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Web Writing Workshop: How Better Content Always Improves Your Site Leslie OFlahavan, E-WRITE @LeslieO Association Media & Publishing July 17, 2012
Really, this workshop isnt for ME. A friend of mine has a problem with web writing… © E-WRITE 20123
Todays web writing topics The seven traits of plain language web content Why the bite, snack, and meal approach to web writing is practical and reader-friendly How to write micro content such as headlines and hyperlinks © E-WRITE 20124
7 traits of plain language web content 1.Doable 2.Scannable 3.Readable 4.Findable 5.Clickable 6.Personal 7.Deep © E-WRITE 20125
1. Doable = Task-oriented Helping people do things online (complete tasks) is web contents highest calling Some web writing helps people know Some web writing helps people do Best practice: focus on top tasks © E-WRITE 20126
Does this content help the reader complete a task? © E-WRITE 20127
Task-oriented web content © E-WRITE 20128
2. Scannable = I didnt HAVE to read it all Use vertical lists – numbers and bullets – purposefully Use white space to show how ideas are grouped Use headings. Choose message rather than topic headings whenever possible –Message heading = clause –Topic heading = phrase © E-WRITE 20129
Not scannable - wall o words © E-WRITE 201210
Not scannable – weak headings © E-WRITE 201211
Scannable …ahhhh © E-WRITE 201212
3. Readable = easily read online © E-WRITE 201213 Is a PDF or a PPT web content? Ill have to think about it…
©E-WRITE, 2011 -- Session 314 Write for communication, not dissemination When your web writing communicates, users … Can find your content online Can read and understand your content while looking at the monitor Will value your content
©E-WRITE, 2011 -- Session 315 Is this an example of communication or dissemination?
©E-WRITE, 2011 -- Session 316 Communication or dissemination?
Tried-and-true strategy for writing readable content: Write a bite, a snack, and a meal © E-WRITE 201217
Write a bite, a snack, and a meal How content-hungry is the reader? How much content does the web writer provide? Bite Snack Meal © E-WRITE 201218
Sample bites, snacks, and meals © E-WRITE 201219
Sample bites, snacks, and meals © E-WRITE 201220
Sample bites, snacks, and meals © E-WRITE 201221
Practice writing a bite and a snack © E-WRITE 201222
4. Findable – by search engines and humans Browser window title tag H1 heading Bolded sub- headings Hypertext links Keyword-rich content © E-WRITE 201223
5. Clickable = well-written hypertext links 1.Make sure What you click is what you get 2.Choose meaningful words for links; choose verbs if possible and tie them to concrete nouns 3.Make links as specific as possible 4.Avoid click here © E-WRITE 201224
Write meaningful hypertext links Q. How do you decide what and how much to link? A. Each embedded hypertext link should support the message of the page © E-WRITE 201225
Make sure what you click is what you get © E-WRITE 201226
Price your savings bonds Tools © E-WRITE 201227
Revise these click-here links Click here to join as a Gold Corporate Member Click Here to Read about our Executive Exam Waiver for Managers Click here to fill out our contact form © E-WRITE 201228
6. Personal = content as conversation (G. Redish, Letting Go of the Words) © E-WRITE 201229
This content is not a conversation SLO Public Health Laboratory Services – Animal Testing Rabies Testing If you observe a wild or domestic animal exhibiting unusual behavior or you are involved in an animal bite or exposure event, contact: San Luis Obispo County Animal Services 781-4400. Do not attempt to handle the animal. Insect Identification The SLO Public Health Laboratory can identify a number of insects or arthropods for county resident customers on a fee-for-service basis. Bring the insect in a plastic container or zip-top bag to the Public Health Laboratory service window at the Public Health building at 2191 Johnson Avenue, San Luis Obispo. Payment may be made by Visa or Mastercard. Tick Testing The SLO Public Health Laboratory will accept ticks collected by county residents for identification as agents of Lyme Disease and testing for the agent of Lyme Disease, Borrelia burgdorferi by direct fluorescent assay at the Santa Clara Public Health Laboratory. The testing is also performed on a fee-for-service basis paid by check. © E-WRITE 201230
7. Deep = More, more, more content © E-WRITE 201231
Know whether you are writing a lobby or a room © E-WRITE 201232
But how do I get my colleagues to care about good web content? Either they cant write it or they dont want to … © E-WRITE 201233
Questions? Comments? Contact info: Leslie OFlahavan, E-WRITE Leslie@ewriteonline.com 301-989-9583 www.ewriteonline.com @LeslieO www.linkedin.com/in/leslieoflahavan © E-WRITE 201234
Resources PPT for todays session Go to ewriteonline.com > Calendar > July 17 Download Guide to Writing for Social Media Go to ewriteonline.com > Whitepapers © E-WRITE 201235
Plain Language Writing Workshop: Strategies for Cleaning the Clutter From Your Writing Leslie OFlahavan, STC Washington, DC and Metro.
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