It is a common mistake.
Even web writers with experience make it.
Who do you think of when writing your web copy
What image do you have of a potential customer looking at your text? Think about what makes your potential customer click.
This is what most web authors do.
They treat web visitors as human beings who enjoy reading.
They treat their web visitors as if they were readers of printed texts.
But this is wrong. Completely incorrect. Because web copy differs from print copy.
You can scan web copy. Or glanced at. Not read.
Are you looking for better web content writing skills?
Your web visitors are searching for information or products. They take quick decisions, without taking time to think.
What can you do to persuade visitors to take action even if they haven’t read your content?
Let me elaborate.
Here are 9 ways to write convincing copy for the web.
1. Your website visitors should be treated like wild animals
Your website visitors behave just like wild animals (source Jakob Nielsen’s Alarm box).
They’re looking for information or a product that they can buy, much like a hungry leopard hunting for its next meal.
A panther will quickly decide if a scent trail leads to a good meal after smelling it. Is it easy to catch?
Two things are important for web visitors. Can they find it easily?
Hunger panthers won’t waste their time hunting for food. And web visitors don’t want to waste time browsing your website looking for the product they’re looking for. They want it fast.
Your website visitor makes an instant decision on whether you are useful. You don’t want your visitors to be overwhelmed by too many choices.
Web visitors glance quickly at your web pages before making a decision. They don’t need to be able to tell for certain. They just want to be able to quickly make a decision.
How will you get your message across to web visitors who only glance at your website?
2. Place your most important information in the first place
Writing for the Internet is completely different than writing for paper or essay.
An essay may look something like the following: First, you should explain what your topic is. Next, provide a summary of the literature. Next, discuss and finally draw your conclusions. The conclusion is the most important thing you can make in your essay.
It is important to remember that web pages should be viewed in reverse order: the most important points are always at the top.
A good example is if you’re looking to buy a new red three-seater leather sofa. If you are looking for a sofa-selling website, you will want to check that it does. Second, you will want a search option so you can quickly find the red three-seater couches.
Maybe you are looking to hire a copywriter to create your website. Perhaps you’re looking to hire someone local. You might need your copywriter to understand medical terminology so you would like to see copywriting for the medical sector.
Your website visitors are most likely to value information that is simple and concise. You might also want to give them some details after they’ve understood what you do. Maybe they would like some background information.
Journalists refer this to the inverted pyramid method of writing. Newspaper articles have the most interesting information first before any background or details. Even if only the first paragraph of a newspaper article is read, you still get the overall picture.
It is the same for your website. Your customers want to understand the whole picture. The question is: What are you doing? Or, what can you do?
3. You don’t have to be creative or clever.
It’s rare to find a reader who holds on to every word of what you have written online. He doesn’t have the time. He’s too busy to look for other scent trails.
Simple statements are more effective than complex ones.
[W]hen a Web site is viewed, it should be apparent. Simple. This is obvious. Steve Krug.
The ability to use clever language requires that people think. It’s not possible to ask people to think on the internet. This is because web visitors are always searching and don’t have enough time to think. Make your web copy as short as possible.
Writing as if you were writing for 12-year-olds makes your copy easier to understand. Don’t make jokes unless the target audience is ready to hear them.
4. Send a request for scanners
How many people view web pages?
There isn’t anyone like it!
What most web visitors do is look at each page, read some of the text and then click on the first link that looks interesting or vaguely matches what they are searching for. Steve Krug
Research indicates that only 16% read web pages word-for–word. Most people scan. (Source: Jakob Nielsen Alert box).
How do scanners work? A checklist:
Does your headline reflect what you stand for? Does your image caption convey a selling message?
What are your sub headlines that summarize your key points and highlight your key points.
What does it mean to reduce wordiness with bullet points?
Your visitor is on the web looking for information. Make sure he is able to understand all the important information you have by simply looking at your site.
5. Use familiar terms
Web readers can be hunter-gatherers yet again. However, this time instead of scanning for prey, they scan pages looking for care words. We click these words to act when they appear. Gerry McGovern
Imagine that you would like to take a vacation to Bangkok and are searching for a great deal on a flight. What should you be looking for: a cheap, affordable flight, or a low-cost flight to Bangkok?
People don’t search for low-cost flights. Google’s Keyword Tool has shown that low-cost flights are what people are searching for.
Keyword search results that show low cost and effective keywords are more popular than the ones that show cheap.
The majority of people search for flights at a low price.
Care words refer to the words people are searching for. It’s easy to pretend that we’re better than we really are. We like to embellish our work. We try to sound clever, special or scientific. However, your web visitor is seeking familiar words – the care words – because these are the scent trails that help him find the right place.
6. Write for lazy people
Just as the lazy panther searches for easy food, so does your visitor not want to spend any effort reading your text.
Make your copy simple to read
Use only four sentences for your paragraphs
Use short sentences — twelve on average
Be careful not to use unnecessary words
Avoid jargon, gobbledygook and other nonsense
Avoid passive tense
Address your web visitors directly using the word you
Shorten your text
How short should your text? Steve Krug suggests reducing the text to half of each page. Then, get rid half of what’s left. It may sound too demanding, but you should try it. Set yourself a challenge. Keep your text concise.
7. You can expect people to visit your website from any part of the world
Most people read a book beginning with chapter 1. Then moving on to chapter two. Chapter three. Four.
Imagine that people open a book and begin reading anywhere they want. You might find it at the start of the last chapter, in the middle or on the last page of Chapter 1.
This is what the internet looks like. The majority of web visitors will not begin reading at your home page. They may visit any of your other web pages.
Google Analytics >> Website Content >> Landing Pages – If you don’t know where visitors arrive on your website’s pages, visit Google Analytics >> Google Analytics >> Site Information >> Traffic Sources. You can view the number of visitors who visited each page.
What does it imply that every web page can also be an entry page?
Each page should not be difficult to read
Each page should explain where people are, and what your website is about.
Each page should have an action call that directs people to the next step. Sign up for your newsletter to receive more information, read a testimonial or product description, request a quote and add a product or product to a shopping basket.
Do not rely on your navigation bars to tell people what they should do next. A button or link can be included to help users navigate to the next step. Each page.
8. Make it easy to be found by hunters
Potential customers are seeking information and products.
What can you do to help them find you
By providing valuable information, you can attract customers to the website. This is how SEO (Search Engine Optimization), writing works.
Answer the questions potential clients are asking
Discuss one key topic on each page
You can include links to related pages on your site or other websites.
Use the words and phrases your potential customers are looking to find
9. Make a visual impression
Web copy and website design should complement each other.
You can’t create your words or your sentences. However you can create your bullet point without taking into consideration how your webpage will look.
Your website’s design has a direct impact on how readable your text is. This can influence whether visitors can easily understand your message.
How to enhance the visual appeal in your web copy
Replacing text with photos or videos
You should consider different font sizes. Consider people who are used to reading large text first.
Customers (or experts) should be quoted to increase their credibility
You can experiment with highlights, bold text or CAPS.
Make a long headline shorter by adding a subhead line
Modify paragraphs to bullet points
De-clutter. Reduce clutter and increase white space. White space will make your website read easier and will increase your trust.
This is the truth about persuasive web copy
It is very easy to create persuasive web copy.
However, it is not easy to create simple, useful copy.
Don’t treat web visitors like scholars who enjoy challenging and complex texts. Don’t treat web visitors like lawyers who spend hours poring over tiny print. Do not be too verbose. Also, don’t display your extensive vocabulary.
Be as clear as possible.
Don’t try and be everything for everyone. Know who and what it is that you are.
It is easier to make your positioning clear and stand out online. It is easier to create convincing web copy when your message stands out.