Your online presence can be made or broken by the copy you use on your website.
Consider it for a moment.
What is the first impression that new customers get when they find your company online? It’s coming from your website copy, but does it welcome them in or repel them? Is it educating them? Is it amusing, relatable, and written especially for them? If not, it is not serving its purpose.
If you want to be successful online, you must learn how to write web copy that engages, delights, and inspires your readers. Only by learning how to do this will you be able to excel at online marketing and establish the reputation that your brand deserves.
How to Write Web Content (and Why it Matters)
According to experts, we only have seven seconds to make a first impression. People who visit your website or social media profiles form an opinion of you and your company as soon as they begin reading, and that opinion can either help or hurt your business.
Consider the websites that publish web content that sticks out in your mind. What do you like best about them?
If you’re like most people, you appreciate how these sites address you as a real person who wants to learn new things, rather than a “target persona” with no name or emotions.
These companies understand how to write compelling web copy, and you can learn from them by paying attention to what they do.
How to Write Web Copy 101: 10 Insightful Hints
1. Always keep scanning in mind.
People scan web copy just the same as when they are reading books. As a result, you can’t write the two things in the same way. Web copy must be written in the same way that people read web copy, which means it must be simple and easy to understand.
It must also keep the scanning habit in mind. This includes short, succinct paragraphs, headers and subheaders that inform readers about what to expect in a section, and bulleted or numbered lists that highlight important information.
When you include these elements in your web copy, it becomes more reader-friendly and performs better online.
2. Provide your readers with what they want.
People don’t read marketing blogs just for the sake of reading them. Most of the time, they’re looking for information, trying to solve a problem, or looking for a product to buy. In other words, they’re on the prowl, and it’s your job to provide them with what they’re looking for.
After that, make sure your content is positioned in such a way that it delivers what your customers are looking for. This simple step will help ensure that your web content finds and stays in its niche, in addition to making it more relevant to them.
3. Organize your content so that the most important information is at the top.
Consider how you bait a hook when you go fishing. You don’t put the bait halfway up the line, where the fish won’t see it, do you? Instead, you place the bait on the hook, right where the fish is almost certain to come into contact with it. The same is true for your website’s content.
Top-loading your articles and blogs with the most relevant and important information in the first few paragraphs of the body copy increases your chances of “hooking” readers and keeping them there.
With this in mind, place all of your piece’s most important details in the upper portion of the web page.
This could include product benefits, detailed information about an event or launch, or statistics that demonstrate your point, depending on the topic of the page.
To take your web content to the next level, use the personal “you” voice and a variety of facts, figures, and statistics to appeal to your readers and draw them in from the start.
4. Don’t try to sound intelligent.
This was the subject of one of the year’s most popular blogs. “Stop Trying to Sound Smart When You’re Writing,” published by Harvard Business Review on October 5, 2016, is all about how trying to sound smart often has the opposite effect. Instead of impressing your readers, it turns them off. Instead of enhancing your brand, it detracts from it.
That being said, begin writing in the manner in which you speak. This approach will not only be more authentic for you and your company, but it will also help to keep readers interested. People are more likely to stick around and engage with your content if you don’t speak down to them. This is fantastic news for both you and your brand.
5. Remove all jargon.
You’re doing something wrong if the only people who can read your web page copy are people in your industry. Remove any industry jargon or unfamiliar words from your web page copy to make it more reader-friendly and accessible. While it may appear that this makes you sound smart or professional (see tip #4), it more often than not alienates entire segments of readers and limits your online writing.
With that in mind, ditch the jargon in favour of plain, everyday language to make your point. Use an editor like Grammarly or Hemingway to help you catch overly complicated sentences and make alternate word suggestions.
6. Conduct keyword research.
Keywords, which were once at the centre of on-page SEO, have fallen out of favour in recent years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. In fact, keywords continue to play an important role in guiding Google and your readers to understand what your content is about. Consider this: when readers look for online content, they use a string of keywords.
For example, if I wanted to find a coffee shop in Hayle, I would type “coffee shop Hayle” into Google. That’s a keyword phrase, and using keyword phrases related to your company and offerings is a great way to boost the conversion rates of your web content and help readers find what they’re looking for.
If you need assistance researching keywords, use a tool like Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner, or contact us to learn more about our keyword research services!
7. Make sure your content is properly formatted.
Again, online writing is not the same as novel writing, and you must properly format your online material to help it convert. Before you publish your web content, do the following:
Divide your paragraphs into short sections. Each paragraph should contain no more than four sentences.
Reduce the length of your sentences by removing unnecessary words and phrases.
Remove jargon from your language to make it more simple.
Replace passive voice with active voice.
Remove any areas of repetition.
To appeal to readers, use the second person.
Learning how to write web content can be difficult, but these simple bullet points will go a long way toward assisting you in properly formatting your content. As a result, your online visitors will find it easier to read and interact with your content.
8. Arrange your website’s content to be consistent.
People do not interact with web content in a chronological order, which is one of the most overlooked aspects of learning how to write web content. This applies to your website as well as your blogs and social media content. As a result, you must ensure that your content is not organized in such a way that people must interact with it sequentially.
Arrange your content so that it is self-contained and stand-alone. Every page of your website, for example, should include a link to the home page. Your content should be written as if it were a chapter of a book, and you should include your name, address, and phone number in everything you write.
9. Use images in your web page copy.
Learning to write web copy entails not only writing but also learning to use visual content. On the one hand, “visual content” refers to the formatting that we have already discussed. Good formatting enhances the appeal of your content and can help attract readers.
Images are another visual offshoot. Consider stock photos, infographics, screenshots, memes, and other media. The reason for including these things is simple: reading dense blocks of text exhausts people, and including relevant visuals throughout a piece of content can help break it up and make it more approachable for readers.
To that end, use visually appealing and informative visuals such as graphics, photos, and screenshots to illustrate points and provide a visual break for readers.
10. Maintain a friendly tone.
It is all too easy to make web content stuffy and unapproachable. Keep it warm to make it as exciting and welcoming to your readers as possible. Write in the manner in which you speak, and don’t be afraid to inject your unique personality into the web copy. It will improve conversion rates and make your product more memorable to your customers.
How to Write Web Copy Correctly
There are dozens of incorrect ways to write web copy, but these ten pointers will help you nail it right away!
Learning how to write compelling web copy can help your brand or business stand out online – now and in the future!
Do you require an excellent web copy? You can put your trust in Alice Media. We can assist!