11 Tips to Energize Your Website Copy
- By Michelle Howe
- Published 04/20/2008
Imagine; you spend thousands of dollars designing your website and no one comes. Why?
It could be that you forgot about the content or you didn't invest enough in the message. Good website content delivers the right message in the right way.
Tip #1 -The most important rule to remember is that writing for the web is not like writing for print.
Tip #2 - Brochures contain a tremendous amount of information in a small amount of space. You can't successfully post the wording from a
brochure on your website - that is too much text.
Tip #3 - As a rule, cut print copy 50 percent before posting it on your website. If all the information is necessary, reformat it. Keep the
content short and simple. People tend to scan websites, seldom reading through long blocks of text.
Tip #4 - Headings are an effective tool in letting people see your message as they scan through your website. To break up copy, consider using subheadings. Make it easy for your visitor to jump around your website and get key information. Additionally, as search engines often use headings to find your page, use keywords.
Tip #5 - Get used to counting words. Headings should be under eight words. Sentences should range from 15 to 20 words and paragraphs from 40 to 70 words.
Tip #6 - Bullets are an excellent way to quickly present information to someone scanning your website. Consider using bulleted information as links to more detailed descriptions, rather than trying to put all the information on one page.
For instance, if you are writing Web content for a restaurant and want to offer potential customers suggestions on dining occasions, you might try:
The Lost in The 60's Restaurant is a fun place to celebrate:
•Corporate Events and Parties
Now all the information is only a click away. And it's easy to search, thereby saving patrons time and you a cluttered Web space.
Tip #7 - Another rule of thumb is to avoid industry jargon. Be considerate of your website visitor and don't assume they know what you know. Using unfamiliar words could confuse visitors and influence them to leave your site. Also, make sure your phrasing is easy-to-understand. Consider asking someone outside your industry to
review your writing.
Tip #8 - Remember, people use the Internet to find information. You need to be direct and to the point to attract attention immediately. Always begin paragraphs with the most important information and then provide other relevant details.
Tip #9 - Use a conversational style. Write as though you were speaking with someone, not at them.
In a face-to-face encounter, a salesperson tries to immediately establish a rapport with a customer. It is much easier to make a sale if
someone feels comfortable and trusts you. With the Internet, you have to establish that same rapport with words.
Tip #10 - The best way to converse with your reader is to write from their point of view, not yours. Don't simply write, "The XY2 Widget is the best product on the market." Rather, explain the benefits of the XY2 Widget; " By purchasing the XY2 Widget you will save time and money." Then, illustrate how the widget saves time and money.
Tip #11 - Finally, show some enthusiasm in your writing! People want to be entertained. Corporate-speak is not going to do it. Have some personality and create a voice for your company that people recognize. It truly is OK to entertain and inform on the Web.