When writing for the web, the quality of your content as well as the content’s accessibility, readability, and simplicity are really important. No matter how common sense it sounds, writing for the web is not at all the same as writing for print. This is the case for many reasons; mainly because reading on a computer screen is a different experience from reading a newspaper or book. To make matters worse, the longer the text the harder it gets. This is why an abundance of white space, shorter paragraphs, and concise thought formulations are your best friend.
A helpful way to cheat your reader’s eye is to use fonts that are web safe. A font’s web appropriateness depends on its online readability and availability across different computers and operative systems. Fonts to use for web content are sans serif fonts (meaning those without the fine cross-line at the top and bottom of each letter) such as Verdana, Ariel, and Georgia.
Another quirk of online reading is that people actually rarely read web content – they scan it. Things that generally catch an online reader’s attention are links, numbers, headlines, and keywords. Reading behavior of online content readers is not linear – it is impatient and erratic. To avoid the fast-paced nature of online content keep things brief and direct.
Knowing your audience is another writing tip that will help keep readers on your page. Since a predominant reason people turn to the web is to find information, giving them what they want is a safe bet. However, don’t forget that your writing style will also depend on the purpose of your content. Technical writing is going to be significantly different from blogging, social networking, or email communication.
In addition to making long blocks of text less boring, using images makes your web content significantly more visually appealing.