Copywriting for web – four key focus areas

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Writing copy for web. It needs to be simple, concise and effective, which sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? However, we all know that the mere idea of such a task can be daunting, especially when you consider the complexities that exist in any business. So, here’s a handy guide to four key focus areas that will change the way you write for web.

Formatting

Getting attention is key.

You have approximately 15 seconds before your reader moves on, so make your copy impactful and concise. Head up a page with a short intro paragraph that summarises the content.

Your reader’s attention doesn’t last for long, so make your content easy to digest.

Use headings

And subheadings

And stand alone sentences to help break up the text and make your content scannable.

When it comes to sections that are information-heavy, using bullet points will help you:

  • Condense your language
  • Highlight key facts
  • Give the reader space to absorb your content

Formatting plays a big part in your reader’s experience. Remember, your reader will take in bite-size information faster, so put yourself in their shoes and look at what attracts you when visiting a site and what information you come away with.

Language

The language you use is essential.

It sets the tone and represents the company; but don’t let that make your tone distant or aloof. Simple, concise and carefully selected words will hone your message and ensure your company appears approachable and appealing.

Using active, positive language engages and encourages conversation. Keep your content current and tone conversational, and ban all jargon and corporate speak! Remember to speak to your reader as if they were in the room, it will remind them that there’s a person behind the computer screen who they can interact with.

Lastly, we come to keywords: love them or loathe them, they are here to stay. However it’s important not to let them control your content. Good keywords should be part of your language when writing copy for web. If your reader searches for them, so will Google.

Storytelling

Complex issues are best digested through simple ideas.

Give your user an example, an experience and a story. Take them on a journey. Most of our clients’ work is incredibly complex, however, by using simple language and storytelling, they’re able to communicate complicated ideas quickly and effectively.

Interaction

If the reader clicks, then you’re already winning.

Try and craft opportunities for interaction in your copy. Including resources for further information, links to topical sites and recommending others increases your credibility and encourages connection.

One of the most important features of web copy is the Call To Action – this needs to be visible (some prefer a CTA on every page) yet subtly persuasive. Your reader isn’t ignorant to persuasive devices such as CTAs and they prefer to make their own decisions. Take time to consider where your needs and those of your customer meet, and what type of CTA will benefit you both.

A website we designed for Compete 366, a business and technology consultancy, features a CTA on almost every page – note the blue banner across the middle of each page, and the orange ‘read more’ buttons? How about the hyperlinked text in this blog you just clicked on to get to their website? CTA is a powerful tool when used correctly.

 

A simple, effective and thoughtful approach to writing copy for web will give you a great platform to start from. Ultimately, the key is to remember whom you are writing for, get to know your audience before you hit the keyboard (or pick up a pen, depending on your persuasion) and the whole process will be far more effective. Not sure who your ultimate audience is? Why not get in touch and let us help you.