2 Keys To Writing A Winning Web Site
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/23/2006 | Marketing
As a web writer, it's a "must" to write each web page with the entire architecture of your web site in mind. Think about navigation and web design as you write. Text, design, and format are interwoven on a web page. To the creator of a web site, these are separate pieces of the project. To the reader, it's one instant impression.
To boil it down to the bones, the 2 keys to creating a winning web site that will captivate your readers are:
- Good Informative Content
- Effortless Navigation
Pretty tall order, right? It is, and it's your job as a web writer to make it happen!
Web surfers are your customers. As a web site content writer, the best way to stay in business is to provide something of value to your customers. On the Internet, that "something" is appealing, well-designed information.
Let's examine for a moment an off-line writing example, the procedure manual. Most businesses have them in one form or another. If you compare the structure of a detailed manual to web writing, you'll discover a few things that are keys to success.
Manuals often grow to be hundreds of pages, and are updated all the time. Cross-referencing from one page or section to another is frequent (just like hyperlinks!) Changes made to one section often impact another section, which will keep you on your toes. If you write "see pg. 279 for more information," there better be more information on page 279!
It's even more so with a web site. Your pages, as they slowly but steadily grow, will become many. Certain pages will link to others, and they must always be easy for your readers to find.
Suppose you write a web site about baseball. Baseball players, rules of the game, equipment... everything baseball! Now it's time to create new pages about famous baseball stadiums. Your new page about Fenway Park is great... but don't forget to update your Index Page or Site Map with easy to follow links.
Next, within the structure of your existing web pages, add good, purposeful in-text links to these new pages. This will fulfill your readers in a big way (not to mention the search engines!)
Your web site is made up of text, links, and images. As a writer, you're very close to these separate "parts." But your readers will not see your pages as isolated features. They will not notice all your content first, and then go on to check out your site design and pictures.
They'll experience everything at once, instantly. All these features - refreshing content, appealing design, and well-planned linking - work together as one subtle ensemble in your readers' minds the moment they enter your site.
As you write your pages, keep navigation and your site's structure very much in your mind. Deliver an "easy-to-browse" web site chock full of great information, and you'll knock a home run every time.