I recently read Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, by Ginny Redish. It’s a good book full of great ideas on how to improve your web writing.
Here are a couple of ideas that really stood out to me:
1. Give people only what they need. (pg 126-127). Write from your site visitorâ€™s perspective. â€œDo they really care about the entire history of your project? Probably not.â€ â€œDo they want to hear how much you welcome them before you show them what you have to offer at what price? Probably not.â€
Really good point, and most library websites are guilty of that! If it isnâ€™t important to your customers, cut the extraneous content, put it at the bottom of the page, or include it as a link to a separate page with all the gory details.
2. Focus on the essential message. A similar ideaÂ (on page 132) talks about how to cut down to essential messages. Redish includes 6 points. Point #3 is awesome – â€œfocus on your site visitors and what they want to know.â€ â€œCut out words that talk about you or your organization – unless your site visitors want or need that information.â€
Great, simple pointers on how to improve that web writing … yet so hard to do. Read the book for more tips and pointers on writing for the web.