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Do the Web Write


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119 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


The hardest part of having a successful website isn't building or coding it. The hardest part is knowing what to say, where to say it, and how to write it. Written in easy-to-understand language, Do the Web Write will show you how to write persuasively for the web, how to market your website effectively, and ultimately, how to succeed online.
Let’s Start at the Beginning xv
What Do I Mean by “Now What?” xvi
Okay, Who Am I, and Why Should You Listen to Me? xvii
What This Book Is xviii
What This Book Isn’t xxi
About the Pictures xxii
A Note to Web Designers xxii
A Few Disclaimers xxiii
Say It Again, Dan … xxiv
1 Understanding Website Conversion and Targeted Traffic 1
Website Conversion Basics 1
Hits versus visits 2
What is an “action”? 2
Establishing your conversion rate 3
So what is an acceptable website conversion rate? 3
How to Use Conversion Rates 4
Let me tell you a quick website conversion story 5
Website Conversion Rates are a True Indicator of Success 6
vi Do the web write
Targeted Traffic 7
What is targeted traffic, and why is it important? 7
How do you get targeted traffic? 7
Wrapping up targeted traffic 12
2 The Fundamentals of a Successful Website Today and Tomorrow 13
The Early Days 14
How the Web is Currently Used 15
Okay Dan, So How Exactly Do You Let Visitors Know They Should Use You? 15
Laying the Foundation of a Successful Website 16
A Successful Website Answers Six Basic Questions 16
Who you are 17
What you do 17
Why someone should do business with you 18
What locations you service 18
How someone goes about using you 18
When? 18
A Successful Website is Simple to Use, and Does Not Frustrate Users 19
A Successful Website is Easy to Read 22
Font size and style 22
Formatting 22
The writing itself 23
The “Furman 21” Website Questionnaire 25
To whom should you give the questionnaire? 25
So what do the answers mean? 26
3 Page Order and Information to Include 31
A Word on Navigation 32
What Type of Website Will You Have? 32
Service websites 33
Product websites 33
“Informational” company websites 34
Information (Pages) Needed for the Three Types of Websites, and the Page Order 34
Contents vii
Page order and page information for a service website 35
Wrapping up the service site 41
Page order and page information for a sales website 43
Wrapping up the sales website 48
Page order and page information for an informational website 48
4 Dan’s 11 Rules of Effective Website Writing 50
Rule 1: Web Copy Must be Scan-able 51
Headlines 52
Subheadings 56
Bullet points 61
Rule 2: Use Short Paragraphs 62
Rule 3: Don’t Dwell (Keep Your Pages Short) 69
Formatting 69
Content style 71
Rule 4: Throw Out the English Rule Book 74
The way we are taught to write is wrong (for business) 75
How many rules does your reader know? 75
Write like you talk 76
Okay, so what rules of English do you need to know? 76
Commonly misspelled words and misused phrases 77
In closing 77
Rule 5: Do Not Preach to the Choir 78
Targeted traffic revisited 79
What’s your problem? 79
What are they expecting from you? 80
Rule 6: Keep Your Audience in Mind, but Don’t Alienate Anyone, Either 81
Write so your audience understands you 81
Don’t alienate anyone 82
Dancing between the two 82
Lose the corporate jargon, again 85
Rule 7: Write with Confidence 85
Confident words and phrases 86
viii Do the web write
Rule 8: Use the Word “You” a Lot 89
How often to use the word “you” 90
One more “you” myth dispelled 91
Rule 9: Bolds, Italics, Underlines, Parentheses, Dashes, and Other Formatting Tricks 91
Bolds and italics 92
Different color fonts 93
Highlighting 93
Underlining 93
Dashes 94
Ellipses … 95
Overdoing punctuation 95
(Parentheses) 95
Why asides are important 96
In closing 96
Rule 10: Lots of Escape Hatches (Calls to Action) 96
Rule 11: Be an Oreo® 98
What do I mean by “be an Oreo®?” 98
Intermission 101
Short Recap 102
Moving Forward 103
5 Writing for Your Home Page 104
The Three Main Things the Writing on Your Home Page Needs to Address 105
Tips on Layout 105
Keywords and Keyphrases 111
Wrapping Up the Home Page 112
6 Writing for your About Us/Why Use Us Page and your Products/Services Pages 113
Your About Us/Why Use Us Page 113
Straight about us page 114
Using a why page also 115
Products/Services Pages 116
Contents ix
Services page(s) 117
Products pages 119
7 FAQ You 120
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) 120
8 SEO and “Traffic”-type Writing (Blogs, Articles, Press Releases, Pay-per-click Ads) 126
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 126
SEO Explained 126
The keyword myth 126
Beware of SEO companies 127
SEO Writing 129
Press releases 129
Articles 135
Blogs 138
Some final thoughts on SEO 140
Pay-per-click (PPC) Ads 141
A very quick primer 141
Writing PPC ads 141
9 Alternate Landing Pages and Microsites 143
The Concept Behind Alternate Landing Pages and Microsites 143
Alternate Landing Pages 144
Alternate Landing Pages and PPC Ads 145
Microsites 145
Other advantages of using microsites 147
Domain names and hosting for microsites 147
10 Dan’s Bonus Chapter (Even More for Your Money) 150
Why All of This Website Conversion Stuff Matters 150
Do Not Put Up Roadblocks 151
Stop Hiding Your Phone Number 151
Stop Scolding Me About Copyright When I Right Click 151
If You Aren’t in a Band, Don’t Play Music 151
x Do the web write
Keep Dates Updated 151
Answer Your Email / Quote Form 151
Turn Off Your Spamblockers 152
Make Sure I Can Do Business with You From Anywhere 152
Re-Read Chapter 4, Rule 7 152
Join and Participate in Online Forums for Your Industry 152
Write and Post Articles 152
Look At (and Learn From) Your Competition 153
Be an Oreo (Again) 153
Give Something Away 153
Internet Success Comes in Small Increments 153
Keep the Focus on Your Website Visitor 153
Check Under the Hood Often 153
Understand the Changing World 154



Published by
Published 15 January 2013
Reads 1
EAN13 9781770409224
Language English

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