10 Do’s and Don’ts For Writing Web Copy

To begin with, it’s important to note there is a difference between web content and web copy.  Web content is meant to inform, discuss, or entertain, whereas web copy is designed to persuade users to take a certain action, which in many cases means making a sale.  This can include sign ups, orders, registrations, and subscriptions to name a few.

Web Copy Do’s

Write in a conversational style:

The friendlier the better.  Using common colloquialisms, a word or phrase appropriate to conversation and other informal situations, such as “cool” or “y’all” can help to create this type of mood.

Sell benefits, not features:

The focus of your copy should be on what the user gains from using your product or service, it’s important for users to understand what’s in it for them.

Use strategically placed testimonials:

This will help to build consumer confidence in your offering, especially in areas close to sign forms or shopping carts where you are encouraging a desired call to action.

Write to the User:

Web copy shouldn’t be written in first person and needs to talk directly to readers.  The most important word is ‘you’.  Readers only care about how content relates to and benefits them.  Using contractions can also help make it sound like you’re on person talking to another, with can help to create a deeper connection with your audience.

Create effective headlines:

This is the most important piece of content you will write.  Web surfers scan more than read and if it doesn’t capture attention, they’ll move on.

Web Copy Don’ts

Use jargon or corporate speak:

this means little to people outside of an industry or organization and a lack of communication in direct response marketing will inevitably be a failure.

Come off as arrogant:

Yes, you want readers to have a positive impression of your business, but being too self aggrandizing can backfire.  Let your testimonials do the talking for you.

Use company focused language:

customer focused language and informing them on what you can do for them is way more effective than simply telling readers about yourself.

Write large blocks of text:

As mentioned in a previous blog, users don’t read on the internet- they scan.  Bulleted list highlighting your product and service benefits, along with paragraphs made of short, simple sentences will go along way when communicating online.

Sell too aggressively:

Nobody likes a pushy salesman and the same is true online.  Being too aggressive is a good way to drive away readers.  Along with this, it’s important to avoid using too much hype when describing your offering.  Exaggerated claims will often be met with skepticism.

Credit for this image.

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