How to Write Effective Web Copy
Writing effective web copy begins with an understanding ofwhat the goals of your web site are. Are you trying to getyour visitors to purchase something or have them sign upfor your newsletter? Remember you are trying to get someoneyou can’t see and have never met take a step towardsbuilding a relationship with you or your company.
1. Create a customer profile – try to find out what are theneeds and desires of your visitors. Here are some examplesof questions you could ask:
Are they young, middle aged or senior? Are they primarily male or female? Are they financially secure or budget-minded? What gets him or her excited? What are his or her most pressing concerns?
Try to brainstorm a list of topics that might interest yourtarget audience.
2. Create a Unique Selling Position (USP) – This is a statement of 2-3 sentences that explains why you aredifferent from everybody else. This is the unique factorthat sets you apart from your competition. Make this thefirst thing your visitor sees when they arrive on your homepage.
3. Focus on benefits – most web users want to find theinformation about the product or service they need as fastas possible. If they land on your site, they want to knowhow they will benefit from buying your product orsubscribing to your ezine. You will need to answer thatquestion as clearly and concisely as possible or you willlose that visitor.
4. Use the inverted pyramid style – provide a summary of your information by clearly communicating the direction ofyour discussion. Use informative headings and subheadingswith a paragraph of 4 to 5 lines that supports them. You only have a few seconds to grab your visitors attention. Most will simply scan for the information they are seeking.
Use bulleted or numbered lists, boldface or colored font to emphasize the points you wish to make. Include linksat the end of your paragraph (or within the text) to direct visitors to other pages of your site for more in-depth information.
5. Write in an informal or personal style – write in aunique way that differentiates you from other smallbusinesses in a similar business or niche. It doesn’t haveto be elaborate or super-creative. You simply provide astyle that gets the attention of your visitors.
6. Keep your sentences simple – you are not writing toimpress. You are writing to communicate. You want topre-sell your product or service, therefore write as if youare talking to a 13 year old.
Don’t use large words but opt for strong verbs over weakones. Use the active voice instead of a passive one. i.e.Instead of “a good score was achieved by the team”…say “theteam scored a season high”. Speak “to” but not “at” yourvisitor. Keep your sentences short and snappy.
7. Include searchable keywords – use targeted keywords inyour web copy that will allow the search engines to find yoursite. Include these keywords in your meta tags, links andfile names also.
8. Eliminate the fluff - don’t waffle on in your writing.You will only bore your visitors and they will clickelsewhere. Try to remove filler sentences that containphrases like “for those of you” and “all of you”.
9. Proof read your web copy – errors in your web copy givethe impression of being unprofessional or sloppy. Read thecopy aloud to yourself or get someone else to proof readit. Often they will find more errors because they are moreobjective.
Use the spell checker but don’t rely on it. Often itdoesn’t pick up all incorrectly spelt words. Print acopy of your content. It’s easier to find grammatical orspelling errors on a hard copy.
10. Take a break – revise your web copy after taking abreak from it for several hours or a few days. This allowsyou to see it from a different viewpoint. You may find abetter way to say something to further improve your copy.
11. Use images sparingly – images should only be used ifthey relate and support your web content. If not, they willonly distract the visitor from reading your web copy. Toomany images will slow down the time it takes for yourvisitor to load your site in their browser.
12. Use effective navigation – your navigation bar shouldhelp visitors easily find the main sections of your site.Read: "How to Create an Effective Web Site NavigationStructure" (http://www.isitebuild.com/navigation)
Writing effective web copy is the key to converting visitorsinto buyers. Getting 1000s of visitors to your web site doesn't guarantee sales. Reading your web copy should pre-sell your product with the words you use. Once you achieve this, your web site will become very profitable.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com. AffordableWeb Site Design and Web Hosting. Pick up your copy of the 159 page ebook TODAY titled: "Make Your Content Pre Sell" by going to the link below: http://mycps.sitesell.com/webselling83.html