Your Web site copy is more important than you think. Great copy is a powerful tool that will sell your products and services and can even boost traffic to your site. Understanding how Web surfers read Web pages is key to coming up with killer copy.
Web site visitors tend to skim pages, scanning them quickly for the products or information they want. Your job is to write copy that guides users to what they want. Great Web site copy:
- Is short
- Is simple
- Focuses on the benefits of your products and services
- Uses highlighted words, headlines and lists
Use headlines, subheads and listsSince Web surfers tend to skim pages, write copy using bulleted lists, graphs, headlines and subheads. Highlight key words. This will make it easier for users to find what they're looking for.
Write keyword-rich copy for search engine optimization (SEO)SEO helps your site earn a high ranking in search engine listings, which increases traffic to your site. A critical key to landing a top spot is writing Web copy with SEO in mind. To optimize copy, use specific keyword phrases that accurately describe your business and its products or services as often as possible on each page. When coming up with your keyword phrases, think of the words customers are likely to use when searching for the products or services you provide.
Write with styleWeb site visitors (and anyone, really) would rather read stylish, conversational copy than deadly dull prose. Be friendly and approachable, not businesslike and staid.
Write to sellThough Web writing is shorter and chunkier than print, you still need to follow the fundamentals of marketing writing: Gain attention, stress the benefits of your products and services, and close with a call to action. One caveat: do it with the least amount of hyperbole possible. Stress facts and avoid adjectives. Grandiose descriptions slow the reader down, and a slowed-down reader may abandon your site.
Consider hiring a copywriterIf you're having trouble getting your thoughts down in writing, think about hiring a pro to do it for you. Professional Web copywriters can fashion copy with SEO and selling in mind.
- Write short, tight paragraphs, which are easier to read than long blocks of text.
- Edit, edit, edit. Use spell check, and then have a friend look over your copy for grammatical and spelling errors.
- Use the "inverted pyramid" style that newspaper reporters use: start with the most important information and then expand upon your point.