Modern "web 2.0" writing consists of writing copy for websites, blogs, social media sites, digital publications, press releases, and so forth. Online readers tend to act more impatiently because they expect to find what they are seeking within at least ten seconds of their search. The standard time users spend reading online content is around 15-20 seconds. For this reason, you need to appeal to the reader to visit your website within that timeframe. To accomplish this goal, you need to write informative content that greatly interests readers.
Here are my 5 favorite tips to improve your writing.
Tip 1: Always write clearly, and know what message you want to communicate in your copy. Online readers are quite eager to move from article to article. If you write content that readers struggle to understand, then you can bet that these readers will not return to your website a second time. Convey your thoughts, ideas and concepts clearly, and your readers can learn something valuable from you.
Tip 2: Always write concisely. This differs from writing clearly. Here, you want to be direct and to the point. Avoid writing flowery, pompous, descriptive prose. Online readers don't have time to read long-winded sentences that go nowhere. Concise writing is important to hold readers' attention. Writing concisely allows you to explain your topic clearly and with more impact.
Tip 3: Begin the first paragraph with the main point of your message. The first sentence of the paragraph should clue the reader into what you are about to discuss. Online readers like to "speed read" through content; if you put the main point first in every paragraph, then the reader is more likely to spend time reading the full content. Avoid writing the history or past facts about a topic until you have discussed the main point; then you can expand on the topic with supporting details. It is also good writing practice to vary sentence and paragraph length because it is easier on the eyes,
Tip 4: Write copy with a 2% or less keyword-density ratio. If you tend to shove in keywords and phrases in an attempt to rank higher in Google, you are doing an injustice to your readers. Do not clog informative articles with keywords because you will destroy the integrity of the information. Readers hate keyword-stuffing, and Google hates it even more. This isn't to say that you shouldn't use keywords; but be discreet and favor useful content over keyword-stuffing.
Tip 5: Retain the keyword distance and keyword density while writing your copy. Use only one keyword in one sentence or every 2-3 sentences. You can calculate keyword-density by dividing the sum of each keyword by the sum of words in the copy. Stuffing too many keywords in your content will have a negative effect on your website so use keywords and phrases sparingly.
Always remember these tips when writing content for online readers. You should aim to: 1) attract readers; 2) increase traffic; 3) convert readers into customers; and 4) increase online sales.