5 Keys to Writing for the Web

Content is King.  Without original, meaningful, and compelling copy and content, your website is likely to fail.  It is important that you be sure you put just as much time into developing your content as you did to developing your website.  You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a website, but if you only devote two hours to your content all your efforts will be worthless.

However, writing for the web is more challenging than writing for any type of print media because the web is a very different medium.  Web text should be built around keywords so that search engines can index the page properly and should also be written in an easy to understand manner.  Below are some things to keep in mind when writing content for the web.

The Emotional Connection
No, we are not talking about internet dating.  The emotional connection is something that bridges the gap between company and customer; and as more communication shifts to the web, this lesson becomes increasingly vital to many types of organizations, especially in the healthcare, non-profit, and medical industries.

To us, the emotional connection is a vital element to a website so that it resonates with its audience.  Just think about it; what makes a great website stand out from an OK website?

A website’s design and copy shape the user experience by being the first impression that the viewer has of your organization.  John touched upon this point a bit in his Visibility Index, a guideline for determining which content to include on the homepage.  Featuring a good balance of what’s important to the viewer and what’s important to the company allows for a clear, strong message to be conveyed upon the first impression.

That message is supported by the design, which should serve as an almost subliminal way to convey an organization’s culture and mission.  This lesson is especially true for organizations serving the public such as non-profit, healthcare, and even biotech.  Although the work behind the scenes of your organization may be complex and scientific, it is important to showcase a simple face in order to avoid confusing and deterring potential customers.

A strong example of this is a recent project of ours for Genzyme Genetics.  Genzyme is not a B to C company, but they wanted to connect with consumers to make them aware of their genetic testing options for pregnancy planning.  The solution came as an informational website, MyTestingOptions.com.  The genetic conditions and tests themselves are somewhat foreign to the everyday couple planning their pregnancy, but the website needed to convey a sensitive, caring, and easy-to-understand message to educate the audience.

A website is one of the most important faces of your organization.  It is just one area where the emotional connection between the customer and the organization can be reached; and as more communications shift to the web, this lesson will become increasingly valuable.  Do you agree? Are there other elements that bridge the gap between provider and customer?