Make It Actionable
For most niches, your content can’t just be entertaining.
And it’s not even enough for it to simply be informative.
For your content marketing to work, your content needs to be super useful .
Our SEO audit post is a great example of this.
It’s not a collection of random tips. This content is a step-by-step action plan that anyone can follow.
- Keep it up-to-date: A single outdated step or example can derail an otherwise great piece. I recommend going back and updating your old content at least once a year.
Make it Trustworthy
For people to share and link to your content, they need to trust it first.
And while design factors in to how much people trust your content , your writing plays a big role too.
Here are a few tips to make your content more trustworthy.
- Use proper grammar: If you want to improve your writing skills, a tool like Hemingway Editor or Grammarly can be a huge help.
For example, whenever we write a guide, we add lots of stats and references.
Here’s an example from our blog.
Give it a Magnetic Headline and Introduction
Most visitors only spend 15 seconds reading an article before leaving.
With such a short window of time, your headline and introduction are incredibly important.
Here’s how to create headlines and intros that work:
Note how these bullet points aren’t topics . They’re benefits that someone will get out of reading and implementing what’s in the guide.
How can I become a content writer?
If you’re looking to dive into the world of content writing, you’re in for an exciting journey. Let me walk you through the steps that have worked wonders for me and many others.
1. Learn SEO Fundamentals
First off, get cozy with SEO basics . It’s the backbone of content writing.
Start with keyword research – it’s like picking the right tools before you start building. Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Semrush to find what your audience is searching for.
Then, dive into on-page SEO . Think of your titles and meta descriptions as your first handshake with your readers – make it count.
2. Niche Specialization
Now, pick a niche.
This isn’t just about what you love; it’s about where you can add real value.
Ask yourself, “What unique perspective or solutions can I bring to my readers?” This focus will make your content more engaging and valuable.
3. Develop a Unique Writing Style
It’s your signature. Keep it clear, engaging, and packed with actionable tips.
I always aim to write as if I’m talking to a friend – straightforward and helpful.
Use tools like Grammarly to keep your grammar in check and Hemingway Editor to make your content crisp and readable.
4. Create a Portfolio
It’s your playground for trying out new ideas and a portfolio to showcase your skills.
Make sure it’s SEO-friendly; after all, you want to walk the talk.
5. Learn from the Best
Learning never stops. Keep an eye on the top content writers and digital marketing resources.
What are they doing right? How are they engaging their audience? How are they using new AI tools in their workflows?
Don’t just consume content; dissect it.
6. Feedback and Improvement
Lastly, the power of feedback can’t be overstressed. Use it to refine your writing.
Remember, the best content writers are those who listen, learn, and adapt.
That’s my blueprint for becoming a content writer. I
t’s about blending SEO savvy with a unique voice, continually learning, and always striving to provide value to your readers.
Stay curious, stay committed, and you’ll find your path to success in content writing.
The Definitive Guide to Writing Blog Posts : I recommend sending this to any content writer that you work with.
The Complete Guide to SEO Content : How to write quality content that’s specifically engineered to rank in Google.
Evergreen Content : How to plan and write content that continues to bring in traffic for years after you publish it.
The Definitive Guide to Copywriting : Learn how to write SUPER compelling copy for blog posts, sales letters, videos and more based on tips from the world’s top copywriters.
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Best Practices for Web Writing
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Fill out our work request form to get in touch with our project managers.
Are you writing content for a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) website? Use the following guidelines, tips, and (not-so-subtle) suggestions to create effective content, engage and inform your audiences, and meet your goals.
Write clear, simple, and effective content
- Content should be written in an easy-to-read, conversational style
- Always keep your audience, messages, personality, and goals in mind
Put the most important content in the first paragraph
- Readers scan pages, you don’t want them to miss your main idea
Chunk your content
- Cover only one topic per paragraph
- Write short paragraphs and minimize unnecessary words
- Sentence structure should be simple and varied
Use active voice instead of passive voice
- Yes: Tim taught the class.
- No: The class was taught by Tim.
Choose lists over long paragraphs
- Use lists to make your content easier to scan
Write Meaningful Headers
Headers allow readers to navigate content. Use the header to clearly describe the content in each paragraph.
- Be short and direct
- Be able to stand on their own and understood out of context
- Avoid jargon, abbreviations, cleverness, and technical terms
- Be search engine friendly – see “SEO Writing” below
Use Common Language
For SEO (Search Engine Optimization) use the same words and phrases your readers do. When creating page titles, headers, list items, and links, choose keywords carefully and use them consistently. This practice reinforces keywords relevancy for search engines.
Readers expect a personal, upbeat tone in web writing. They find bureaucratic writing offensive and out-of-place and ignore the message it's trying to convey.
To avoid bureaucratic language, turn the tone down a notch. Search out and destroy jargon. Use active voice. Always try to write in first or second person.
Keep it Short
Web writing needs to be much shorter than other kinds of writing. Research shows that people scan web text, rather than read every word. Make it easy for your users to scan for information quickly. A paragraph should consist of 70 words or less.
Writing for the web is NOT the same as writing for a print publication. A page on the web should be half the length of a similar print document.
300-700 words is a reasonable average length for any web content.
What if you have more than 700 words? Break your content into sections, leading readers to specific portions of the text as much as possible. It’s your job as a web author to guide your audience to the content you want them to consume.
Don’t waste space welcoming people to your page. There is no need – most users ignore welcome text as filler. Get to the meat – that’s what they came for.
Subheadlines, Lists, and Scanning
On average, users read about 20 percent of your content per page.
What should you do? Be concise. Be relevant. Use short sentences and action verbs, and cut inessential text without sacrificing your identity.
Along with short, easy-to-read blocks of text, you also should make good use of font size, lists, and subheadlines. These elements help guide readers' eyes toward the most important content, and make it easier to absorb large content.
Use a bulleted list to break up content. Write a short sentence and support it with bullet points. Do not end sentences in a bulleted list with a period – periods stop the eye from scanning.
Use Links Effectively
Link, link, and link to relevant information. If you mention the UM shuttle , link to it. If you want to include someone’s email address, link their name. If you mention a faculty member, link to their bio page.
Don’t make people go and search for something you mention if it already has a page somewhere.
The average time new visitors spend on any one page is around 30 seconds. Take advantage of that short attention span by providing lots of relevant links to explore.
Web usability experts discourage the use of the phrase "click here" for links. Make your links contextual. Use part of your sentence or phrase as the link. Research shows that users like them to be 4-8 words in length.
- Yes: For more information, view the Print Policy at UMB.
- No: To find out more about the Print Policy at UMB, click here .
Keep it simple. Don't underline or use bold, italics, headings, and indentations unnecessarily. They may be difficult to read from the users' view.
Structure Your Content Like an "Inverted Pyramid" on Top-Level Pages
What’s an inverted pyramid? It’s a writing style where you put your most important information first.
Load the most important information at the top of the page and at the top level of your site. Often this is a few sentences or bullet points. Please refer to the type hierarchy for formatting guidance, a number of type styles have been provided to enhance your inverted pyramid.
Content that requires users to scroll vertically loses up to 80 percent of its readership.
Your introductory sentences or paragraphs for any key landing pages are prime real estate for your messages.
The goal is to capture the interest of site visitors. Save the more specialized and lengthy pages for deeper levels of the site.
Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Writing
Most users visit a web page for 10-15 seconds. In that brief time, 80 percent will skim the page for keywords they already have in mind. Therefore, before you create content, it’s important to understand your audience and anticipate what content and keywords they’re trying to find.
When a user conducts a search on a search engine, the database is queried to identify all the pages that include those words on the page and/or in the links pointing to that page. If your page does not include the words the user was searching for, it is unlikely that your page will rank well, if at all.
The same is true when none of the links to that page include the words that the user used in their search.
Once pages have been identified, search engines order the results according to relevance. Relevance can be determined based on dozens and dozens of criteria, such as keyword prominence (how often your keywords appear on a page, and where they appear).
Keep Your Content Fresh
Outdated web content will confuse your users and make you look lazy. It also degrades the user's trust in your information.
Add fresh content (text, images, video) as often as possible. Make sure your staff and contact information is up-to-date and remove past events from your site.
Whenever possible, work with a designer when artwork is required.
Use a header image relevant to your subject matter.
See the Editorial Style Guide for the Web
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