Writing for the Web

Good web writing provides worldwide, non-stop marketing and supports a commitment to great communication—not just for the institution, but for every program, department, faculty member, club and event associated with the University of North Alabama.

Be succinct.
Reading on the web is physically draining. You need to get to the point, and get there fast. Cut out unnecessary words. Stay away from convoluted phrasing. And keep sentences short when you can.

Keep the important info on top.
Web users are on a mission to find the info they need - don't bury the good stuff. This can also benefit search engine optimization (SEO).

Avoid web clicheés.
When the web was young and we were unsure of whether people would get it, websites had a lot of directions and introductions that are now unnecessary. Some of the most common:

  • Welcome to our Department Web Page.
  • Click here to find out more!
  • On this web page you will find... Use the menu on the left... or Look below..., etc.

Eliminating obvious directions is especially important with our mobile-first responsive website. That item you're directing them to will not always be "on the left" on a phone or tablet.

Keep the tone conversational.
You want people to read what you write. Formal language tends to be hard for readers to absorb—and it uses more words than are really needed. Certain areas of the site are more dignified than others (Academics and About versus Admission and Student Engagement), but their style should still be warm and friendly.

Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear. The app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors.
Make proofreading effective. Sometimes hearing something read aloud will help your content flow better.
The Tone Analyzer detects emotional tones, social propensities, and writing styles and offers suggestions to help improve the intended tones.