Writing online content – 4 practical tips

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I’ve been writing for the web for many years, both for work and on my theatre blog, making some of the common mistakes along the way.

But I’ve learned from those mistakes, and I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve picked up.

This is practical advice rather than what to write and how to write because if your carefully crafted words aren’t easy to find and read, they won’t get read.

1. Keywords

For Google to find your content, it needs to contain the search terms your target audience would use when looking for information on that topic.

Don’t be too clever; use the common words and phrases, and if several different terms can be used, include them all.

For example, if you are writing about flexible office space, some people might search for articles on ‘flex space’, ‘ serviced offices’ or ‘co-working space’, so it’s a good idea to include all these terms.

Don’t stuff your content with keywords; rather, make sure you’ve covered the common bases.

And don’t forget to include keywords in your headline.

2. Mobile-friendly

Remember that people could be reading your blog post, article or web content on a phone or tablet, not just a laptop or desktop.

Current trends show that the proportion of web searches made on mobile devices has overtaken laptops and desktops.

So it’s important to check how your content looks and reads on all devices and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

3. Short paragraphs

Big blocks of text are difficult to read on a screen, particularly on phones and tablets, so keep paragraphs and sentences short.

Try to keep paragraphs to one longish sentence or two shorter sentences.

People also tend to skim-read online, and short paragraphs are easier to scan and pick out relevant information, which can keep them scrolling through your article.

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4. Break up the text

As well as short sentences and paragraphs, break up the text using subheadings, images, videos, graphics, lists and pull quotes.

Not only does this make your content easier to read it also gives more scope to grab a reader’s attention if they are scanning the pages.

However, do make sure all the elements are relevant and serve what you are saying in your article.

In the meantime, you might also like to read:

3 things I’ve learned about analytics

Health advice from 1890 that is still pertinent today

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