[Beginner – 105] How to Switch from Writing Content for Print to Writing Content for the Web

Writing for the web versus writing for print has a completely different style than usual. You will focus on finding keywords for SEO purposes and consider adaptations for social media, user behavior, and other characteristics of the web. Here are some of the ways that writing website content will differ from print marketing.

Understanding How to Write Website Content

As you create the right content for your target audience, it is vital to understand what they are looking for. Effective keyword research can show you what they are searching for, making it easier to create landing pages that pertain to the customers. One of the most important things to remember is the new standards by Google. They do not want companies flooding content with keywords, instead, they want high-quality content geared toward the reader. When you are focused on offering content that benefits the reader in some way, the keywords will flow naturally in the content.

Using Killer Headlines

Ever wondered why newspapers and magazines sell millions of copies in a day? The secret lies in the headlines. News editors know how to capture people’s interest by having headlines that scream. For SEO purposes, the headlines need to include a keyword or a long-tail keyword that will improve your rankings.

The Opening Paragraph

If you look at most online posts, you will notice that they have one thing in common. They have short and compelling opening paragraphs. The opening paragraph should be around three sentences, and should provide the reader with a clear view of what the content is about. You could open by asking a question that intrigues readers. Another way to grab the attention of your online readers is by providing accurate statistics that draw a person into the website.

Length Requirements When Writing Website Content

The actual content of the post should provide the reader with accurate information that answers a question they have. The content must provide quality information, not a regurgitation of other content on the Internet. Writing for a newspaper or print copy is completely different from online content as most companies will be able to add storytelling to their narrative. Some website owners` follow this same methodology, but others will avoid narratives as is slows down their ability to get right to the point. One of the important things to remember with web content is to be brief. A website visitor will spend less than 3 seconds on a website before moving on if they do not find the information they want within the first paragraph. If you want to tell stories, save it for a personal blog. Your target audience doesn’t want to sift through pages of content until they find the content they want.

The Right Tone for Your Web Audience

When you are writing for your target audience, it helps to use the right tone. Skip the technical jargon, especially if it makes your reader pull up a thesaurus to understand what they are reading. Create content that is tailored specifically to the reader, and focus more on explaining something to a reader if you aren’t sure. This way they have the option to skip over a section if they already know this information, and are ready for additional tips.

Social Media

One of the goals you need to have with content is to find a way to get the readers to go deeper. You need to encourage them to sign up for your email newsletters or and to follow you on social media. Social media is one of the driving forces of effective online marketing. Social media provides you with the ability to market to your target audience for free. The main thing to remember with social media is that engagement is everything. You must engage with your audience if you are going to gain any clicks back to your website.

Linking Out

When you are writing for the web, you need to be on the lookout for places where you can acquire links to and from your website. Linking out from your website is essential to gain respect from the search engines. They want to see companies that interact with other and have built strong websites together. When your company becomes associated with other websites of authority, it will help to boost your online credibility. When you are trying to understand how to write web content, it is important to find websites that will benefit your readers. Do not link to random sites, instead find websites that are useful to the content you create.

Should You Add Images to Online Content

To break up the content on your website, add images. This is important if you are adding a lot of test to a particular blog post or article. The great aspect of images is that they can deliver the message quickly, and often effectively compared to multiple pages of content. Always include an image description and an ALT tag for SEO purposes. This information is indexed by the search engines and can increase the ranking of your website if you use it correctly.

Utilize SEO

This is a hard thing for a lot of writers to understand. When you write a print marketing message, you normally have a headline and some selling points. If you are putting content on the web, you must pay attention to SEO. Effective SEO will help your content to become ranked, and remain relevant to your target audience. Since writing website content should flow naturally, focus on the SEO after you finish the content. Go back over the content to check for some important elements including the following:

  • Page Title
  • Meta Description
  • H1 Headline
  • Relevant Title Tag
  • URL
  • Image Alt Tag

Since it is challenging to understand the relevant SEO best practices, consider taking a course in SEO, or outsourced to an agency for additional help.


If you truly want to improve your content, start focusing on engaging your audience. The best way to do this is to understand your audience, and offering recommendations that they will understand and appreciate. Understanding your target audience will help you start writing website content versus content for print marketing needs.

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