Writing for the Web



Using the Pyramid Technique

The Pyramid Technique is a method of writing that works particularly well for web and online copy. This technique is nothing new – it can be dated back to use in journalism around 1900 – but adaptation of it for web copy isn’t too old.

Essentially, the important parts of the copy has to come first. Extra information follows, with any flourishes, supporting descriptions and any tangential content coming last, at the tip of the inverted pyramid. This lets users scan your content, reaching the critical parts first.

For parts of copy are less direct in nature - like NHS Wales PR or news stories - include them, but secondary; in the middle or towards the end of the pyramid for your copy.

The exceptions to this guideline are on long-form pieces, or ‘About’ content (where users might expect to encounter more corporate text over functional, to the point content).

Using the pyramid technique to write is easier when you’re editing text, but can be daunting if you’re writing a new piece. A good approach is to list out your objectives, or write out your piece in a rough draft, then edit down.