Social Media Breakfast Madison provides scholarships to help our audience pursue social media education, whether it’s in the form of a course, workshop or conference. Our volunteer blogger, Grace Wilkie, received one of our scholarships a few months ago and used it to take a writing course at Madison College. Grace wrote about what she learned.
Writing for the Web
Whether you’re writing for a website, social media, or blog, understanding the nuances of digital communication can make a world of difference in your online success. There are more aspects to consider than if you were to write for print, including the effects of screen size, search engine rankings, and multimedia.
Where to start? How about the beginning. Most web users are surfers, who tend to skim websites before moving on, all in less than a minute. This means your content needs to draw readers in from the very start and keep them engaged throughout.
Web writing needs to have a focused purpose with easy-to-understand content. Using plain language and keeping your purpose at the top of your mind can provide a seamless experience for all audiences. You can also use positive language to connect with your audience. Don’t underestimate the power of YOU! It’s okay to speak directly to users and engage with them, so they feel like part of your community.
But all of that is only after readers have found your content online. Getting your work noticed is an important part of digital writing. Prioritize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help your content rank higher, and ultimately, be seen more often.
How can you improve your SEO? There are a variety of ways to get your work ranked higher in search engines: using relevant keywords, following accessibility guidelines, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, and utilizing image tags and links.
While you want your writing to be better optimized for search engines, don’t stray too far from your writing’s purpose. For example, content with images typically gets twice as many page views as those without images, and while images provide a great text break and build understanding, large images may also decrease SEO by increasing your webpage load time.
So, while you may want to copy your print writing directly onto your blog, review it first to see how you can make it a better fit for the rapidly changing online world.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of writing for the web? Or is there another topic you want to dive into? Learn more about SMBMad scholarships and apply today. Don’t forget to join SMBMad for events on the third Wednesday of each month.