Texts to be published on the web must be clear and present information in a way that the reader can grasp. Your content must confirm, answer questions and lead the reader forward.
Selection, structure and form
Lay out your text by writing what is most important to your target audience first. The content should always be structured based on the reader's needs and not based on the needs of the organisation or department.
- Short and pithy content is best in a web context.
- Dare to delete text that becomes excessive.
- Open up the text with paragraph subdivision, subheadings and bullet point lists.
Use text for what is text and do not insert it into an image. Users may need to adapt the text, among other things by enlarging or selecting a different font, changing foreground and background colours or line spacing.
A clear and intelligible language makes it easier for everyone to grasp the content of the website. According to the Language Act section 11, the language used in public activity must be careful, simple and comprehensible. This is a question of democracy: that everyone has access to and the right to understand what is in text written by the authorities.
The reader has more patience to read a slightly longer text if it is a news article or a report than if the text's purpose is to sign up for an event, use an administrative system or read about what applies in the workplace.
- Use a language that is tailored to your target audience
- If some difficult concepts must be used, they should be explained
- Avoid technical terms and difficult words, or explain them
- Use keywords for text content in the web text
- Write short sentences
- Use a personal address
- Use active verbs, write "submit your form" rather than "the form is to be submitted"
- Avoid abbreviations, or explain early in the text what the abbreviation stands for.
- Avoid instructions that depend on sensory characteristics, such as "on the left" or "see above".
Use subheadings and paragraph division
A good heading describes the content of the text. On the web, the headline is important for more reasons than to entice to read, because the headline is captured by search engines.
Divide the body text into several pieces so the page is perceived as easy and readable. Write clear subheadings, which summarise the content of the paragraph.
Divide the body text into several paragraphs so that the page is perceived as light and easy to read. It makes it easier for the reader if each topic or line of thought gets its own paragraph. It is especially important for those who have reading difficulties.
The introduction is important for search engines
The most important thing about the introduction is to capture the reader. The introduction also does most of the work in search engines, so consider which words or phrases visitors might search for in the content of your web page and use those words in the introduction. A small part of the introduction is also shown in the search results, so it is important that it highlights what the text is about.
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.
Link texts should be clear and contain words that indicate what the article is about.
When you are finished, proofread the text:
- Is what is most important first?
- Is the purpose clear?
- Does the content of the text answer the questions who, what, when, where, how, why?
- Does the headline attract you to read on?
- Can you use simpler words?
- Are there long sentences in the text that need to be shortened?
Can you make the texts shorter by removing redundant information?
- Are all words spelt correctly?
Should the text be translated?
Information aimed at both Swedish and non-Swedish speakers should be available in both Swedish and English.