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Oxy Web Tips

Welcome Back, Oxy Web Editors!

A new semester is always a great opportunity to refresh the content on your website. To kick off 2017 we bring you some handy tips for writing great web copy.

Writing content for the web can be challenging, as it is unlike any other type of copy-writing for traditional print publications. Apps like Facebook and Twitter have strongly shaped the way consumers read online, and web content is often consumed on-the-go by users scrolling quickly on their phones. By streamlining your website to include only the most useful and relevant information you can actually increase engagement by giving your users easy access to the content they want most. Read below for some tips from our new web development partner, KWALL, on writing great web content.

Also, our web office hours resume this week for the spring semester! Come see us for help with any questions you have about updating your office or department website. Our schedule through May 2017 is as follows:

Tuesdays, 10am-noon
Thursday, 2-4pm

All office hours are held in the oMac Lab on the first floor of the library.

Writing for the Web: Best Practices

1. Break it Up

Break up your text for better readability
It's easy for readers to become overwhelmed with lengthy paragraphs. To ensure that your copy is user-friendly, break it up.

This may mean adding:
• bullet points
or simply condensing your text.

2. Keep It Simple

Web visitors are goal-oriented and do not want to be diverted with excessive copy. Keep your web content short and relevant. Use concise text, active verbs, and one idea per paragraph to avoid information overload.
Keep your text as concise as possible

3. Lead with the Most Important Messages

Put your most important information at the top of your page.
Web content should always be written with an inverted pyramid in mind. This means formatting your text as such: put the most important information in the first couple of sentences and then expand upon it.

4. Provide Calls to Action

Always tell your readers what to do next. Do you want them to contact you for more information? Register for a newsletter? Major in a specific field? Think of a primary goal for your page, and make it easy for users to take the next step.
Examples of calls to action

5. Retain Attention with Visuals

Avoid long blocks of text and instead use visual aids that might be more engaging for your visitors. Images and videos are effective ways of conveying or reinforcing information you are presenting online. Please see our resources online for more information on best practices for images and videos:
Use images to add visual interest to your page

6. Proofread Your Work

Don't rely on autocorrect!
Typos and grammatical mistakes will send readers away from your page. Read your content out loud to a colleague and never rely on automatic spell check to correct your errors.

Happy writing, everyone!

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