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How to write superb website content

We always take on information better when it’s communicated to us concisely and clearly- that includes anything from the latest news stories, to meetings with the boss. The same can be said with your website’s content.

New Zealand is a melting pot made up of readers from varying cultural and educational backgrounds. A recent online article by marketing magazine ‘StopPress’ brought to light that a number of New Zealand’s large scale publications are too difficult to digest by the average reader- both due to density of texts, as well as the language that is used.

StopPress’s article provides us with a large quantity of local examples in order to highlight how cryptic some governmental and news publications are to the everyday reader. Such publications receive less engagement due to the complexity of writing style and choice of words.

According to Nielson statistics, approximately only one quarter of New Zealanders have completed tertiary education, however, some mainstream writing is best understood only by graduates. With this fact in mind, plus the added knowledge that people want to read information they can understand, we should realise how important it is to have easy-to-understand content on our websites.

Your website’s content should always aim to be simple and concise, so it can be understood by the average person.

Tips on how to write superb website content:

1)      Clear facts: It is important to reduce the complexities of data in your web content, so that your reader isn’t scared away. You want to convert your technical descriptions and statistics into clear facts.

2)       Choice of words: Try to replace your business jargon with terms that someone outside of your industry would understand. Fancy terminology can make you sound like an expert; but if your target audience aren’t experts, then fancy isn’t necessarily the best way to go.

3)      Structure: A clear structure allows the reader to find out exactly what they want to know as soon as they arrive at your website. A good way to create structure is to separate information into paragraphs with no more than 6 lines to each. Placing a brief heading at paragraphs that focus on different aspects of your expertise is always a good direction to go with.

4)      One Narrative: Remember your website is an informative story that should encourage conversation. The dialogue you create should sound as though it is coming from one well informed individual. Get rid of conflicting narratives with a strong active voice.

5)      Bullet points: Bullet points are the perfect way to communicate your point clearly and concisely; they also invite the reader in because they give the promise that they won’t be sitting there reading all day.

For more on the readability debate click here.

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