Do You Know How To Write Persuasive Web Content?
Here Are 9 Tips To Writing Persuasive Web Content
Before I get to the 9 tips to more persuasive web content I first need to ask you a question about your web content……..
When writing your web copy, who do you think of?
Do you picture a potential customer reading your text? And do you think about what makes him – or her – click?
Web copy is scanned. Or glanced at. Not read.
Your web visitors are hunting for information or products.
They make quick decisions without thinking.
Here are 9 tips to write persuasive copy for the web, by author,
1. Treat your web visitors like wild animals
- Your website visitors behave like wild animals
- They’re hunting for information or a product to buy – just like a hungry panther hunts for his next meal.
- Your web visitors consider these two things: Does your website offer what they’re looking for? And can they find it easily?
- Web visitors quickly glance at your web page before guessing whether they’re in the right place or not.
- They don’t need to know for sure.
- They just want to make a quick decision.
2. Put your most important information first
- Information that’s most important to your web visitors is often a simple statement of what you do.
- Once they understand what you do, they might want to know some important details.
- Your customers want to know the big picture first.
- Basically: What do you do? Or what can you do for them?
3. Don’t try to be clever or creative
- On the web it’s rare that a reader hangs on to every word you write.
- He doesn’t have time.
- He’s in a hurry because he could check out several other scent trails – websites – instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you do.
- Simple statements often work best.
- Clever phrasing requires people to think.
- And asking people to think, doesn’t work on the web because web visitors are hunting – they don’t have time to think.
- So keep your web copy as simple as possible.
4. Write for scanners
- How many people read web pages?
- Hardly anybody!
- How can you write for scanners?
- A check list:
- Does your headline communicate what you’re about?
- Does your image caption communicate a sales message?
- Do your sub headlines summarize your key points?
- Do easy-to-scan bullet points reduce wordiness?
- Your web visitor is hunting for information or products.
- Ensure he can understand your most important information by just glancing at your web page.
5. Use familiar words
- “As Web readers, we are hunter-gatherers once again – only this time, instead of scanning the horizon for prey, we scan pages for carewords. When we see these words, we click, we act”. ~ Gerry McGovern
- Carewords are the words people are looking for.
- We often like to make ourselves sound better than we are.
- Your web visitor is looking for familiar words – carewords – because they’re the scent trail that tells him he’s in the right place.
6. Write for lazy people
- Just like the lazy panther looks for an easy catch for his dinner, your web visitor doesn’t want to make an effort to read your text.
- Make your copy easy to read:
- Use short paragraphs – four sentences max;
- Use short sentences – twelve on average;
- Skip unnecessary words;
- Avoid jargon and gobbledygook;
- Avoid the passive tense;
- Avoid needless repetition;
- Address your web visitors directly. Use the word you;
- Shorten your text.
7. Expect people to arrive anywhere on your website
- Most web visitors will not start reading at your home page.
- They may arrive on any of your web pages.
- TIP: If you don’t know where people arrive on your website, go to Google Analytics >> Site Content >> Landing Pages. You can see exactly how many web visitors arrived on each web page.
- Don’t rely on your navigation bar to tell people what to do next.
- Include a button or link to guide people to take the next step.
- On each page.
8. Make it easy for hunters to find you
- Potential customers are hunting for information or products.
- How can you help them find you?
- Lure potential customers to your website by providing useful information.
- Above all: Be helpful.
9. Make a visual impression
- The visual appeal of your website impacts the readability of your text; and influences whether web visitors can quickly get what you’re about.
- How to increase the visual appeal of your web copy:
- Replace text by photographs or videos;
- Consider different font sizes – think about people scanning large text first;
- Emphasize quotes of customers (or experts) to add credibility;
- Play around with highlights, bold text, CAPS, or italics;
- Break a long headline into a headline with a sub headline;
- Change paragraphs into bullet points.
- Most importantly: de-clutter.
- Reduce noise and add white space.
- Not only will it make your website easier to read, it will also increase your perceived trust (source: Social Triggers).
Don’t try to be everything to everybody.
Know who you are and what you do.
If your positioning is clear, it’s much easier to stand out on the web and to be found.
If your message is clear, it’s much easier to create persuasive web copy.
Be clear. Be specific. Be bold.
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