Tuesday, May 01, 2012

How to Write Web Copy That Sells

If you have a website, you’re trying to sell something. Whether you’re promoting a product, a service, a point of view, or a perception, the text on your website can indeed make or break your sale. If you want web readers to invest themselves in your site and your message, you have to give them what they want in the way they want it. If you don’t… click, skip, they’re gone and may never come back.

Here are five tips for writing web copy that sells:

Be relevant
People come to your site looking for information about a specific topic, and all of your website copy should support that topic. Personal anecdotes and tangential thinking are the stuff of blogs and social media. Your web copy should be creative, polished, and always on point.

Use web-friendly formatting
Web copy that is clear and well-organized will help readers connect to your message. Web readers rely on headers and sub-headers to find what they’re looking for. Headers like Freelance Services, Sales Training Workshops, and About, orient readers to my website so they can make the most of their time. Information is chunked in short paragraphs and bulleted lists for easy scanning, and I use intra-site links to direct readers to a deeper exploration of select topics.

Begin at the end
Visitors to your site want to know right away if they have found what they’re looking for, so present your main points at the beginning of a paragraph or page. This makes it easier for readers to assess the value of your site or page relative to their needs. “Welcome to sallybacchetta.com, your single source for professional freelance writing services” pretty well sums up what you’ll find on my website.

Offer direction
Tell your readers what you want them to do. Subscribe to the newsletter. Purchase a book. Schedule a consultation. Request an estimate. Contact us. Use radio buttons and links to highlight a call to action, and make sure they are prominent on the page. If people have to look too hard, some of them will simply go elsewhere.

Proofread
Proofread first for spelling and grammar. You need to demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail in your web copy. Then proofread for writing quality. Strive for precision. Edit to ensure that every word does necessary work and that you have chosen words for their sound and feel as much as their meaning. Finally, readers may access your website from a laptop, desktop, smart phone, or tablet (e.g., iPad), and you need your web copy to look great on any device.

Sally Bacchetta
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