Writing for the Web

Be Clear and Direct

Be as direct as possible. When providing links, be clear about what visitors will find when clicking. A short blurb to describe a linked resource instead of a click here or a url.

Provide Easy-to-Scan Content

To provide easily scannable content and keep their attention, use the following techniques:

  • Break your information into "chunks" that can be easily accessed and comprehended
  • Use heads and subheads to partition your content
  • Use bulleted lists whenever possible

Prioritize Your Content

Key facts and important details should be at the beginning of your webpage. Few visitors are interested in mission statements, formal strategic plans, and lengthy biographies. However, such content can be necessary to share and it's suggested to not priortize it. Users who are interested will find it and those who aren’t won’t be turned off by having to dig through it to find what they really want.

Avoid Acronyms and Initialisms

Try to stay away from acronyms and initialisms; your reader isn’t necessarily familiar with shorthand that you use.

Avoid Jargon

Technical jargon is a turn-off unless appropriate to your audience.

Keep It Short: Guidelines

  • Headings: 4–8 words
  • Subheads: 1–5 words
  • Sentences: 1–20 words
  • Paragraphs: 1–7 sentences

Additional Resources