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Writing for the Web…it’s not a piece of e-cake!

Posted by Chris Tynski on: 2007-01-28 03:46:42

Self SEO > Copywriting Articles

So, you’ve elected to jump head first into the wonderful world of Web. After all, just about everyone has a site. You may as well join the craze. You hire a web developer and a graphic artist to design a professional site that promotes your business image.

The site looks great. But now what? Who is going to write the thing and put your ideas into words?

Making sure you wind up with the best possible web copy is as simple as following these guidelines:

Content is crucial
If you’ve invested in design and left the content as an afterthought, you may as well just throw your money away. Powerful – and targeted – copy is what sells your product or service, not pictures or flashy introductions.

Keep in mind that most people simply scan websites, with the average visitor deciding in 15 seconds or less to stay or not. Clever headlines with stimulating text will grab your readers’ interest. Tight, focused, clear and concise copy will keep them there.

How tight is tight? Write only about half of what you would have used in a hard copy version. Don’t confront readers with long continuous blocks (yawn!) of text. And use hypertext to split long information into multiple pages.

To make your text easy to scan:

* Highlight keywords using typeface and color variations (hypertext links are another way of “highlighting”).
* Use meaningful, easy-to-scan subheads
* Use bulleted lists.
* Stick to one idea per paragraph.

Use headlines
And use them well. Your headlines should be powerful enough that your prospect wants to keep reading.

Talk up benefits – not product
Describe benefits your potential customer can see, hear or feel if they use your product. Show that you understand their issues and how your product addresses those issues. Write your marketing copy from the buyer’s perspective. Sorry to tell you this, but people don’t care about you. They’re on your site because they want solutions. If you provide a solution to a problem they have, you’re more likely to make a sale.

Imitation is flattery
Model your website after other successful sites. Visit other websites and take a close look at what they do well and what they do poorly. Then, compare your observations to your own site and make the appropriate changes.

Use testimonials and informational links
People don’t know you personally. You’ll need to convince them you are who you say and you will do what you promise. Use accounts from happy customers to convince your readers that you can be trusted to deliver a top-notch product. Provide them with other resources and links to articles, product reviews or survey results to inform them regarding your product, so they have the facts they need to make an informed decision and compelling reasons to buy from you.

Make it easy to buy from you
Many people like the luxury of using a credit card online, so offer that option. But some people simply won’t buy online, usually because of fears about the security of their credit card information. So give them options and make checkout easy.

Learn the basics of search engine optimization
Powerful web content includes keywords people use to search for your site. To get a high ranking, your web content must be loaded with keyword phrases and still remain engaging to read.

Don’t let your content get stale
As with most marketing materials, it’s easy for your message to run its course. Maybe you have new products, employees, clients and awards you’d like to publicize. A website is a constant work in progress. Build it and they will come doesn’t apply here. It must be refined and added to on a regular basis to keep it fresh.

Pay attention to the red light
If your website has been up more than a few months without sales, take another look at these guidelines and rebuild it.

Allison Nazarian is president and chief copywriter of Get It In Writing, a Florida-based company that helps businesses nationwide harness the power of words to sell, inform and publicize. Allison can be reached at 561-989-8555 or
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