Web writing is a new art form. For communicators, the new way of writing is driven by the fact that people do not “read” websites, they “scan” websites. And for that reason, keywords are not only important for web crawlers, but for human eyes as well.
We have a process at Amperage Marketing & Fundraising which involves keyword saturation metrics and other variables to write and test our copy. Yet, the one key measure you need to keep in mind is the size of your smartphone. That is the dominant location for searching websites.
Here are some good rules to follow for the new smartphone-dominant, scanner-oriented web world:
- Shorten everything—short paragraphs, short sentences, short words
- Use bullets and highlights to direct the eye
- Use subheads to help scanners find information
- Use graphics to show facts and information
- Avoid industry jargon (unless it is a keyword) no matter how you think it makes you sound—unfortunately the marketing industry is the absolute worst at this
- Use the word “you” throughout your website—unless you think many people will gather around your website and scan it together, one person is scanning your page, so write to that one person
It’s best to refer to your “readers” as “scanners.” It may help you change the target-marketing mindset as you write your web content.