Writing Content for the Web

There are few better ways to promote your business than by writing good, helpful articles and sharing them on your business's website.

When building your website, remember: Good content attracts good traffic. On an average day, 68 percent of all American adults are on the Internet, according to the PEW Internet and American Life Project. While online, the most popular activities include getting news and finding information via search engines. This means that if you've got good content on your site that can be found by search engines, you'll have a natural advantage over competitors.

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A recent Google query on "writing for the web" returned nearly a half million results. Some readers will find the information they're looking for in the first three pages of the search results. Others will give up after browsing the first page of entries and narrow their search for "Internet writing"--where they can browse another 200,000 results.

Be ready to capture a reader's attention when they do access your site.

Good Content. Good Internet articles attract and engage readers. They do this by recognizing that Internet users aren't readers when they arrive on a web page. Instead of reading web page content immediately, site visitors typically conduct a "quick scan" of web page content to determine whether it's a "good hit." If it is, they'll continue reading. If not, they'll return to the search engine and look at the next result in their query.

Even in cases when individuals find page content interesting, it's estimated that 80 percent of site visitors will still only scan the content on a given web page for "highlights" and move on. As little as 15 percent of site visitors actually read the entire contents of a page.

Multilevel writing is the practice of writing for "browsers" and "readers" simultaneously with the goal of providing a good experience for each audience. This way of writing is important because: 1) individuals are less likely to read content that cannot be easily scanned; and 2) content written in a multilevel writing style is easier to read on screen than traditional text.

The guidelines for multilevel writing are easy for anyone to follow:
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  Article submission sites include:
  • ArticleCity.com
  • article-dir.com
  • article-directory.net
  • article-emporium.com
  • articlepoint.com
  • articleshaven.com
  • FreeZineSite.com
  • goArticles.com
  • isnare.com
  • netterweb.com
  • uniterra.com
You can use many of these sites for free. Those that require you to pay also offer the convenience of submitting an article to multiple web sites at the same time.

In most instances, online writing should have a "conversational" tone. The best online writers, like the best journalists, use an open, natural and uncontrived writing style. They avoid techno-speak, buzzwords, and jargon--unless their content is intended only for individuals who understand the jargon.

Experienced online writers share experience, opinion, dissenting argument, perspective, and their sense of humor whenever it's appropriate.

Good Traffic. It's important to publish your articles elsewhere whenever possible. After adding an article on your web site, it's a good idea to manually submit each new article to search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. It's an even better idea to syndicate your articles and make them available on other Internet sites providing content.

Writing articles and submitting them to other web sites is a great way to build web site traffic. It will also boost your credibility, bolster your brand, and provide opportunities for you to educate customers. Your website will become a great place to go for information--and products too.

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