Archive

Web writing

Headlines that entice

Why do people fall for clickbait? Unlike writers of clickbait – those sensational headlines that don’t deliver what they promise – we try to write honest headlines. But we can learn from those who don’t. If you sit back and observe your own behaviour, you get a pretty good idea why some headlines attract your […]

When instructions don’t work

Web writers are constantly telling people what to do. It’s their job to write instructions to help users to find what they want on websites. So why don’t web writers give more thought to the words they use? A colleague recently struggled with the instructions on a pot of paint. Yes, it seems we do […]

Reduce choice to increase revenue

How have charities increased donations made through their websites? Well, most made a start by putting a donate button on the home page and encouraging people to give by telling them what would be done with the money. But many have gone further and adopted a simple technique to make it easier for people to […]

Why consistency is vital on a website

I recently got lost on the website of a big company. Nothing new in that, you may say, but the irony is that this company hosts one of my websites. I was trying to do some work on the database behind the website, and the website that was supposed to take me there was so […]

Another basic mistake websites make

Why do so many websites fail to tell me what I want to know? A friend recommended we meet at a certain restaurant, so I looked it up. The website had an attractive design and friendly information about who runs it and what they serve. But I needed to know whether I could get there […]

De-clutter your website

Putting away winter clothes and getting out summer things makes me think, yet again, that I must get rid of some. Everything I don’t wear makes it harder to find the thing I want. It’s the same with a website: every extra page or bit of information means work for you to manage and makes […]

Summly, summaries and blurbs

If anyone needed proof of the value of summarising, Yahoo’s purchase of Summly for millions of pounds is surely it. Summly is an app, created by 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio, that uses an algorithm to provide automatic summaries of news stories found on the web. Announcing the deal with Yahoo, Nick D’Aloisio said “As we move […]

Websites need style

Having a style guide is essential for a professional-looking website or publication. At Clarity, the writing experts, we have written style guides for clients, usually big companies, but having one specially written is probably beyond the means of small and medium-sized businesses. For the rest of us, the best thing to do is to borrow […]

Good websites save time

I’ve just had an exchange of emails that started at the “Contact us” page on a company website. The website provided an enquiry form, I filled it in and got an email reply. I replied to their email and they replied to mine. What’s the problem? The problem is that it was all unnecessary. The […]

Clarity trumps persuasion

Not Persuasion with a capital P. I’m not suggesting we could outdo Jane Austen, but that headline did lift my spirits. It’s the conclusion of some research into what makes a good website, carried out by marketingexperiments.com and reported by Gerry McGovern in one of his weekly newsletters. The researchers found that it was more […]