Five ways to dramatically improve your web copy
An interesting thing happens the deeper you get into writing web copy – you start to realize just how different it is from writing text for brochures, whitepapers and other printed materials.
Although there are entire books written on the topic, we want to share five tips that you can adopt immediately.
1. Keep homepage text simple
When visitors first visit your page, they’re probably not looking for your corporate history, founding principles or executive bios. Instead, they’re most likely looking for a specific piece of information about your products or services. So, avoid long mission statements on your homepage and keep the text simple, with short descriptions and clear calls to action.
2. Ignore that old “three-click rule”
There was a time when people thought every bit of information posted on a website had to be three clicks or less away. Improved web writing and design have made that rule a thing of the past. People are willing to click far more than three times to find the info they want, provided there are clear pathways to help them locate it. The key to a great user experience is providing an organized, easy-to-navigate website.
3. Break up blocks of text
Readers tend to just skip over lengthy blocks of text. So, if you have important information buried deep within a large paragraph, you can assume that it may not be read. Instead, make your web text easy to scan by breaking it up using subheads, bullets and numbered lists.
4. Be gender neutral
There’s no need to write “he or she,” or a derivative of the he/she structure. The use of “they” is also now accepted by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a valid singular, gender-neutral pronoun. Better yet, wherever possible, use “you.” Not only do you speak directly to your audience when you write “you,” but you convey that your copy is gender neutral.
5. Does it have to be copy?
Always consider whether the copy on your website could be better presented visually. Videos, infographics and images tend to garner higher engagement than text alone. Plus, according to Smart Bird Social, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
Got any more web writing tips? We invite you to share them with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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