Archive for the ‘Web writing’ Category

The power of web content with a distinct message

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Bristol design agency Robson Dowry have just launched their new website and, unusually for a design agency, the copy takes the lead. I’m particularly pleased because I wrote the site’s content. It’s an interesting example of focusing very hard on what you should be saying, and then saying it calmly and clearly.


Why words matter more than ever online (especially to young people)

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Here’s some research that shows that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you want to find something out online, you like to read text first. Pretty pictures, fancy technology – that comes later.


More on email subject lines: making it easy

Friday, March 30th, 2012

I wrote recently about how an inane email subject line from Paypal irritated me and put me off opening it. Here’s a very different approach which actually worked for me. Because it made me think the email content would be easy, undemanding, but informative.


The dangers of using your own judgement (when it comes to email subject lines)

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The fact is that sometimes research can give you evidence that goes right against your own instincts. Here’s an example that surprised me.


Bad spelling costs money

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

So it turns out spelling mistakes can put people off buying from a website. In fact they can halve the number of purchases people make.


Which email newsletter box got 122% more people signing up?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

OK, a quick test of your instincts for how users respond online. A test that the vast majority of people failed, revealing how counterintuitive usability can sometimes be.

We have two different versions of a sign-up box for email updates, the kind of thing most the ecommerce sites in the world have. And the kind of thing most ecommerce sites would love to double the number of people clicking on.

Here they are:

email sign-up user test 1

Email sign-up user test 2


3 proven strategies for writing successful web content

Friday, January 7th, 2011

So we know that people read differently online. Here’s the evidence. They scan, they’re distracted, they’re in a hurry, they want you to give them the good stuff right now, they disappear at the drop of a hat. So what can you do about it when writing content for a website?

There are some key tried and tested strategies. They may seem obvious. The tricky part is doing them. (more…)

The no 1 web writing tip

Friday, December 10th, 2010

‘Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.’

– from Don’t Make Me Think! by usability guru Steve Krug

He’s right.


Why keeping it simple works best

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Here’s an interesting insight. Adding features doesn’t always make a product – or a website – more popular, even though it’s often an obsession among designers and managers. In fact simplicity and ease of use is usually the way to appeal to a mainstream audience. More usually isn’t more.


Warning: clumsy SEO web content is not only rude but counterproductive

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Ever arrived at a site and found yourself reading through paragraph after paragraph of repetitive writing, seeing the same phrases coming up again and again? It’s probably there for search engine reasons. And it’s irritating.

If you’re overhauling your web content for SEO purposes, here’s an example that shows how not to do it. (It’s also a deliciously ironic example, as you’ll see.)