Monday, 5 November 2012

Web Writing - Fundamentals



On the internet your readers do not read the same way as on paper. Reading is 25% slower on screen than on paper.
Users scan the content. In this article we will discuss the key points to prepare properly for the web and make your users you read to the end.
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1 - Treat your securities:


In many cases the user will fall first on the title of your page / article. Google is the title of the page it clicks. In RSS, social networks, this is your title that you see first. Your title should be very careful because by reading the user decides to click or not to read more.

Encourage the user to your title should be simple, concise and catchy. Within a few seconds, your title should resonate, arouse the curiosity of your readers.

Also avoid too securities "boat" too generic. The user scans the content, it will stop a word on which it hangs.

- The short titles:

Your headlines should be short. Google only displays 70 characters of your title tag. A tweet is only 140 characters, nickname and link included. For a maximum visible your title should be concise. This is especially true as Internet goes faster, the user is pressed. To this we must add that you will stand out against a very large amount of information already present. Your title will scroll surely among hundreds of others on a timeline Twitter.

Here are some tips to make your songs more catchy:
Article titles with an annual rise of interest:

 5 tips to ... 5 recipes ... 10 minutes ... 3 good reasons....
Answer a question to give an answer to a specific problem:

How to make ... Why ... Where can I ...
Stating a provocative title to arouse curiosity (I want to see it seems too big to be true):

Stop watching TV, it's crazy!
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2 - Go to the main

People seek information first and foremost. Therefore, we remove the long introductions presentation. A showcase site for introductions without interest are banned. This is to give the information sought by the user as quickly as possible. To find out what the user is looking, try to put yourself in his place or done better user tests.

An article for the introduction may be slightly different. If you have a title with a question, it is best to keep the suspense until the end in not revealing everything from the introduction.
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3 - Prioritize the content

To hook the reader is urged structure information as an inverted pyramid. We present the most important points at the top. This technique allows to present the key information from the beginning. Once the scene is set we can go into detail supporting his remarks, giving examples.

Throughout the page, answer the 5W (Where, What, Who, Why, When). It is not all the time necessary to answer these five questions, but it is always good to ask before you start writing a page.
Generally, we try to use concepts that directly affect the reader.
For example:

In a news reader will feel more easily affected by a problem near his home. It may be sad, but it is more easily attracted by the weather near us but misery at the end of the world. This can be explained because emotionally, it is easier to invest in something that concerns us directly.
For the description of an item, the user wants the result immediately. You do not buy anti wrinkle cream to rejuvenate in 10 years. This is the principle of instant effect.
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4 - Choose its editorial:

The information and editorial style must be consistent across all pages of a website. You use the same wording, the same labels menus from one page to another. The user should not rediscover your site whenever it changes page.

At first you choose your editorial. Warning it should be based on your audience. You will not talk the same way for beginners to experts. If you talk to a group of novices do not forget they have neither your knowledge nor your vocabulary. So avoid technical terms, jargon or acronyms. Explain the concepts in a simple way by using images, analogies, concepts concrete.

In general, avoid styles pompous and bombastic. The user picks up information as soon as possible. It is not there to enjoy a styling exercise (unless you have a blog of poetry).

Feel free to use this and short sentences. Also avoid passive forms and long sentences with multiple subordinating conjunctions.

Do not forget to proofread your text before publication. Mistakes in spelling or French can tarnish your brand image.

- The case of longer texts:

Too long a page can scare your visitors if it is not properly architectural. Particular attention is required when you have many pages your content. I would say more than 600 words, but it all depends on the target and the theme.

To prioritize your text, do not hesitate to use headings and subheadings, segmented with short paragraphs, to decorate diagrams, photos.

You can also split your text into multiple pages. For example, the Journal of net splits his articles into multiple pages.

If you want to do one page you can add an interactive summary as does Wikipedia with HTML anchors.
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5 - Encourage the click

Hope to see your visitors click on your links, they should be encouraged to click using explicit labels. This works for internal and external links. When it comes to sponsored links (ad words ads, links to sales page), use an action verb in the present to encourage the user.

The user likes to know where it goes. In most cases, when it does not know where he is going, the user does not click. Just like a door. We always apprehensive before opening a door where nothing is indicated above.
Use labels explicit links will inform the user on the destination. Furthermore, use links with anchor keywords is good for your SEO.

When you submit content to download, do not forget to specify the format (doc, audio, video ..). You can also fill the file size. The user will be more forgiving on download time if you tell before specifying the file size.

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