Author: Connie Sung Moyle is the Public Relations Manager at VerticalResponse.
Straightforward advice from Vertical Response:
1. Get to the point, stat. No need for a formal intro paragraph here. If there’s one thing that the Web has conditioned all of us to do well, it’s skimming content for the interesting bits. If you’re trying to write your site’s “about” page, you don’t need to start off describing when and where you were born, unless it’s relevant to your business or why you started it.
One exception to this rule is using that valuable first sentence or paragraph as a creative, catchy “hook,” like a story or question. This can be a great tool to draw readers in, as long as it’s relevant to the rest of the content on the page.
2. Embrace short paragraphs. In school, we were taught that a paragraph had to have a minimum number of sentences. Anyone remember that magic number? Not so in Web writing. A huge block of text is overwhelming for readers, especially on a website. Break it up into digestible paragraphs of around two to five sentences each.
3. A picture is worth a thousand words. If something you’re trying to describe can be more easily understood with a photo, graphic or video, then use the latter instead. That’s why infographics are so popular these days – people understand visuals a lot quicker and easier than text.
4. Show some personality. People want to do business with people, so keep that in mind when you’re writing for the Web. Go ahead, use “I” or “we” – you won’t get into trouble. One of the first things I recommended to my dentist friend was to avoid writing clinically or using words only dentists would understand. Be professional and error-free, of course, but also have a little fun with your copywriting. A distinctive voice and perspective will help differentiate you from your competitors.
5. Consider SEO keywords. This is unique to website copywriting. Sprinkling high-ranking terms and phrases in headlines and throughout your website helps boost your position on a search results page when someone is searching for that term or phrase.