A quick guide to writing effective web copy

Here are ten useful tips that will help you to make your web copy do more of what it should do for your business– attract visitors to your website, encourage them to become leads for your business and convert them into customers that will want to come back again and again.

effective web copy is active. concise and easy to skim

effective web copy is active. concise and easy to skim

Be active.

Active voice is powerful. It’s easy to understand, it conveys movement, and is naturally more interesting. For example: instead of saying “The tips I have written can help you work smarter instead of harder.” Say, “I wrote these copywriting tips to help you work smarter, not harder.” This sentence is not only shorter, (perfect for the web), but it has more impact and it’s easier to follow! Active voice sentences can also begin with a verb, as in a command. For example: “Discover how to market your business smarter, not harder, with these copywriting tips. It depends on whether you want to emphasise the tips or how your audience will benefit from them.

Remember what is important.

All web visitors are asking “what’s in it for me?” and by sticking with the essential who, what, where, when, why and how details, your web copy will be valid and credible in their eyes.

Make sure your headlines are powerful.

Web copy is less effective if you don’t emphasis the value of a section at the very start! Your headlines must entice readers to follow, click through and read on. For example: A quick guide to writing effective web copy has made you click through and read on……By formatting your headlines (using Heading 1 and Heading 2), and including appropriate tag words, you will also increase the SEO value of your web copy.

Make your web copy easy to skim through.

Web visitors don’t read every word on a page unless they have to; faced with a page full of content, they will often run a mile. Instead, they will scan the pages on your website; content that is easy to skim through will keep their attention, and make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for. A variety of formatting techniques will break up your copy and draw their eye down the page. Some of the best are:

  • Use several headings formats (see above)
  • Create bullet-point lists
  • Format text with bold, italic, underlining, or even colour

Be Concise.

People have short attention spans, particularly when reading online content; using short sentences and short paragraphs to get your message across will hold this attention. Unless you’re producing an online white paper or a tutorial, or a detailed blog post, your content should always be as concise as possible.

Don’t put TOO much emphasis on keywords.

Of course key words are important for your SEO, but search engines are constantly looking to improve and to return the best results for web visitors. Concentrating, instead, on writing copy primarily for your readers, will enable the search engines to do this.

Avoid industry terminology, corporate speak and jargon

Using simple words is the most effective way to communicate to the widest audience. Incorporating industry specific jargon may appeal to manufacturers and distributors of your product or service, but it probably won’t work for your consumers.

Be positive.

Avoid negative words and phrases as often as you can. For example: instead of saying “Don’t get left behind” say “get ahead of your competition”. The suggestion that your reader could be left behind won’t always create the sense of urgency you’re looking for. Denial can be powerful and over-doing the negativity may well create a bad impression.

Make your reader feel comfortable.

None of us feel comfortable being sold to. Tone down any hype and write as though you are talking to your perfect customer across a coffee table. This is a great tip because (as a salesman for over 25 years I feel qualified to say this), your audience will respond to your calls to action more willingly.

Your calls to action must be compelling.

The best web copy can be worthless if it doesn’t incorporate compelling calls to action; if your copy doesn’t encourage readers to click through or become leads, it is unlikely to convert them into customers.For example: Call me on 07917 36 01 01 to find out how these work! Link with me for more FREE tips to getting more businesses!

Peter Stephen is a Surrey based freelance creative copywriter to hire, email peter.stephen@astutecopy.co.uk

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2 thoughts on “A quick guide to writing effective web copy

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