Web content creation guide
General web content creation tips
This section provides web-writing tips. Web audiences differ from print readers. Rather than “read,” they scan for the information to help them accomplish tasks and move on. We have only 5 to 20 seconds to grab readers’ attention.
- Keep content simple and the structure logical.
- Keep it short:
- headers: 4-8 words
- subheads: 1-5 words
- sentences: 1-20 words
- paragraphs: 1-7 sentences
- documents: 300-500 words
- Craft with purpose: state the clear purpose for each page and section.
- Think like a reader: anticipate and address our audience’s needs.
- Anticipate the next step: think about the reader’s journey and provide clear “calls to action” (CTAs) to help them progress—for example, request information, apply for admission, engage on social media, etc.
- Write active: use active voice and verbs as much as possible.
- Use we and you: engage with the reader.
- Omit needless words: the leaner, the better.
- Avoid jargon and obscure acronyms: write so that anyone can understand the message. We are writing for a general audience, not specialists.
- Write effective headers: create concise, informative page titles with purposeful headings and subheads. When you better understand search engine optimization, you can write more effective headers.
- Use “sentence case” in headers: write the header like a sentence. Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns, and don’t include a period.
- Front load content: place key information at the beginning to keep readers engaged and prompt them to action.
- Use short chunks of information, such as block quotes or significant numbers, to keep users on the page longer and better support our marketing objectives.
- Review your work: proofread and double check to ensure all facts are correct and links are working.