The Web Writing and Content Checklist

The Web Writing and Content Checklist
November 24, 2015 Joe Vernon

With nearly one billion websites live and over two trillion users performing 11.94 billion searches on Google every month, it is important that your website be found. Content is being generated daily by marketers in efforts to increase awareness and generate leads. But not all new content generates new users.

Is it because marketers have been told that frequently updated websites are favored by Google? Have they, as a result, focused on quantity not quality. Or is it because they are not skilled in writing for the web?

How to Write for the Web

You won’t become a web writing expert after reading this post. But you will walk away with a foundation to build from. When writing for the web, be sure to be speak to your users, not to bots (web crawlers from Google or Bing).

Users want to be able to quickly scan content and find out the takeaways before they commit to reading. The main points to remember when writing for the web are:

  •       Use words that your users use (both in searches and speech).
  •       Use a tone that relates to the topic or keyword. Show sympathy, be direct, and be happy, but only when appropriate.
  •       Group content in short paragraphs and short sentences.
  •       Use headlines to highlight new sections of the content.
  •       Put important content up front, using an inverted pyramid structure.
  •       Use pronouns and an active voice.
  •       Use bullet lists or numbered lists.
  •       Use images, diagrams, or multimedia element.
  •       Use white space to break up information.

How to Write Content that is Discoverable

Following best practices will increase the opportunity for your content to be found on search engines, but will not guarantee it. It will help users to  read the content as well, both in snippets seen in search results and on the page.

To be sure that your content is written to be discovered, include:

  •       Keywords in your title tag.
  •       Keywords in your meta description (this is not a ranking factor but can increase your click-through rate).
  •       Keywords in your H1 header.
  •      H2 level tags.
  •       Alt tags for your images.
  •       nternal site links from other pages on the website

The Web Writing and Content Checklist

After writing your post, review it using this checklist. Attempt to check off everything on the list to ensure that your content is ready for the web and its users.

  •       Is your content discoverable?
    • Does it have a keyword in an H1 tag?
    • Does it make use of H2 tags and other headers?
    • Does it have a meta description, title tag, open graph, and schema markup?
    • Does it have new links from other internal pages
    • Do images have alt tags?
  •       Is your content readable?
    • Is your content focused on users?
    • Does it use industry lingo or business terms?
    • Is your writing structured as an inverted pyramid?
    • Is your content clear, consistent, and concise?
    • Have you usedshort sentences and paragraphs?
    • Does your content have  a consistent tone and voice?
    • Does it include images or white space to break up content?
  •       Is your content easy to understand?
    • Is your content (video, blog, image, etc.) appropriate to the topic being discussed?
    • Is it right for the user?
    • Does it speaks to the user’s needs?
    • Does it speaks to the user’s emotions?
    • Does it speaks to the user’s goals?
    • Does it speaks to the target audience at their reading level?
    • Is it right for your business?
    • Does it help you reach business goals?
    • Does it help you maintain an audience?
    • Is it written in a way that is simple and does not require much effort to maintain?
  •       Is your content actionable?
    • Does it help users to achieve something?
    • Does it help users to understand your business/product/service?
    • Does it include a call-to-action?
    • Does it have a place for comments?
    • Does it invite users to share?
    • Does it include links to related content?