General best practices for web content
Keep it simple. Be obvious.
Writing for the web is not the same as writing for print. On the web people are task-focused.
Limit the content. Refine the words.
Use precise words and sentences on a page and get to the point. People get bored quickly and quality will outweigh quantity.
When creating content on a page always think of the following:
- What is worth doing?
- What are we creating?
- What value does it provide?
- What do we want people to do?
The content should serve a purpose, be accessible on all platforms, findable, useful, credible and valuable.
Put the most important information right at the top of every page (inverted pyramid)
- Prioritize content for mobile viewing
- Limit the number of images on a page
- Use horizontal images
- Break your content up into chunks to help users process your point
- Minimum 300-400 words (so search engines scan the content)
- Use short paragraphs – four sentences max
- Use short sentences – twelve on average
- Skip unnecessary words and convoluted words
- Even highly educated people read simpler words faster
- Avoid jargon
- Avoid the passive tense
- Avoid needless repetition
- Address your web visitors directly—use the word you
- Shorten your text
- Need to support a concept? Link to more description — not everyone needs to have a definition on the same page as the primary content.
- Use action words for your links do not use “click here” provide context to what the goal is for the end user so for example “subscribe to our newsletter”
- Make your links part of the text and make sure the text indicates what people are linking to
- List are easier to scan than paragraphs (keep them short)
- Keep your content up to date and trustworthy