Looking for the secret to great web copy? We’re sorry to say there isn’t one. There is, however, a set of rules that, if followed, will help you create content that engages your audience, enhances your brand and drives positive action.
Here are some of the essentials:
Keep it short
Great web copy needs to make an impact, and it needs to do it fast. The average user spends just 15 seconds on a page before clicking away, so there's no time for rambling. As we always tell our clients, you don’t need many words, just the right ones.
Sell the benefits
Whether consciously or subconsciously, your customer is always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Great web copy highlights how good you'll feel after that new hair cut rather than the technical skills of the stylist. It reassures you that your tax return will be filed on time and without any complications rather than explaining which accounting software is being used to do it.
Break it up
Structure is important. Long paragraphs of text may work in a book but they’re much harder to read online. Use short headings (called subheads) to create subsections that are more easy to digest, for example, and bullet points to make information more accessible. Pull quotes (segments of text formatted as a graphic feature) can also draw the eye to important points.
Weed out buzzwords
We’re not just talking about those ridiculous phrases marketing professionals bandy about - things like snackable content and incentivise and low hanging fruit. You also need to think carefully before using words like innovative or iconic, paradigm or synergise. They’re overused (and often wrongly used) and therefore pretty much meaningless.
Respect the Google
There’s no point investing in great web copy if no one sees it, and like it or not, that means ensuring you know at least a bit about search engine optimisation (SEO). Crucially, your copy should contain key words and phrases that your customers and clients might be searching for. Length is also important, as Google likes to see at least 250-300 words per page. There’s a handy free SEO guide by Google that you can download here if you want more info.
Get it checked
No matter how good your GCSE English results were, everyone makes mistakes. Even if you know how to use an apostrophe and you understand the difference between your and you’re, chances are you’ll have at least made a typo somewhere, so get someone to proofread your copy before it goes live. Otherwise, you risk looking sloppy and unprofessional.
Hire a professional
You knew we were going to get to this eventually, didn’t you? Thing is, not everyone can write. Or maybe you can, but you don’t have the time. Or you simply don’t enjoy it. A professional copywriter will automatically apply all the tips we’ve mentioned above and a hundred more besides, leaving you to get on with what you do best.
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If you’re looking for someone to help you create engaging web copy that will drive your business goals, contact us to see how we can help.