Writing high-impact web copy


Picture by Lorenzo Petrantoni

The purpose of web copy is to generate customers, business leads, sales, and consequently profits. Good web copy has the ability to convert web browsers into buyers. As such, it is a specialised skill, but one that can be learned. Tracey Dooley shows you how…

Do NOT confuse web copy with web content. The latter is simply words that are put online to entertain, inform, or educate readers (this post is a form of web content). It is the former — web copy; a form of direct-response advertising — that we are interested in for the purposes of this article.

Here, then, are 10 top tips to getting it right:

1. Research shows that the first thing web users see is a headline. Their eyes then drift down the page looking for easy-to-spot words and phrases. If you deliver what they expect, your readers will go back and actually read your copy. Studies also show you have just 3-8 seconds to grab your prospects’ attention before you’ve lost them for ever. So make sure every page has a punchy, relevant headline.

2. Write your web pages for a reader who ‘skims reads’. Use short sentences and paragraphs. Include plenty of bullet points, highlighted words, and sub-heads.

3. Determine the words your target market would type in to find you. Those are your keywords. Be sure to weave them into your copy.

4. Make sure your first paragraph features important, compelling words that can be ‘scanned’ by your prospects and ‘picked up’ by the search engines.

5. Reinforce your main message throughout your copy via a range of copywriting devices such as sub-headings, box-outs, offers, testimonials, etc.

6. Use simple, direct language that gets your audience nodding in agreement, rather than rolling their eyes in disbelief or worse, nodding off. The point of web copy is to captivate your visitors, not bore them away to another site.

7. Understand that the purpose of web copy is to get your readers to read the headline, and then the first sentence. Then that sentence should get you to read the NEXT sentence. And so on.

8. Wherever possible, incorporate testimonials from satisfied clients. On the web, credibility is paramount.

9. Focus on making your copy informative, persuasive, to the point, compelling, and accessible to a global audience.

10. Always let readers know where they are (not all visitors will land on your order page, or your landing page), why they’re there, and where they need to go next. This might be simply clicking on a link to the contact page.

By Tracey Dooley, Copywriter | Editor | Proofreader

bullet_grn_brwn There’s always room for improvement. If you would like some help in putting the va-va-voom into your web copy, get in touch. I can review your copy to add a bit of zing and power, or craft compelling copy that does the selling for you.

• http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/

(Why struggle needlessly when you can get expert affordable mentoring and have fun attracting clients easily?) 

(C) 2010-16 T Dooley, All Rights Reserved

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