3 useful tools for web writers

One of the great things about the Internet is the range of tools and information now available—often for free. Here are 3 free tools I recommend. They’re simple to use. And they’ll help you write better content for your organisation’s website, intranet or blog.

1. Hemingway Editor

Do you struggle to write clearly? Are you prone to prattling on or battling with bureaucratese? It’s time to try the Hemingway Editor.

Hemingway tells you when your words, phrases and sentences are too long or complex. It highlights passive voice, and lets you know when you’re overusing adverbs. It also counts your words, sentences and paragraphs.

You can write directly in Hemingway or paste into it from another source.

Need your content in HTML format? The desktop version (not free, but cheap) lets you use simple markup to tag headings, lists and links.

Try the Hemingway Editor.

2. Web Accessibility Toolbar for IE

Do you know if your content is accessible? Not sure how you’d check? The Web Accessibility Toolbar makes it easy.

An add-on for Internet Explorer, the Toolbar helps you see if you’ve:

  • tagged headings, lists, tables and quotations
  • labelled links well
  • written appropriate text alternatives for images
  • used images with good colour contrast
  • titled your page properly.

You can also check your heading structure to see how well you’ve outlined your content.

Download the Web Accessibility Toolbar.

3. Snippet Optimiser

Do you know how your web pages look in search results? With the Snippet Optimiser you can see what your audience will see.

Most search results include 3 elements: the page title, a short description and the address. These are usually the HTML title, meta description and URL for your page.

The Snippet Optimiser guides you to write these elements so they’re not too long. And then it shows you what your page might look like on Google or other search engine results pages. You can easily evaluate whether what you’ve written will make sense to people searching for your content.

Try the Snippet Optimiser.

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