Write for the web
For visitors to read a text on the web, the text must be clear, simple and contain information that is easy to understand. Your content should confirm, respond and lead the visitor forward.
The essentials first
The most important content should appear early on the page. The key words for visitors must appear first in the the lead, headings, paragraphs and bulleted lists. The easiest way to structure your text is to divide the information, sort the different parts according to their importance to the reader and place them in the text in that order.
The lead should be a summary that draws readers in by providing an overview of the content of the text. It is also vital for search engines and the text appearing in their result lists.
Search engine optimisation
If you write your text for the visitors, it will also be suitable for search engines. However, some things must be considered to make it even more visible in search engines.
- Create unique content.
- Stick to one main topic per page.
- Write a summarising lead with the most important words first.
- Use subheadings appropriately.
- Include essential keywords, but keep it to a few to avoid the page feeling spammy.
The parts of the text that are particularly important for search engines are:
- main heading
- the lead
- bulleted and numbered lists
- bolded words
- words that appear early in a paragraph.
Careful, simple and comprehensible language
When writing texts, think of the reader first and foremost. Clear and understandable language makes it easier for everyone to digest the website's content. This is a matter of democracy: everyone should have access to and the right to understand the texts written by public authorities.
According to the Language Act section 11, the language used in public activity must be:
Checklist for making the text accessible to all
- Use language adapted to the target audience.
- Use a personal approach.
- Use active verbs, e.g. "submit your form" rather than "your form is being submitted".
- Write short sentences.
- Never use a long word when you can use a short one.
- Avoid technical terms and complex words. If specific complicated terms must be used, they should be explained.
- Avoid abbreviations or explain the abbreviations's meaning early in the text.
- Avoid instructions that depend on sensory cues, such as "to the left" or "see above".
- Use text for what is text, and do not embed it in an image. Those who use screen readers cannot read images.
Some texts benefit from being written as instructions. Bulleted lists are good for showing different steps that readers should perform or things you should think about.
Should the text be translated?
Information aimed at both Swedish and non-Swedish speakers should be available in both Swedish and English.