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You have it all now: the domain, the design, the navigation, and the empty pages.
The next step is now to fill your website with life!

A good website is all about content.

We often think the design is more important, but at the end our site visitors are looking for information and if they don’t find the information they are looking for they will quit your website and never come back.

1. Write like a conversation

You already have a list of your customer’s questions. Take this list and try to answer every question as clearly and briefly as possible.
Write down your answers as a conversation with the customer’s questions.

2. Keep it short

Write short sentences with less than 15 words. A paragraph should not contain more than 3 sentences.

3. Keep it simple

Write clear and simple. Avoid technical language and complicated, tangled sentences.

4. Write actively and personally

Write in the active voice and use “you” to talk to your site visitors. Use “I” or “we” to talk about you or your organisation.

5. Focus on the essential message

Write only facts and information. Avoid marketing fluff. Start with the key message and put the important information at the top of the page.

6. Cut the rest

Cut the sentences that do not contain useful information. For example the famous “Welcome to my website” phrase. Cut adjectives and other unnecessary words.

7. Make it scannable

Use headlines, short paragraphs, bold character and lists to make information easy to grab.

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How to make your content scannable

Users don’t read much when they are looking for information. They scan the pages and try to find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible. They will not pay attention to anything other than links, images and short descriptions that could be relevant to what they are looking for.

Even when they have found the topic they are interested in they may only read as much as they need to satisfy their goals.

Do’s

  • Start with the key message.
  • Put high-priority information in the upper left of the content area.
  • Use a heading for each topic.
  • Emphasise headings with type size or bold style.
  • Write in very short paragraphs.
  • Use bulleted lists.
  • Use numbered lists for instructions.
  • Use tables to compare numbers.
  • Use shading on alternate rows for tables.
  • Point out important information in bold characters.
  • Point out links and make it obvious what’s clickable.
  • Put a date on every page to show when the content was last updated.

Don’ts

  • Don’t centre text.
  • Avoid horizontal scrolling at 1024×768
  • Make sure the important content is visible above the fold.

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