Writing for Web: Interactive Stories

I was excited this week when I discovered my post would be about links.

A picture of young Link and adult Link from Zelda Ocarina of Time
Photo by: darklink1279

Not these Links, but these links:

AVGN Theme on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Links help make content more interactive and can often save you time by explaining something for you. The chapter is entitled Writing Nonlinear, Interactive Stories, and the focus is on managing content and link strategy.

Due to my recent work projects, I already knew a little about links and was surprised Felder did not explain how to add links to drive traffic on your site. The basics are all there, but I am going to add a few tips that will help with search engine optimization and increasing traffic on your site. That’s everyone’s end game, right?

Do:

  • Link to relevant information. Make sure what you are linking to fits in your article or story.
  • Write meaningful text for your links. This is especially important in SEO.
  • Use keywords in the link that are in your article or story headlines. This helps search engines find your content.
  • Try to keep users on your page instead of sending them elsewhere.
  • Open links in new windows. You want your readers to come back!
  • Keep the link text brief.
  • Test links periodically to ensure they are working and accurate.

Don’t:

  • Send your readers off site unless you need to, or bounce them all over the Internet.
  • Link long phrases or sentences.
  • Link a link. Be sure to write out what it is.
  • Explain your links. Good Web writing will allow you to work them into the copy.
  • Add shovelware. This is linking content from another medium such as a print product without customizing it for the Web.
  • Overdo it. Too many links will annoy your reader.
  • Make it a page-turner. A page-turner refers to a user having to scroll a lot or go to multiple pages for information.

Feel free to browse our Inspiration and Resources page for an example of how to use links in your copy. Most importantly, keep your reader in mind at all times, and ask yourself: Would you want to read the content on your site?

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