January 12, 2015 Using the Inverted Pyramid Method to write effectively for the web

By Alexandra Hallam

Inverted Pyramid Method

The Inverted Pyramid Method is one of the fundamentals of traditional journalism, but can also be applied effectively by website copywriters.

The Inverted Pyramid Method refers to the idea of writing an article with the most important information first – the biggest idea, with the heaviest information. Next comes the second-most important content, then the next, and the next. Picture the writing – as the name suggests – as an inverted pyramid; an upside-down triangle.

The idea in journalism – whether it’s newspaper, radio or TV – is that even if their attention span doesn’t last to the end of the article, the reader will still have a grasp of what story the key information is telling.

Why the inverted pyramid can work for the web

Newspaper journalists guessed their readers would rarely read to the complete end of an article – website copywriters know it for a fact. Using eye tracking studies, it’s easy to see that readers’ attention to your carefully-crafted writing peters out before the end of the piece. This is called the F-Pattern.

F-pattern eye tracking

How to work around the F-Pattern

However useful the Inverted Pyramid Method is, or how well it might apply to an F-Pattern tendency, it doesn’t always suit your purpose when writing for the web. This blog post, for example, doesn’t strictly follow it.

That said, there are some tips inspired by the Inverted Pyramid and the F-Pattern that you can keep in mind when writing web content to better keep readers’ attentions.

  • Use the Inverted Pyramid within paragraphs. If readers scan along the left side of the page, you will be more likely to catch their eye if your paragraphs begin with your strongest points.
  • Steer clear of large blocks of text. Breaking your writing up into different sections using headings and dot points helps readers’ eyes to make out the beginnings of new important points.
  • Do put your most important information at the top of the page. It’s clear that readers give the most attention to the top of the page; give them the information before they lose interest and look elsewhere.

More tips to write for the web

Emerging technology is constantly transforming how to write effectively for the web. To ensure your content is future-ready, check out our blog articles below:

Want to know more about effective copywriting? Get in touch with our team of professional copywriters at Avion Communications today.