10 Tips for Writing Great Web Copy & Creating an Effective Website
Writing for the web is a whole different art from writing for print, especially when it comes to company websites. Before you decide what to put on your website, you need to consider the type of service you provide and what information your prospects are looking for. There are a number of reasons people visit your site, including:
to obtain more information about your company
to determine whether your product or service meets their needs
to view your portfolio or case studies
When creating content for an effective website, keep two things in mind:
writing for the web is different than writing for print
the average reader tends to have a short attention span
Here are ten tips to help you write website copy that your visitors will want to read:
1. Keep it short. If your visitor has to scroll down the page to see the rest of your copy, in most cases, your copy is too long.
2. Make it meaningful. Only include the information your readers will care about.
3. Use short paragraphs. Short paragraphs can be read or skimmed easily. If your paragraphs are too long, your readers will move on to something else.
4. Align the text to the left. Web copy that is aligned to the left is much easier to read than centered or right-aligned text. Take it easy on your readers and they'll be more likely to stick around. If you must use centered text, do so sparingly.
5. Use lists. Breaking up your text with bullet points or lists helps make your website copy easy to read.
6. Use a bigger font than you would for print. Reading text on a computer screen is hard on the eyes. To make it easier for your readers, you should use a 12 or 14 point font.
7. Determine your message and the information you want to share, then ask yourself if people will care. You want to give readers the information they are looking for. If you provide information that fails to interest them, they will move on.
8. Assume people don't want to read your website. Only use what you need to get your message across. Most people don't really want to read your text. They just want to obtain the information they went to your website for.
9. Edit the copy for word flow by reading it out loud. If you stumble or need to take breaths at the wrong times, rewrite your copy.
10. Proofread your work before publishing it. I have seen so many errors and typos on websites that could have been avoided had more time and attention been given to reviewing the web copy. Take your time. An effective website takes time to create.
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