Writing for the web

A recent Nielson survey showed that the actual number of people who read every article word for word is 16 per cent.  Pushed further, it appears that most people ‘skip’ words, mainly ‘scan’ and only a few read everything. The rest read the headline and move on.

For web content writers, these figures ought to be an eye-opener, pointing to potentially new ways of writing copy.

We conducted a mini survey of readers of the sites that we write for, and some of their feedback included:

  1. We want quick answers.
  2. We don't want to be on a page too long.
  3. Bad design puts me off.
  4. Badly written copy or complicated language puts me off.
  5. We don't like lots of links, image only pages and pages without useful information.

What is our advice? Write for the scanners.