People scan Web pages in search of the information that is important to them.
- Use the inverted pyramid style, starting with the most important information or conclusion first, then follow with more content.
- Use short paragraphs with the first paragraph being the most important. Try to use one idea per paragraph.
- Use half the words that you would use in standard writing.
- Don’t use your space or time for welcoming people. They are looking for valuable content and answers.
- Never use the words, "Under Construction" or "Coming Soon." The best practice is not to publish the page if the content is not available.
- Bulleted lists are preferred. You can link to longer pages that have more details if you use this technique.
- Use essential, meaningful sub-headings. Don’t try to be clever or play on words. Some readers, such as non-native speakers of English, may not understand the pun intended.
- Remember it is best not to underline content. Use sub-headings and bold or highlight keywords.
- Strategically name your Web pages.
Jakob Nielsen is the guru of Web usability. For more information on writing on the Web, please check out the multitude of material at the Nielsen Norman Group.