Create a practical guide to writing on the web

Writing a blog, writing social media posts, or creating a landing page for a new product or service: Content management and production can get complicated for organizations of all sizes. Whether due to a lack of time, resources or clearly defined framework conditions.

If you’re multiplying your speaking engagements online, do you have a policy guiding your teams? Any disagreements could weaken trust in your brand. Fix the situation!

How do you write for the web? Follow the leader!

Based on your brand identity defines your copywriting guide which voice and which tone to play to match content and image. Compared to print, content intended to live online is subject to other constraints, such as the formatting of websites or the more or less restricted text design of social media.

This tool is intended for internal or external use (e.g. freelancers) and is aimed at anyone who will write your content, from an e-book to comments from you brand ambassador. Note that if you are writing in more than one language, each should have its own document.

A writing guide juggles the limitations of the web and streamlines your content writing for more performance.

His strength? At the same time eliminate the confusion of the editors, accelerate your production rate – no more detours and 1001 layout questions! – while standardizing your content and making it more consistent.

Little reminder: online, theuser experience strongly influences access to content. In particular, check that your website is responsive (responsive). Otherwise, your audiences might be put off by the non-user friendly navigation and even perceived as unprofessional.

10 must-haves for your web copywriting guide

  1. your core principles. State who your goals are and indicate if you have specific instructions or models meager or templates for your different types of content.

    Prepare the ground well, but be careful not to put too much into it and thereby render your guide useless by saturating it with information.
  2. The voice and style to embrace. Do you express yourself neutrally or emotionally, calmly or dynamically? Is your brand personality passionate, tongue-in-cheek, or confident?

    However, if your voice remains the same, you can do this Adjust your tone to your different content: A press release does not necessarily have to have the same style as a publication on Facebook (and vice versa)!
  3. Various writing concrete elements. Do you use traditional or corrected spelling? Do you adapt the punctuation of your texts to the web (we recommend it!)? Should bold type be avoided as a matter of principle? Do you have a business hashtag for your social media?

    If you want to adopt gendered writing (which aims to accommodate the different genders in language), this is the place to standardize your preferred practices and phrasing.
  4. SEO keywords and your industry terminology. Include the industry-specific vocabulary, the prohibited terms and, if applicable, the special designation of your experts or your customers. If you are publishing in more than one language, a table listing the different approved translations is a very useful tool.

    Your web writing should also be based on SEO keywords (search engine optimization) to encourage natural referencing of your content. Share them with your editors so they know what terms to use.
  5. Instructions for your different platforms. For example: Where do you prefer to use “we” or your company name? You could also agree to put emojis under a Photo shared on Instagram (yes, yes, in B2B!) but you can opt-out in a blog post.

    Emphasize the importance of having calls to action (call to action) clearly and compellingly in your content. Whether you’re inviting internet users to contact you on one of your websites, to interact with a publication, to consult a video or a case study at the end of your newsletter, these phrases guide your target audience to the actions to be taken.
  6. The layout and the interaction of text and image. If you write a bulleted list or numbered, which format should it have? Editors can use an internal photo bank or decide to do so royalty free photos?
  7. to consult sources. List the sites and plants that are approved by your company and recognized in your industry. Not to mention the sources to avoid, whether your competitors or untrustworthy websites.

    Also show how to quote them: quotation marks, brackets, footnotes, hyperlinks – the possibilities are endless!
  8. Examples to follow and avoid. Whether they accompany each section of the guide or are grouped together in one place, they illustrate the successes and failures. For example, show a blog post with explanatory arrows for quick and optimal understanding.
  9. References for your authors. Since other standards or resource documents are condensed into your website writing guide, give them a little space without weighing them down.

    For example, you could link to your internal process for working with freelancers, your brand leaderYour SEO copywriting document, keyword list or other relevant tool.
  10. A reminder. It’s up to you if you want it to mimic the shape of the Site Frequently Asked Questions, a checklist or boxes. In particular, insist on proofreading, proofreading, and checking anchored links.

Also read: Print and digital marketing: enter into a strategic alliance!

Integrate your website writing guide into your ecosystem

A good way to ensure the use of this tool is to involve the people who write your content before design. That way, you’ll know which questions come up most often, and you can more easily decide on one good practice or another.

pro tip: Since your guide is about writing on the web, adapt it to digital language! For example, you could go for a practical display by giving it a simple and effective PDF format, or that of a Kanban board that is visually appealing and easy to use. The important thing is that your employees can easily find and understand it.

Don’t forget to give this guide your colors with a clean and attractive design to entice people to use it. When you’re done, share it with your entire team and get their feedback – after all, they’ll be using it every day.

Need a hand clearing the jungle of text elements? Our writing and content fans are true to their jobs: call us!

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