It has been discovered that visitors to websites read the content differently than they would if they were reading the same content in print. When a website visitor is reading a website’s content, then instead of reading it word for word, it is more likely that he or she will scan over the page looking for the specific information that he or she wants from the page. Therefore, the style of writing used for print material is not the same as that which should be utilized for a website. The style for the web, especially in the case of marketing, must be much more succinct and effective. Remember that it is the reader, not the writer, of the content who will determine the sequence that will be followed for the content.
To do this, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind as you write your web content:
1. Instead of thinking like an online marketer, you need to think like the reader
This means that you need to make certain that anyone scanning over your content will find it easy to discover the information they’ve been seeking.
2. Always keep the reader in mind as you write each part of the copy
Use a style that is much more casual than you would in print, because the reader will need to be able to relate to the wording.
3. Apply more of a journalistic-type writing style
This means that your wording will be simple and direct, and any complex sentence structures should be avoided. Don’t use any unnecessary words or “fluff”.
4. Never let the end purpose of your content leave your mind as you write
Online marketing is something that must be done with purpose in order to reach a specific target. The design itself, the copy, and the navigational tools should all work together toward your online marketing message.
5. Make your copy personal so that it reads as though you’re speaking directly to your prospective client
This can be done by using the second person, that is, writing “you”, so that the reader will feel as though he or she can personally relate with what you are trying to say.
6. Always tell your reader the benefits of whatever you’re saying
Copy should be written in order to directly inform readers of “what’s in it for them”. This means not only saying the features of any given product or service, but also why these features are good for the reader’s needs and desires.
7. Give order to your content by saying the most important things first
… so that they are the first points that your readers will spot at the top of the page. Since your readers will be scanning to find information that is worthwhile to them, you need to catch their interest as soon as possible or they will simply go elsewhere.
8. Don’t make your content one or two enormous blocks of text
Instead, break up your paragraphs into smaller, more manageable and more inviting paragraphs of no more than two or three sentences. You can also use subheadings and bullets to make scanning easier and more appealing.
9. Be consistent with your writing style throughout your site
Every page from your website should be written with the same feel, the same layout, the same words that are capitalized, and the same number of headings, so that everything remains consistent. This is extremely appealing to web users, since it makes scanning dramatically simpler.
10. Of course, you should never forget the ever-important keywords to be included to maximize SEO
Yes, search engine optimization – one of the most effective online marketing efforts you can make. Furthermore, scanning your content becomes much easier when keywords are there to be spotted.
None of these points are very difficult, however, they are somewhat time consuming. Fortunately, they are worth every moment you can put into them. Whether this means hiring a professional, or doing it yourself, these techniques provide you substantial results that you’ll be able to see growing over time.
Just don’t forget to keep up those efforts as you add new pages to your website, or if you change the site’s design in the future!