What do a copywriter, prize-winning chef, and an artist all have in common? The secret to effective web copy lies in the answer to that question – careful planning. Like a cake that hasn’t been decorated or an unfinished painting, an unfinished website lacks that wow factor that makes it stand out.
Secret #1 Remember Your Audience
It bears repeating over and over, the secret to writing web copy is to write with your audience in view. What do they want to walk away with? Google, Bing, or Yahoo will bring them to your website, but it’s your web copy that will keep them there. So we must ask ourselves if we are writing with our audience in view; writing what it is that they want.
Secret #2 Avoid Lengthy Paragraphs
Use your headings if you want to keep your reader’s attention. A whole page of words with lengthy paragraphs will only bore many of your website visitors. Break up the blocks of text with headlines. Besides, it gives them a chance to scan your web page, which they will do anyway.
Secret #3 Resonate With Your Audience
For your content to resonate with the audience, there is no need to wow them with complicated phrases and words that they need to go to Merriam-Webster.com to understand. Likely, they are there to purchase a product or service or to get information, so make it easy on them.
Just a note, there is no need to make it so simple that your quality is questioned either. Keep a good balance.
Secret #4 Avoid Industry Jargon
What’s wrong with this sentence? The secret to a substantial ROI is to partner with a VA. If you’re an investor you might understand that ROI is return on investment. VA can stand for a virtual assistant or the state of Virginia. Therefore, avoiding industry jargon is good web copy practice.
Secret #5 Run-on Sentences
While they may make perfect sense to you as you’re writing them, run-on sentences can frustrate your readers. They shouldn’t have to stop and think, “Let me read that again.”
When writing copy for the web, it’s important to plan, write for your audience, keep your reader’s attention, avoid complicated phrases, and avoid industry jargon and run-on sentences.