Goldstein Program in Public Affairs
Let’s get right to it! The opening paragraph is your introduction to what people will find on your page or site. It can be a very short phrase (1-5 words) or longer, but try to keep it under 40 words.
The appropriate number of words on a page depends on its purpose and audience. If it is one of your main landing pages, it should be short (100-250 words), and paired with images and stories.
Pages deeper in the site that provide details can be up to 500 words. If you have a very text-heavy, informational page, use friendly headers to guide readers all the way to the bottom—or consider breaking the information out onto additional pages.
Headers (like this one)
Heavy blocks of text are hard to read. And important facts can get lost along the way. Along with short paragraphs, headings help web readers find their place and absorb information more quickly. As a general rule, there ought to be a heading for every 125 or so words. As you can see from this page, using them more often works too.
Links in text
Links within the text are important means of guiding your users to important info. They limit duplicate information and help keep visitors moving to key content throughout the site. You can also add a “Related Links” list to highlight additional pages or programs.
Washington College is a warm, intimate community where people are familiar and friendly with one another. Overall, the writing should be smart, knowing, engaging, and straightforward.
Think about how you would talk to someone who called your office, or if you ran into them in Hodson Hall – and write as you might explain the information.
Before you publish a page, read it out loud to yourself. If it sounds natural, it’s more likely to be good.
Just by editing web pages, you’re helping to show thousands of people what a dynamic, helpful, and rewarding place this is. Thanks for your help!