6 Web Writing Tips to Detox your Website

With the changing color of leaves comes the transition from summer sangria to soul-soothing lemon-ginger hot tea—detoxing, feel-good, revitalizing.

Maybe that’s just me attempting to reverse the many, many handfuls of Halloween candy consumed over the past few weeks, but when October rolls around every year, I often observe friends and peers striving for a healthy fall via programs like sober October, soup groups and better breakfast month.

As we think about cleaning up our act from the inside out, consider adapting this same detox method to your social change website. If you’re like many of our low-budget nonprofit clients reliant on waves of volunteers and interns, several different parties likely developed or tweaked your content over the years, and it may be dated or irrelevant.

Oftentimes we think a complete website overhaul is necessary but sometimes to clean your website up from the inside out, a content detox is all you need.

Consider a content detox if:

  • Content on your site is old or outdated
  • Links are dead
  • There exists content that doesn’t align with your current strategy
  • If content can me made more visually appealing or easy-to-understand

With these six tricks to detox the content on your site this fall, ensure that you capture your audience’s attention all winter long and deliver valuable content they’ll want to share.

The Chunkier, the Better

In web writing, that is!

A web page with one flat slab of copy can be broken up into smaller, shorter sections to aid scannability. Add some strong, eye-catching headlines and you have yourself a chunky, easy-to-read web page.

Use Visuals Strategically

Think beyond just your visual content (photos, videos, animations, etc.) and review the visual appeal of the page as a whole.

White space, content chunks and bullets also help aid scannability. Considering that users read maybe 28 percent of the words during an average website visit, you’ll want to make sure your audience identifies and digests your message…fast.

The Inverted Pyramid is Here to Stay

A trusty sidekick for years, the inverted pyramid instructs us to “frontload” (put the conclusion first) important information up top. Doing so aids scannability and can help capture readers’ attention. After that, your content can flow into other important details and general background information.

Hyperlinks Need Attention, Too

An easy way to detox your content is to simply make sure that hyperlinks are live and direct readers to the appropriate web page. Hyperlinks can establish third-party credibility for your thought by providing a validating source.

Keep words or phrases you hyperlink brief and meaningful but give enough context explain what the link has to offer.

Stay Active

Just like a healthy lifestyle, your website content should stay active by eliminating the passive voice. Active voice takes less mental decoding for your readers, makes your language more linear and straightforward, and clarifies your calls to action.

Use this blog post’s headline, for example:

Active voice presents is as: 6 Web Writing Tips to Detox your Website

Passive voice would present it as: 6 Web Writing Tips to Make Sure your Website is Detoxed

Make it Purposeful

Content that is valuable and informative to your readers will have a greater chance of connecting and converting your audience. Adhere to this checklist to avoid letting your content become nontent.

By employing these web writing tips, your website will get a shot of the lemon-ginger tea treatment and become clean, revitalized and welcoming.

How do you keep your website fresh and organized?

Jenna Cerruti

Account Director Jenna Cerruti leads Prichard's client work and manages Prichard's blog. Before Prichard, she spent several years working with for-profit, purpose-drive brands. When she is not developing strategic communications plans, brainstorming digital communications strategies or executing media relations for clients, she is on the hunt to find the best pizza in Portland, likely listening to her favorite diva, Beyonce, along the way.
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