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Writing Checklist for Web Content

Authors should ask themselves the following questions before posting new content to DOT.gov to make sure we are:

  • producing quality, relevant content for our customers
  • following federal standards.
     

Approvals

  • Has the content been reviewed by the content owner?
  • Has this been cleared by any necessary clearance process?

Main Office or Section Home Pages

  • Does the main section provide a brief introduction with links to deeper content?
  • Is the content short, concise, and easy to scan?
  • Does the content make sense when found out of context via searches, links, or bookmarks?
  • Does the content provide an introduction to other? content in the section?
  • Does it provide links to top levels of content in the section?

Individual Pages

  • Is the page short, concise, and easy to scan?
  • Does the page make sense when found out of context via searches, links, or bookmarks?
  • Does the page duplicate existing content?

Titles and Headers

  • Is it concise?
  • Is it unique?
  • Does it describe the content?
  • Does it contain keywords that are used in searches, that help the page rank high in search results, and that are important to your users?
  • Does it provide a meaningful summary/caption for search results?
  • Does it avoid the use of acronyms or abbreviations?

Introductory Text

  • Does it describe or introduce page content?
  • Does it contain keywords that are used in searches, that help the page rank high in search results, and that are important to your users?
  • Does it avoid the use of acronyms or abbreviations that are not defined or used on the page?
  • Do the first few hundred characters provide a meaningful summary in search results?

Subheaders

  • Are they used consistently to break up long blocks of text?
  • Do they describe the paragraph or section content?

Body of Content

  • Is it short, concise, and easy to scan?
  • Does it contain keywords that are used in searches, that help the page rank high in search results, and that are important to your users?
  • Does it avoid the use of acronyms or abbreviations that are not defined or used on the page?
  • Do you spell out acronyms before they are used?

Links

  • Do you tell users exactly where they are going (e.g., avoid "Click here" and "Read more")?
  • Do you include a title tag for each link to maximize accessibility?

Images and Graphics

  • Does every image have descriptive alt text?
  • Is the image relevant to the content?
  • Is the image related to the content (i.e., it is not a random stock image)?

Documents (PDFs, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)

  • Have you converted documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) to either HTML or PDF format?
  • Have documents  been reviewed and checked for Section 508 compliance?
  • If document or image is not accessible, do you provide an alternate way for visitors to get assistance?
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013