Keep the questions short

When you use questions as headings, people often skim the question just enough to decide, "yes, that's what I want to know." After all, the real meat of the web content is the answer to the question and people are anxious to get to it.

Long questions take up precious space on the web page. Also, as headings, the questions are in bold or color, and large blocks of bold or color become difficult to read. And - despite the power of headings - some site visitors use the headings only as landing spots to see where new sections start. They don't actually read the headings.

Cut your questions down to essentials, just as you cut your content to essentials. For example, if your entire web page is on a particular topic, you don't need to repeat the topic in each question on the page. Compare Figure 10-6, which has two questions totaling 22 words as the heading, with Figure 10-7, where the heading is only 12 words long.

The whole page is about Tibet. The word "Tibet" should be larger - more prominent - here.

Figure 10-6 A very long heading may be using more words than needed to convey the message.

www.globalcrossroad.com

The whole page is about Tibet. The word "Tibet" should be larger - more prominent - here.

This is very long. Is the first o j question necessary? Why repeat Tibet if the whole page is about Tibet?

Figure 10-6 A very long heading may be using more words than needed to convey the message.

www.globalcrossroad.com

Global Crossroad

^M W Vobntaer Abroad Intern Abroad. Mini-Escapes. Summer Escapes.

HOHE I ABOUT US | DESTINATIONS | INTERN ABROAD | MIN J - VENTURE | EXPEDIT

FAQ-Tib*t Frequently Asked Queslinns . Tibet

12 words instead of 22. W:ll I have ssseiss m ¡hi; n-^iiii-i", isUrs-.n.-es, a-.rf '^JJ Is this the site visitor's ci i-iTf -- ^ ^ question in ma a post office?

question in many fewer words?

Figure 10-7 My suggestion for revising the heading.

If you find yourself writing a long question, ask yourself:

• Is the section of text too long? Is it really answering several questions? Should I divide it into more than one question and answer?

• Am I putting information in the question that should be in the answer?

• Am I using more words than necessary to make a connection with my site visitor?

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