The World of Website Content Has Changed
Back when the internet began, companies would cram their websites with content they repurposed from their existing print materials – brochures, press releases, presentations – whatever they could get their hands on.
Which is why so many ended up with boring, emotionless content that didn’t do much to resonate with website visitors. It wasn’t focused on what the visitors wanted – answers to questions and solutions to problems. Needless to say – much of it bombed. Badly.
Not only that, this weak did nothing to cosy up to the search engines. content The content also didn’t help the website get visibility on search engines. The absence of keywords pushed most well down in the rankings. Because the text wasn’t written with keywords in mind, it didn’t rank well.
It was only a matter of time before a new style of copywriting emerged – a style specifically geared for the web.
Website Copywriting…For Today’s Online Reader
Reading online and reading print are two different animals. And as a copywriter, it’s important to understand that people read differently when they’re online. Long sentences and paragraphs are fine in print. But on a screen, they are a challenge.
When writing web copy, it’s important to know how people view a page. And “view” is probably an accurate way to describe it. Most people scan web pages – then, if they’re interested, they’ll go back and actually read more of the copy. That’s why effective web copywriting features a headline and subheadings. The scanners also look for hyperlinks, bullets, numbers and keywords.
They jump around. They scroll. They click. If your copy presentation doesn’t allow them to quickly find what they need, they’re gone. And they’re taking a potential sales opportunity with them.
Use A Conversational Writing Style
Web copy that communicates doesn’t read anything like a print writing style. The style is very conversational – almost as if you were talking to a prospect across the kitchen table. We don’t talk in lengthy, drawn out sentences using multi-syllable words. We speak in short bursts. That’s why you want to avoid lengthy, detailed paragraphs. Effective web copy uses strategic formatting to break up big blocks of copy into easy-to-read, specific thoughts.
Your objective in writing online content is clear and effective communication. No dazzle. No information overload. Make reading easy for your reader and you’ll be rewarded.
An Informal Copywriting Style Is An Online Must
The interaction with your web visitor is a one-to-one conversation. Use present tense whenever possible as if you were actually talking to your web visitor. Skip the techno-speak and industry jargon which your reader may not understand.
Be friendly. Remember, you’re trying to create an emotional bond with your reader. Prospects end up doing business with real people they grow to “know, like and trust.” The most effective way to achieve that kind of a relationship is to drop the business babble and let your personality shine through.
Give Your Reader The Content He Expects Content
Each of your web pages should have a singular focus. And your key words should support that focus. For example, if your page is about picking stocks, then talk about picking stocks. Don’t meander off and start talking about mutual funds. And avoid talking about other financial strategies. Put that on another page.
Most importantly, give your reader information he can use. Avoid fluff. Don’t beat around the bush. Answer your reader’s questions. That’s what he’s there for. Your objective is to become a reliable source of information so your reader will continue to seek you out when he has questions and wants straight answers.
Your website visitors will appreciate your focused, informational approach, and so will the search engines.
Copywriters: Don’t Let Your Readers Guess What to Do Next
Tell them. And don’t be shy about it. Each of your web pages should end with a strong call to action. This is where you specifically tell your prospects what you want them to.
Example: “Fill in your first name and email address below and click “submit” to get your copywriting critique now!”
Otherwise, after reading your web page, they’re likely to think, ‘That’s nice’ and be on their way. Don’t leave it up to your reader to decide what to do next.
Whether it’s click on the link, buy this, read more or subscribe here, website marketing is all about getting the reader to take the next step in your selling process.
Good copywriting attracts new business. Need help crafting copy for your website? Contact Gerry Black today!