With the advent of the internet, things have changed in the world of copywriting. Though some techniques, like short sentence structures, have always been important to journalism and copywriting, other things are relatively new. The web has brought about a change to the way people read, and therefore we have to change the way we write if we want our small business marketing programs to be successful.
Here are some website copywriting tips to keep in mind before you begin your next project:
When writing for the web, you have to take into account that your readers have short attention spans. They do not want to read through a lot of unnecessary information. The internet has helped create the era of immediate gratification – your readers want to know what's in it for them, an they want to know immediately. You can skip long introductory paragraphs and much of the added information you're probably used to using. Keep your writing as short, simple, and to the point as possible.
Active vs. Passive
It is vital that you know the difference between active and passive voice. Passive voice really has no place in non-fiction writing. It slows down your text and makes things harder to grasp for your reader.
An example of passive voice would be to say “Steven is loved by Elizabeth”; an example of the same sentence in active form would be “Elizabeth loves Steven”. New copywriters often use passive voice because they think it makes their sentences sound more authoritative. In fact, it simply makes the writing dull and boring.
This website copywriting tip relates back to brevity. Long, wordy sentences have no place in today's writing. You have to cut out the unnecessary adjectives and run on sentences. Short sentences are easier on the eyes and can be read quicker. Keep in mind that your website visitors aren't actually reading your web pages word for word. Using short sentences helps your reaers skim your web pages and absorb more information.
Even if you're in a business to business niche and trying to appear extremely professional, it's important to speak informally to your readers. Keep in mind, informal does necessarily mean misspelled words and grammatically incorrect sentences. But in general, you want to write just as you would speak when sitting across the table with a prospect. This conversational tone also makes your writing more interesting and easier to follow while it helps create a relationship with your website visitors and prospects.
Do Your Research
I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a website copywriting tip per se, but it is definitely relevant to every copywriting project you will undertake. Before you set out to write your copy, you need to know everything you can about the topic and your target audience. By getting all your research out of the way ahead of time, your thoughts will be more organized and your words will flow more naturally when you do begin to write. And as a side bonus, you'll feel much more confident about your product or service while you're writing, and this will certainly come across in your copywriting and it will make your product more attractive to your prospects.
They key to website copywriting is to keep things as short and simple as possible. You want your writing to be clear and easy to understand, especially for the skimmer. It should only take a few minutes for your reader to get your point. Following these simple copywriting tips will help improve your website conversions and increase your bottom line.
Karen Scharf, small business marketing consultant, works with small business owners and entrepreneurs. She offers several papers, reports and checklists, including her FREE 4 Simplest Tactics for Increasing Your Customer Base and Growing Your Bottom Line. Download yours at http://www.ModernImage.com