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Prep - Writing for the Web

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3. Prep

Photo by yewenyi

After your content is drafted:

  • Create main components of each webpage
  • Format your content following web best practices
  • Gather files and imagery

The main components

Anatomy of a webpage
Photo by philip.bitnar

Page title

(should tell visitors exactly what they'll find)

Tips for page titles

  • Keep it short
  • Use clear language
  • Make the first two words count
  • Avoid internal jargon or acronyms

(label assigned to webpage that appears in url)

Tips for IDs

  • Use words that make sense
  • In almost every case your ID should match your page title
  • No capital letters
  • Use hyphens between words
  • Don't use obscure abbreviations or acronyms


(one sentence summary of your page content)

Tips for descriptions

  • Use key terms
  • Don't over use key terms
  • Think about what would be helpful in a Google search list or a Facebook post

Page content or body

Tips for page content

  • Put most important info first
  • Use short sentences and graphs
  • Put some structure to your info

Call to action

Tips for your call to action

  • Think about the next logical step for your user
  • Make it easy for them to take that step
  • Use clear, active language

Make sure these components are on your docs

Template your pages in google drive with at least these key items.

This is so important from a search engine perspective.

Make sure you have all of these items before you sign off saying your page is done and ready for loading!

Formatting your page content

Web best practices

Create structure with headings and lists

Tips for structure

  • Break info into logical sections
  • Write clear, concrete headings
  • Find list opportunities
  • Repeat structures for similar content (staff bios, event pages, stories)

Add emphasis only when needed

Tips for emphasis

  • Use bold for emphasis - but don't over use!
  • Never underline text (people will think it's a link)
  • Italics should be used minimally, almost never

Find linking opportunities

Tips for links

  • Link nouns and key phrases (verbs are more vague)
  • Create a strong info scent
  • Never use "click here"
  • Don't bombard people - link what seems natural

Gather and ID your files

Make loading easy!
Use the same best practices for page IDs

Include the file extension:


Test some pages

And some users

Next steps:

  • Look in your CMS to see if they have some structures already created
  • Come up with a plan for gathering images and where to store them
  • Draft and prep a few key pages early so you can start testing