In my previous post, I talked about some general principles for writing for the web. Here, I’m going to take a quick look at the most important bit of content on any web page: the links. A maxim I always keep in mind when writing web or intranet content is that users arrive running.
As a content writer, the job is very rarely about entertaining or impressing. Instead, it’s to enable users to complete their task as quickly as possible. Very few if any people will come to a company website or intranet to browse idly. Instead, they have a task in mind and want to get it done fast. That means making it screamingly obvious where users need to go on your site whether that’s to get an answer to their query, place an order, download the instruction manual or whatever their reason is for coming to your site.
Text used as a link will stand out it will usually be coloured and underlined. Scanners will fix on this text. But that’s no good if you use non-specific links such as “click here or more. Users don’t click on these kinds of links nearly as often as you would want. Instead, make links meaningful. That way, users who scan links will know right away what a particular link will take them to so they can decide whether to click. They won’t have to read what comes before.
Here are just a few examples of good links:
- Match analysis
- Yesterday’s football in pictures
- Check the status of my order
- Four questions you must ask before starting any creative project
And now here’s one of my own: