So what’s the difference between a traditional copywriter and a website copywriter?
Isn’t all copywriting the same? In a sense, yes – all copywriting is the same, but writing for the web does have its rules. This article will look at some of the elements you should focus on in order to become an effective web copywriter.
No matter what medium you are using, whether it be video, audio or text, all copywriting should have the same objective – to present an effective message in a persuasive light that appeals to an audience and has the power to influence. This golden rule not only applies to websites but also to magazines, brochures and sales letters. However, copywriting for the web presents a number of unique challenges and therefore needs a slightly different approach.
Ask yourself this question:
Do you read on the Internet in the same way you read on paper?
If you properly think about it, your answer will probably be ‘no’. Some factors to consider include monitor resolution, colours, glare, and having a static reading surface. When we read online, we are more comfortable scanning sub-headings, clicking hyperlinks and jumping between pages and this is because we’ve become conditioned to do so.
There’s a vast amount of information on the internet and as we become more savvy researchers, we can determine quickly, what content will be the most useful. In fact, statistics show that it only takes us 23 seconds to decide whether a website’s content will be valuable to us. Internet users also tend to browse over certain areas of content and embrace others. It’s therefore worth considering the placement of your text on your website, as these website heat maps show:
Most people who come across your business website are there because they are looking for a service that you provide. The online reader can be impatient and demanding, and they usually know what they want before they visit. If your business doesn’t impress straight away, rest assured that visitors will be making use of the most popular button on the internet – the ‘back’ button. If you do provide the product or service they need, the chances are that they will also jump onto your competitor’s website to see what they have to offer first.
Bearing in mind these unique challenges, here are a few copywriting tips to help make you a more effective website copywriter:
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
We’ve already mentioned that most visitors spend less than one minute eyeing up a website before deciding whether it’s what they’re looking for. There simply isn’t time to be frivolous with your content – you need to get your message across as fast as you can.
Write in Short Paragraphs
There’s nothing more off-putting to a reader than a whole block of text with no spaces. Writing in short paragraphs is the most effective way to write on the web as they provide ‘eye relief’ throughout the page. Short paragraphs are easily digestible and can be skimmed over at a glance. Visual layout is the key.
Make your Website Copy Flow
Reading from a laptop or PC monitor can be a strain on your eyes so you need to make your copy as readable as possible. Avoid using too many technical or jargon words, keep your tone fairly informal and relaxed – people are more likely to buy from you if you put them in a relaxed state of mind.
Keep it Simple
Don’t try to impress your readers by showing off your range of vocabulary. People respond better to website copy when they understand everything that they are being told. Practice writing in a minimalist way – why use three words when you can use one? Having a ‘no nonsense’ approach to your sales copy makes you sound confidence and gains customers’ trust.
Although less is often more when writing website copy, make sure that you answer your customers’ burning questions: “What are you selling?”; “Why should I choose you?”; “Where are you?”; “How can I get some of this?” “How much is it?”
Tempt your Audience
Tempt your audience and make them an offer they can’t refuse. Regardless of how good your website copy is, if your offer falls short, you’re unlikely to make the sale. Be sure to reiterate the benefits of your product or service and most importantly, connect with your audience on a personal level. Use embedded suggestions to close the sale with something like:
‘Imagine how good you’ll feel, knowing that you can improve your health for the better and feel more resourceful in yourself. Our product is the answer to you living a stress-free and enjoyable life.’
Or perhaps you need a little humour, sophistication, a personal touch, or even something racy?
For more information on how to be an effective website copywriter, check out this post from Jack Kinsella – A Thorough Guide to Website Copywriting.
Do you need a website copywriter? Have a look at our copywriting services.