Hot topics: Writing for the web

Our ‘Hot topics’ give you tips to improve your website performance.

Professional writing is important in any sales or marketing material, but on the web the rules of communication are different because you are writing not just for customers but for good search engine optimisation (SEO). We would recommend having a professional experienced in logistics and in communications to do this for you but here are some tips to guide your in-house copy. 

  1. Use literal terms. People don't search for images, metaphors or puns, so avoid them, particularly in headlines.
  2. Have a list of all the synonyms for what you do that people may use as search terms. These should be scattered evenly throughout your text. Avoid lists – Google will think you are cheating rather than adding value.
  3. Make sure all those terms are included in your metatags and have a clear description of your page for Google to display.
  4. Keep your messages short enough not to go 'below the fold' – viewers don’t like having to scroll down to read.
  5. Spend some time thinking about how to organise your material. It should never be difficult to find your way to the information you want or back again.
  6. Use every opportunity in your text to provide links to other relevant pages whether on your site or outside it. This is a balancing act – you want to keep viewers on your site as much as possible but don’t limit their access to information to do so.
  7. Tie your text to other means of communication within your site, whether signing up for e-newsletters, RSS feeds, podcasts, videos or press releases. Always give a way of learning more and in different ways – some people respond better to what they hear or see than to what they read.
  8. For examples of good web copy see Roadtransport.com's landing pages
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