A basic understanding of search engine optimisation (SEO) and copywriting is important for web designers. Although you can design a website without knowledge in these areas, it’s difficult to design a good site without knowing at least something about SEO and copywriting. Designers have to realize that their craft revolves around their ability to communicate a message – and that is dependent on the website’s copy and visibility. Without any content or traffic, a designer’s work doesn’t do any good.
Below are some SEO copywriting tips that web designers should keep in mind when creating an optimized website.
The difference between online and print writing
Take note that copywriting for online media is significantly different from writing for print media for several reasons. First, web users tend to be impatient and want fast access to information, as opposed to print media readers who tend to read for leisure. Web users also have a tendency not to read full articles, but prefer to read short chunks of content in a page in search of what they need.
The average person will only read between 5 and 10 percent of your website. This is because most readers who don’t find what they’re looking for within the first few pages will leave and move on to other sites. If you’re trying to sell something, make sure your important benefits are listed upfront and get to the point quickly.
Writing for search engines
Consideration must be given not only to the human audience of a website, but also to search robots that will periodically crawl the website. In order to be properly indexed in search engines, a web page needs a significant number of words on it. Additionally, the content of a webpage should contain relevant keywords that search users use on their queries.
The importance of hyperlinks
Since the web is non-linear, hyperlinks are important as visitors tend to jump frequently, both within pages and to other pages, reading what they need and then moving on, often very quickly. Good writing for the web should be clear, concise, relevant, consistent, and error-free. Since the web is interactive, your writing style should be conversational; not necessarily familiar or casual, but direct and friendly.
Text and image integration
Lastly, web pages should ideally have text and image complementation. The ratio of images to text should preferably be 50:50. Since web users tend to pass by websites rather quickly, it would help if their attention is grabbed by compelling images and text. The liberal use of white space also makes a web page look less cluttered and allows the reader to find information more easily.
While web designers are expected to focus only on the overall design of a website, it wouldn’t hurt for them to learn a few copywriting skills that may come in handy when creating optimized websites.