Using Active Verbs to Improve Your Website Text

In the post “Using Text to Optimise Your Website”, we touched on the importance of text content on your website. We saw that paying attention to how your text is written and presented can play a big part in the success or otherwise of your search engine optimisation (SEO).

More importantly though, clear and concise text can be a great help to your readers.

Readers are the key element to the success or failure of your website. Put simply, in the days when they are spoiled for choice, readers will move on from a website if they don’t like what they see or read — perhaps to a competitor!

It follows then that making your website content interesting, informative and easy to read will assist in keeping your visitors on your website. This and other techniques can help make your website or blog content “sticky”, meaning visitors will tend to “stick around” (become loyal readers), perhaps to purchase goods if your site is a commercial one.

Making your verbs active instead instead of passive is one simple way to liven up your web text content. George Orwell said in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” that one should “never use the passive where you can use the active”.

Not only does activating your verbs tend to shorten sentences, it also invigorates your text.


Passive: The keynote speech at the conference was presented by Professor Smith.

Active: Professor Smith presented the keynote speech at the conference.

By concentrating on making your sentences active, you should add a freshness and vibrancy to your writing that may have previously been lacking. In combination with other website factors, such as good layout and ease of navigation, your readers will benefit from this approach and be able to find the information they need faster and more economically (less words). Remember the golden rule for search engine optimisation (SEO) — any benefits which make it easier for readers to enjoy text should also score you points with search engines.

While there may be occasions when the passive verb is needed, by concentrating on the active verb, you should make your text stand out.

For any queries about content writing, contact Leonie at Article Writers Australia here.

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and accurate”

I’ve worked with the team at Article Writers Australia for over 2 years now. They’ve been instrumental in ensuring our articles and case studies are succinct, engaging, and accurate.

They do feel like they are part of my team – they know us so well I think I could write a brief on a Post-It note.

Fi Arnold, Digital Marketing Manager, Kennards Hire

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