Writing copy for the web is completely different to writing for a magazine, newspaper or any form of offline, traditional media. On the internet, users have a far shorter attention span. Clicking off of a web page and going back to Google is far easier than folding up a magazine and putting it back on the shelf, so you need to ensure that your web copy is interesting and engaging in order for it to be successful.
If you are used to writing for print, you will need to get used to a whole new way of writing when writing for the web. You should use much shorter paragraphs than you would for print media, due to the shorter attention span which is inherent on the web. You should ensure that your text is broken down into sections with highlighted subheadings in order to enable users to skip to a certain part of the content instead of having to read it all to find the parts they are interested in.
One of the keys to writing effective web copy is to always keep in mind what it is you would like readers to type in and find you with. If you want to be found for the keyword “Blue Widgets” there is no point talking about “yellow submarines” on the page you want those customers to land on.
Make the most of bulleted lists in order to convey information and make salient points. The eye is naturally drawn to these types of lists and they can be a very effective way of getting a set of points across in the best way possible on the web. Use a simple writing style and don’t use marketing language or over-hyped words in order to get your point across.
Keeping your text simply, easy to read, well laid out and easy to navigate is the best way to ensure people will actually read the content on your web pages. Remember: online is very different to offline and you will need to adapt your approach quite significantly when writing for the web.
Jonathan Davies is the Director of http://www.woffer.co.uk, one of the leading Web Design and SEO companies in Wales.