Many writers throughout Australia make the error of believing that penning copy for websites is the same as print. While solid English language skills like punctuation, grammar and spelling still play their part, creating persuasive web copy requires a different approach.
While considering your audience is important, the main goal with writing web copy is to make it accessible to all. As a result, instead of writing to impress an individual reader, web writers must produce copy with broad appeal that is simple and straightforward to consume.
If you’re taking on writing jobs and would like to improve how engaging your work for web is, read on for some simple tips you can try.
Structure content for scanning
Unlike an essay, web copy isn’t read, but simply glanced at or scammed for key information. For example, if you were turning in a paper for college, you might begin by explaining your subject and offer an overview. You’d then discuss your topic over a series of sections before drawing your conclusion at the close of the paper.
Web pages work in the opposite way, with the most critical information listed first. As web users scan for information, they require rather than read, if you don’t give them an indication that they are on the right track early on, they will soon lose interest and leave.
This doesn’t mean you must give everything away in the first paragraph, but just a simple statement to encourage further reading. Once they understand they have found the right source, they will be persuaded to continue down the web page and take in more information.
Journalists refer to this as the inverted pyramid. Traditional newspaper articles put the most newsworthy data first followed by details allowing readers to quickly grasp the big picture. Web pages work the same way. Let readers know what the company does, what the page is about and what it can do for them immediately.
Keep your web copy simple
Web users won’t hang on every word written; they are typically searching for a specific answer and avoid wasting time. For this reason, keeping your writing straightforward by employing simple and self-explanatory statements is always best.
Web copy is at its most persuasive when it is easy to read. Technically, this involves using shorter paragraphs with a low number of sentences. Extend this policy to your sentences and make them short two by missing out any words which are unnecessary.
Overall copy on web pages should be kept to a minimum. Long swathes of text will quickly lead to readers losing interest and leaving a site in search of information that is easier to digest. Review the content you write and ensure that you are not doubling up on information, as endless repetitions can also discourage engagement.
Writing in plain and clear language will keep your content accessible to as many people as possible, so unless you are penning a niche blog, try and avoid the use of jargon at all costs. The passive tense is another pitfall. Active voice is typically preferred in web copywriting as it is clear, direct and engaging. It specifically shows what or who is responsible for an action, while creating a sense of confidence and urgency making it far more persuasive.
When writing for web, a popular approach is to address site visitors directly. Use “you” and “your” for more personal engagement to command the attention of visitors.
Offer valuable information to users
With an understanding that visitors are online seeking information and answers, create content which supplies what they are looking for. Whether you’re writing copy for a web page or exploring a topic through a blog, consider what questions users might most want answers for.
Make sure that your web copy features the key phrases and words that potential customers might be searching for, and link these words to relevant pages on the website where products and services are offered. Including links to other respected websites in your copy can also help your content become trusted as a valuable resource.
Would you like to earn money from home?
If you would like to test your skills and understanding of how to write persuasive web copy, we can help. At Words of Worth Australia, we pay writers by the word to craft high-quality content for the web, from weekly business blogs and website copy to landing pages and product descriptions. While working with us, you’ll benefit from advice and further tips from our experienced editing team so you can enhance your abilities and learn how to write engaging copy.
You won’t require a degree or experience to write with us, but you’ll need sound English skills and dependable access to internet. If you think you’re ready, apply to become a writer with us today.