Friday, 22 May 2009

How to...Write Website Content (Part 4 - Quickstart Guide)

This is a quick guide that brings together everything mentioned in Parts 1 to 3.

Where To Start

  1. Make a cup of tea (or coffee).
  2. Make a list of all the pages on your website.
  3. Write the name of each page at the top of a new sheet or paper, or page if you're using a computer.
  4. Makes notes and lists on each page about what you want to include. Don't forget to include links and images you'd like to see too.

Define Your Audience

  1. Write a list of everyone that will visit your website. (See Part 3 if you get stuck for ideas)
  2. Make notes on what your audience will want from your website.
  3. Make notes on what you want your audience to do on your website.
  4. Review your Content Notes (from Where to Start).
    • Will they find what they need?
    • Is it where they'd expect it?
    • Have you left anyone out?
    • Are they drawn to where you want them to go?

Expand Your Content

  1. From all of the notes expand your bullet points into sentences.
  2. Review Part 3 - What to Write About if you are still stuck for the type of information to include.
  3. Add page titles, sub-headings and emphasis where needed.

Skim Read Your Content

Quickly skim read through your content, don’t take in too much detail! Do you get the main gist?

Review Your Content

Read through what you have written and answer the questions below.

  1. Have you started and ended each page with the most important points?
  2. Do page headings clearly tell you what the page is about?
  3. Do sub-headings give you the main point of paragraphs?
  4. Does key text stand out?
  5. Are sentences short?
  6. Do paragraphs stick to one main point?
  7. Are acronyms expanded?
  8. Is the text clear and easy to read?

Get Someone Else Involved

Now you have done all the hard work find someone else who can read the text. Get them to answer the following questions:

  1. If you skim read, do you get the main point of the page?
  2. What keywords stand out? (Are these the ones you want to stand out?)
  3. Is the text clear and easy to understand?
  4. Is the information you want available? Is it easy to find?

Hand it Over

Finally, you can now hand it over to your web design team! Please make sure it is typed up, proof read and spell checked to make life a little bit easier for us.Now, sit back and relax!

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