People generally scan rather than reading word-for-word. So: If this opening paragraph is all I read, would this tell me what the page was about? (Get to the point early!)
When writing for the web:
- Use short, simple sentences
- Keep paragraphs small
- Break long copy into sections with subheadings (Heading 2)
- Use point form where possible, and
- Use the inverted pyramid style (state your conclusion first)
People generally will not sit there and read your page word for word. Studies have shown that people will scan your page to see if anything interests them. Keeping that in mind, make sure your important bits are at the top, and make it easy to scan by using short paragraphs.
Make sure that any keywords or keyphrases you would like to be found under are on the page as well. In headings preferably. Bold them if appropriate.
If people do get to the bottom of the page, give them some directions. For example, you could finish off with:
Where to from here?
What should they do next?
Think about minor steps they might take before taking the final action (contacting you, purchasing something). What else might they want to know?
This info is adapted from/inspired by this study. It’s an oldie but goodie.
And if you think about your own behaviour, this all probably rings true.