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    Aug 9 th, 2011
    Copy Writing No Comments

    Basic Principles of Copywriting for the Web

    A web copy is a show window of the author’s mind or a company’s business. It should bear an assurance to make readers and potential customers understand what the website is up to and what it can do for their time.

    Everybody’s time is precious and your readers expect to get what value they can get from your site.

    Just like any other physical business establishment or office, a website is measured by user experience. Whether your site is focused on marketing or plain instructions, an effective web copy will enhance your website’s potential to do its job: Turn your visitors into loyal readers – and customers perhaps.

    In order to be able to produce effective web copies, let us first identify three important characteristics web users have and how they behave online:

    1. Web users won’t stay in your website unless they find a valid reason to do so. Remember, it takes just one click and they’re gone;

    2. Web users are not attracted to long texts. You don’t have to waste your time constructing long texts if you want them read;

    3. You don’t have to use hype if you cant back it up; it’s the least that web users want to believe in any website.

    Here are some basic principles for writing good web copy:

    1. Lead users by the hand

    Your web’s navigation design should be able to give your visitor a sense of purpose and direction for visiting your site. A good web copy must be able to answer these questions visitors ask themselves when entering a website: i. “What am I doing here?” ii. “How do I do it?” iii. “What’s in it for me?” and iv. “Where can I go next?”

    2. Keep copies and short, sweet and simple

    Unless site visitors are desperately trying to find something, they won’t bother to read more than two lines of content, most especially from long web copies, so keep it short, compact and pregnant with relevant information as possible. Don’t try to sound too technical or sophisticated by making complex web copies that are difficult to understand. The simpler the ideas are presented, the more readable the copy becomes.

    3. Divide long copies into paragraphs

    If a long copy is necessary, you can present each distinct idea in a separate paragraph. You can also use headings and sub-headings to emphasize key points. Make it easy on your readers, otherwise they’ll stop reading and simply go away.

    4. Keep it clear and consistent

    Speak to your audience clearly with a consistent voice that focuses on your core audience. You can’t please everybody, but being sensitive to what your core audience looks for in your website and make them feel that they belong is a good reason for them to stay.

    5. Use plain compelling language

    Web readers don’t like hype and the more they avoid it if it’s not backed by credible facts and figures. Present your web copy in plain yet compelling language. It is one way to make your website believable and worth dropping by.


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