Copywriting Tips for the Web
Struggling to put together an online message for your company’s website? Try these tips:
1. KISS your words – Keep It Short and Sweet
As a web professional, I live on the web. I can find anything on the web, including books and online magazines. But I still go out and spend my hard earned money on printed books and magazines at Books-A-Million or Barnes and Noble. This is because I hate reading anything lengthy on my computer screen. The resolution is not as good as a cleanly printed book and the glowing pixels and reflective screens burn out my eye sockets. Because lengthy text doesn’t play out well online, don’t be long winded online. People will skim or even skip your text altogether if it is too much work, negating all that hard work you put into it.
2. Think about Search Engines – As well as your Visitors
Everything you write for your website will be read by visitors to your site as well as those cold, impersonable search engine spiders. Think about what is your most important point to cover and cover it early in your text. Don’t take forever to make your point – it will bore your visitors and the search engines will miss your point altogether as they give higher weight to text that is higher up on your page.
3. Organize Your Text with Headers and Sub-headers (like these!)
Don’t plop all your text on a page in a series of paragraphs. Try to use headers and sub-headers where appropriate to break up the information and make it easier for visitors to assess. Bullet points work well too and a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, so see where you can replace excessive text with a picture or two.
4. Clarify What You Do or Sell – Be Specific
Avoid generic catch phrases and fluffy text that sounds smart but doesn’t teach. For example:
“We think outside the box so you can leverage your assets to get the best return on investment and work more efficiently.”
Um, ok… but what do you do? What do you sell? Tell your visitors by being specific.
5. Have a Call to Action – a Sense of Urgency
Direct your visitors to the action you want them to take. Just as you have to pass the cash register in any store you visit before you leave (the brick and mortar call-to-action), make sure a visitor to your site can’t miss your website’s call-to-action before leaving. Sure, this might be a fancy graphic a designer is creating for you, but work it into all of your text copy too.