Whether you are authoring a blog or copy for a web site there are some things that make writing for the web unique. People reading on the web, whether on a lap top, iPad or other device typically scan as opposed to reading every word. Because of this, organizing the copy in an easy to scan or read format is key to good web copy. Designers lay out beautiful graphics and images only to fill the page with barely-thought-out-not-so-strategic copy. Keywords, links and catchy header copy are just some of the opportunities to engage your web site visitor and lead them down the path to conversion to lead and a closed sale.
Below are some basic rules of thumb for authoring effective web copy:
- Create a keyword strategy for your site and implement it.
Solid strategy typically uses your top organic and paid keyword terms in your headers and key paragraphs. Use 2-3 words per paragraph, see how the page does, make changes and test again.
- Write copy that reflects what consumers call your products, not necessarily the way you or your industry calls your products. Ask your clients how they talk about your products and services. Use the words they are using in your copy.
- Write marketing copy, not just straight facts. Web copy needs to compel people to read it.
- Include links to relevant areas within paragraphs; don’t bounce visitors all over, but do what makes sense to navigate the consumer to what they need and where you want them to go.
- Chunk copy into small bites, online readers scan pages looking for topic headers that interest them.
- Add short descriptive headers to key and large paragraphs.
- Edit down copy to the fewest words possible.
- Use your spelling and grammar checker.
- Make sure calls to action are consistent, visually appealing and in easy to click areas so that the visitor can respond quickly and easily.
- Each page should have a minimum of 250 words, 450-500 words are best.
- Repurpose other’s copy for your site but be sure to give credit where due. No harm in using other’s copy but make sure you add a name and link to the author. If you don’t, this is stealing and search engines will black list your site.
- Give the search engines at least a month to index your new pages. Start studying your visitor activity stats on Google Analytics or a similar tool, for opportunities to delete or change copy that is not working and add more of what is.
Give a few of these tips a try and let me know how it goes. Happy Writing!
- Search engine optimization Concepts for Website Design (thediamondringreview.com)
- Search Engine Optimisation Basics – Meta Tags (blogcritics.org)
- 10 Simple Ways to Increase Conversions by Reducing Friction (kissmetrics.com)