Most visitors to your website will arrive almost by accident. Surfing the internet for research purposes of any kind is a bit like following a jungle track or negotiating your way through a maze. You are never quite sure what the next turn will reveal. Because of this, visitors to a webpage will often scan the page first to get an idea as to whether it is likely to contain what they are looking for before beginning to read. Not many people would approach a printed page in that way, so a website must be created with that in mind.
The main benefits of what your website offers must leap out at the visitor and created an immediate good first impression. We all know how important first impressions are in all aspects of human experience. Keywords must leap out at the scanning visitors and halt them in their tracks, making them want to read your content in detail. Important words and phrases should be ‘highlighted’ in some way to catch the eye. This might be by the use of Bold or Italics or Both. Some web designers like to use a yellow background to ‘light up’ important words to make them stand out. The words and phrases you want to push forward can be separated out and detached forming a single line paragraph which is another good way of catching the eye.
When writing for the printed page, we would always try to use the best grammar we can, taking great care with our sentence construction and syntax. When writing copy for a webpage this becomes far less important as the aim of webpage content is to catch the eye and raise interest. I am not saying that good use of language is unimportant on a webpage (you don’t want to offend the scholars) but the purpose of the page is the most important issue. If that means taking a few liberties with the language – so be it. (So long as it works!)
Here is a short list of important thoughts to bear in mind when writing content for a website.
- Always think from the reader’s point of view and not from your own.
- Keep your use of language simple and straight-forward
- Avoid long words and rambling sentences. Keep all your copy pithy and to the point.
- Stay ‘on message’ at all times
- Write in such a way that the reader will feel that you are addressing them personally; use the words ‘You ‘and ‘Yours’ rather than ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’.
- At all times focus on the benefits of what your website is offering.
- Don’t just fire off a list of benefits which decrease in value as you go down the list. Far better to focus on two or three specific benefits and explore these in some detail.
- Break up the copy into short paragraphs, using subheadings and bullet points where appropriate. There is nothing that will drive your visitors away more quickly than a screen full of uninterrupted text.
- If your website has several pages, give each page a very specific purpose. One might be geared to encouraging an opt-in; another could be simply a helpful information page and, of course, another might be a sales page for a particular product or service.
- Whatever the purpose of each page, make them match. Your visitors will not be impressed if each page presents them with a completely different colour-scheme, different fonts and different style of graphics. The impression should be like turning the pages of a book.
Keep these points in mind as you create your website and you will encourage your visitors to stick around for while which will increase your chances of getting an opt-in or a sale. For more information on this and related topics please visit www.internetmarketingmanual.com