The quality of the copy on your website can impact how visitors view you, your website, and your business. Although it may seem easy, copywriting for print and the web is a specialized profession that requires years of practice to perfect. Professionally written web copy can help you present your business in a way that will leave customers with a lasting and positive impression of your website and your business.
One of the most important things to remember when writing web copy is that web users do not read websites the same way that they read newspapers, textbooks, or magazines.
Provide Instant Answers
When visiting your site, web users want instant answers to their questions about your product, or service. The copy on your webpage should answer the following questions in a direct and uncluttered way.
If you think a first time visitor to your site would have difficulties getting answers to these questions within the first few seconds of entering your site, then you should consider a professional rewrite and/or redesign of your site.
The shorter the web copy on your site, the better. Notoriously hurried web users are looking for quick and reliable information. Unless your visitors are expecting something lengthy such as an article or report, keep your copy as short as possible.
Web users look for conversational tones that are easy to understand. Use simple words and fairly short sentences in your web copy. Do not introduce more than one or two ideas per page.
If you must include long copy to describe your product or service, it is important to separate this copy from the other pages of your site, by providing a link to it from other pages. Never place long copy in places where your visitors do not expect it.
Similar to how they read short copy, web users also skim long copy for items of interest. It is especially important when using long web copy to organize the material by incorporating headlines, sub-headers, and bulleted lists wherever possible.
While it is important to be clear and concise, maintaining the interest of your web visitors will require lively words that invoke action. Write in a conversational and friendly tone. Sometimes it is helpful to have a friend read your web copy and then ask them for an honest critique.
Web users are savvy consumers that don’t buy hype. It is important not go overboard with sales copy or patronize your web visitors.
Your web copy should be written specifically for your target audience. Trying to target everyone will dilute the message of your web copy and cause it to be less effective.
In the special case where you are targeting two specific groups, your website should be designed to quickly separate the two groups into different areas of the site that are written especially for each group.