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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Five ways to write clearer web content

Ali Turnbull
Ali Turnbull

In the latest of our Take Five series in which local experts give us five tips to help businesses, Ali Turnbull, web content editor at Fit to Print, shows you five ways to write clearer web content

1. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Say ‘you’ and ‘your’ more than ‘we’ ‘us’ and ‘our’. “We have been established for 45 years” doesn’t impress if they only want to know “Do you have this one in blue and can you deliver it by next Tuesday?” Answer the questions your readers ask. Ask family and friends who don’t know as much about your product or service to help you write a list of questions.

2. Identify problems before you write about solutions. A doctor wouldn’t give you a random list of drugs and say “Which one do you fancy?” You’d say “Well, can we discuss it first? Then I’ll decide.” Your reader wants to know that you understand their problem, and have some options for fixing it.

3. Spell out technical and professional language for readers who don’t have your qualifications. Something you understand and do every day may be several clicks and a trip to the dictionary for your reader.

4. Avoid the bloomin’ obvious. For example: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do.” Tip: if the opposite sounds ridiculous, for example: “We don’t give a monkey’s about our customers” – you probably don’t need to say it.

5. Put a clear call to action on every page. Make it an action that’s easy to do – ‘call us’, ‘e-mail us’, ‘visit our shop’. If you are sending them to another page, make it clear, in the link, what they can expect when they click the link. Asking your readers to download and read a 250-page PDF is not a call to action.

“Phone me on 07773 365603 or email ali@fit-to-print.co.uk to find out more about writing clear, friendly web content” – now that is a call to action. Try it for yourself.

  • If you want to take part in our Take Five feature and share your expertise contact Nick Turner on nturner@cngroup.co.uk  

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