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Website Content Writing

1. Treat your web visitors like wild animals-

Your website visitors behave like wild animals (source: Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox). They’re hunting for information or a product to buy – just like a hungry panther hunts for his next meal. When a panther sniffs a scent trail he quickly decides: will the scent trail lead to a good meal? And will it be an easy catch? Your web visitors consider the same two things: Does your website offer what they’re looking for? And can they find it easily? A hungry panther doesn’t like wasting time to catch a meal. And your web visitors don’t want to browse around your website for several long minutes to find the product they’re after. They want to find it quickly.

2. Put your most important information first

Don’t write a web page like an old-fashion essay. Mention your most important information first. Writing for the web is completely different than writing an essay or a paper. An essay might go like this: First, explain what you’re going to discuss. Then, present an overview of the literature. Next, discuss; and finally draw your conclusion. The most important point you make is in the conclusion – at the end of your essay!

3. Don’t try to be clever or creative

On the web it’s rare that a reader hangs on to every word you write. He doesn’t have time. He’s in a hurry because he could check out several other scent trails – websites – instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you do.

4. Write for scanners

[What most web visitors do] is glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. – Steve Krug Your web visitor is hunting for information or products. Ensure he can understand your most important information by just glancing at your web page.

5. Use familiar words

Carewords are the words people are looking for. We often like to make ourselves sound better than we are. We try to embellish what we do. We try to sound scientific, fancy or special. But your web visitor is looking for familiar words – carewords – because they’re the scent trail that tells him he’s in the right place.