3 tips on writing for the web

Susan Pierotti, Creative Text Solutions Writing for the web is different from other forms of writing. Thirty years ago, people read books, newspapers, letters and magazines. All of these came in print form. There were restrictions in layout, font and design, all to do with the limits of the printing process. Now we can read electronically. There are almost no limits to the design elements of online media. But there are limits to how people read and process the information. Therefore you need to know how to write on the web so readers will want to read what you write.


What is the first thing your eyes see when you click on a web page? It usually is the look, the feel of the site: colourful, cheerful, serious, heavy, shouty... The way words are formatted add to the imagery of a site.
  • Do you have a bold name of your site/business at the top which is easily identifiable?
  • Do you have a tagline placed so that it is read next?
  • Are they in your business's colours and larger than the rest of the text?
In other words, do they stand out?


Numerous studies have been done as to how people read. That is, what words their eyes are drawn to first and where they [caption id="attachment_359" align="alignright" width="64"]the letter F shows the pattern of how we read text. Start at the top left corner, read across, and go back to the left to continue reading.[/caption] look next after they have finished a sentence, paragraph or section. Because English and most other European languages are read left to right, top to bottom, we will automatically start wanting to read from the top left-hand corner, and keep scrolling to the left side of a page to start reading a new section. This forms an F-pattern. So the sensible thing is to order your text on the web in an F-pattern too! Put your first image, therefore, on the right-hand side of the page and your most crucial information in the top left-hand corner.


How the letters are formed can make or break a site. in the days of print, letters were 'drawn' with little feet under them, like the font I'm using now. They aided the eye to skip across the blank spaces between words so you could read more fluently.The word Arial in Arial font   Reading those sorts of fonts from an electronic screen can make the eyes tired after a while. So fonts  without 'feet', called san serif, such as Arial, Calibri and Helvetica, are more commonly used on the  web. The word Calibri in Calibri font the word Helvetica in Helvetica font If you want someone to write web content for you who knows more than just what words to use, contact me. I'd love to make your website ZING!    


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