It is no secret that effective Web copywriting is one of the most essential online marketing tools for attracting, retaining, and converting customers. But how do you write copy that will get read?
Web writing can be difficult, but once you have mastered these six steps, you will be way ahead of the competition:
Keep your copy short.
Although there’s no set length for your copy, remember that attention spans are far shorter on the Web. Put the “meat” of your point at the beginning of your copy, rather than burying it at the end. If you interest your customers up front, they’ll read the details and stay on your pages longer, increasing the likelihood that they will buy your product or service.
Create an emotional connection.
Whether you’re writing bullet points, body copy, or a “contact us” statement, strive to get your reader to laugh, smile, or cry to feel any emotion besides apathy. Review your copy, and determine whether your competitors are writing similar content in a similar tone? If so, approach it from a different angle and find ways to stand out from the competition to help capture your customers’ attention.
Remember: Tone is key.
Be passionate, and your tone will hit any target. Passion isn’t always easy to find. If you feel yourself going through the motions, do this: Stop writing, engage in a different activity that you find inspiring, and then return to writing content that will inspire others.
Be true to your voice.
If you’re not a teenager, don’t try to write like one. Customers will sense the false tone, because using a phrase that’s foreign to you will sound forced. Talk to your audience in a fresh way, but avoid imitating someone else’s voice.
Direct customers with a call to action.
When it comes to Web copy, your call to action is the No. 1 item you want users to click on. Such directives point customers where you want them to go. Be brief, be specific, and remember that you are guiding human beings, so use commands or friendly instructions when starting your call to action. For example, “Dig deeper” is superior to “More details,” because it is actionable and sounds more like what a real person would say. When writing a call to action use three words or fewer, stress the action, invite the user, avoid boring language, and have some fun.
Don’t let SEO override good writing.
One trap that hurts Web writers is obsessing over search engine optimization. Keep SEO in mind so that people will be drawn to your website, but never let it become the focus of writing a good headline or content.
Instead, make sure your Web designer uses image names and alt tags, and include important terms in subheads, page titles, and body copy. In other words, be aware of how your writing affects SEO, but don’t let SEO dominate your writing.
Zach Bonnan recently joined Interaktiva Digital Marketing, a leading digital marketing firm based in Miami, as senior copywriter. He previously worked for Euro RSCG Chicago.