Writing for my readers

Your web writing must be adapted to reading on a screen (desktop or smartphone): Internet users read a text 25% slower on a screen than on paper. On average, only 28% of the content of the page is read.

I determine my target

Age, sex, web habits, language, etc. Adapt your communication to the behaviour of your visitors: tone used, infinitive or formal, use of capitals or not, etc.
You can compile these rules in an editorial charter, that must apply to all your pages. This document is all the more crucial if several people draft the content. It will then serve as a reference to keep a homogeneous style.

I am clear and correct

  • Write short sentences (subject, verb, complement) and don’t hesitate to cut long sentences in two,
  • Gathered into small thematic paragraphs (one idea per paragraph, 6 to 10 lines),
  • Use simple, accessible vocabulary, and avoid jargon, acronyms, etc.,
  • Write in the present tense,
  • Prefer an active and affirmative turn of phrase whenever possible,

For example: “Benefit from a set of...” instead of “We offer you to benefit from a set of...”

I structure my content as much as possible

Reading on a screen is not linear. It is therefore important to:

  • Order the information: Always place the main information at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph.
  • Highlight the main information: Feel free to put some key words in bold (within reason, as too much bold text may disrupt the reading).

I talk about myself (but not too much)

  • Avoid always having your company or yourself as the subject.

Constant self-promotion may annoy the reader. The Internet user is on your website with your logo and/or brand visible continuously, so there is no need to constantly repeat your brand’s name. Put the customer forward, use examples that are meaningful to them and all about them.

  • Highlight the elements of the relationship as much as possible .
    • Avoid talking about yourself or your company in the 3rd person.  Instead, use “we”, which is closer and more committed.
      For example:
      Avoid: “Brand XX provides you with a wide range of products to cover all your needs…”, rather use: “Discover all our sun products for your daily life, holidays, travels.”
    • Highlight the contact methods, personalised meetings, personal advice, etc.

I proofread my text and have it proofread

Do not neglect the proofreading/acceptance: it is a crucial phase in producing high-quality content. The proofreading must be manifold in order to be effective. Ideally, read through your text yourself 3 times.

  • 1st reading: focus on the general logic, the succession of ideas, the structure of the content.
  • 2nd reading: focus on the content itself. Check the validity of the information delivered, while making sure you haven’t forgotten anything and there is nothing superfluous.
  • 3rd reading: focus on the spelling and syntax. An accumulation of mistakes will make your content less credible, even though it is relevant.

Then, submit your content to one (or two) third party(ies) who will be able to examine the following in turn:

  • the content
  • the form