Writing for your home business website is a special skill. You can be an ace essayist, or turn out an amazing blog every week, and still write terrible web copy.
That’s because a web reader isn’t looking for the same things other readers are – when they arrive at your site, they’re looking for something specific. The typical web reader doesn’t actually read, in fact. They scan. They spend an average of 15 seconds looking at a page before they decide whether or not to bounce.
So, how do you catch their attention? Here are a few simple tips.
#1 KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
This is Marketing 101. It applies across the board, but especially when it comes to online ventures. When a visitor lands on your page, they glance around, looking for familiar words. They’re usually looking for a particular product or service, and they’ll know within seconds of landing on your site if you have what they want or not. If your site is too complicated, they’ll quickly move on to the next thing.
Here’s how to keep them engaged:
- Create a catchy headline
- Use subheadings or bullet points to highlight key ideas
- Keep paragraphs simple – just a few short sentences
- Utilize images and infographics in lieu of extra text
#2 Put your most important information first
Journalists call this an inverted pyramid. The idea is to put your most newsworthy info first, then important details, followed by other background info. When a web visitor arrives at your page, they want to immediately see that you offer what they’re looking for. Once they find that, they’re unlikely to read on, so put the more unimportant stuff near the bottom.
#3 Write for your target audience
Always, always keep your target audience in mind no matter what you’re doing. When you’re writing web copy, you should write as if you are speaking directly to them. Think about the kind of language they use, the topics that excite them, and what they’re likely to respond to.
#4 Don’t try to be witty
Many business owners feel the need to use a lot of industry jargon to make themselves appear smarter. That’s not what potential customers want. They want someone that “gets” them. There is a movement among SEO specialists to use what they refer to as “carewords”. These are words that tap into your visitor’s emotions and show them you understand their needs – the best marketing strategy out there.
#5 Make every page look great
Do you have links to your blog floating around out there? Or maybe you’ve posted a special offer that sends users to a landing page? Realize that when you post links to social media, or share them in your newsletter, those visitors are going to land wherever it is that you sent them. They are not going to see your homepage first, and in fact, may never visit it at all. That’s why every page on your site needs to look fantastic.
#6 Optimize your copy
The days of peppering your content with as many keywords as possible are gone – today, search engines look for copy that offers real, quality information. That means using language and words that appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are a photographer whose target audience is future brides, your keywords should reflect what they are likely searching for (wedding photography, wedding photographer, wedding photo ideas, etc.). Post engaging content that offers real value – the kind that makes visitors stick around for a while – and search engines will take notice.
#7 Use quality visuals
I’ll say it again – the average web user doesn’t like to spend a lot of time reading. Use photos, infographics, charts, and graphs whenever you can to break up the monotony of too many words. When choosing visuals, look for quality stock photos or consider creating your own one-of-a-kind images. Do not take visuals from Google Images – they’re usually not of the highest quality and are often copyrighted material belonging to someone else.
Writing web copy can be easy if you follow the rules. With minimal effort, you can be on your way to a great website in no time!