12 Steps to Write Persuasive Web Copy

Your web visitors are not interested in reading what you have to say. Rather, they’re looking for info on products and services; they want quick-in and quick-out. Still, you must use your web copy to persuade them to take action, without losing their interest. How do you achieve that?

Start Your Copy with Attention-Grabbing Information

You have about 6 seconds to grab your visitor’s attention, before his or her attention span shifts. Make the best of this time by conveying your most important value-add offer in a short statement. What can you or your product do for your customer that’ll enhance the customer’s life? Let your first statement reflect that.

Avoid Creative Phrasing and Clever Sentences

It takes time for a web visitor to make sense of anything that doesn’t come across immediately. That’s because the visitor is in a hurry to get their info and cannot be bothered with clever or creative words. Pretend you’re writing for a 12 year old, and you’ll be fine. Avoid humor unless you’re sure your audience will be able to understand it in context to your product or service.

Optimize Copy for Visitors Who Scan, Not Read

Most web visitors just glance at a page, quickly scan the text and click the very first link that seems to offer what they’re looking for. So use all your copy elements to communicate your sales message and product value-add, as follows:

  • Use your headline to describe your product and offer
  • Communicate a sales message via your message caption
  • Summarize your key points via sub headline
  • Reduce wordiness by using bullet points that are easy to scan

Use Care words

Use words that appeal to web visitors, depending on the product or service they’re after. For example, the words ‘cheap flight’ works better than ‘cost-effective flight’. Words such as ‘cheap’ and ‘free’ are called Carewords, because these are the ones people look for, whether they’re aware of it or not. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to show exactly what words people search for, and use those in connection with your products and services.

Make It Easy For Visitors to Read Your Copy

Break your copy text into small, short paragraphs, not more than four sentences each. Keep your sentences short; avoid unnecessary words and words that are unpronounceable or considered marketing jargon.

Use the Second Person

Use the second person to address your visitor. When you address a web visitor directly, he or she is more likely to respond positively to your sales message. Also, keep your tone active and don’t repeat the same thing over and over.

Keep Your Entire Copy Text Short

Get rid of half the words you have on each page of copy. Then shorten further till you have only half of what’s left. No visitor is going to bother to read long pieces of text. Pretend you’re writing for lazy web visitors; would they bother to read long pieces of text? Challenge yourself to convey what your product does and what you offer in as short a piece of text as possible.

Make Your Copy Visually Appealing

Determine the right font and color to use based on your web design. If you want your headlines and offers to stand out, use a different font and font color. Always make sure that your CTA stands out – take special pains to design and word CTA buttons such that they stand out. Apply formatting such as bold, italics and underlining to draw visitor’s eye to specific text.

Use Graphics to Your Advantage

Wherever possible, use pictures to replace words. You can also use videos next to your copy – not everyone is the text-processing type. Edit videos ruthlessly so that within a few seconds, your visitor gets to know as much as possible about your product and offer. If you’re putting up pictures, don’t forget to insert keywords into the caption.

Use Other Elements to Add Credibility

Add quotes from customers, influential reviewers or experts to add credibility. Customer testimonials add lots of credibility, as long as they come with your customers’ pictures and contact numbers.

Use White Space Effectively

Make sure you reduce page noise and increase white space. When web scanners look over your landing page, they must be able to land their eye on the most important elements without getting lost in the clutter. Clutter is always a losing proposition, so use white space generously.

Include a CTA

Each piece of copy should include a Call to Action (CTA) that tells the visitor exactly what to do next. Just make sure that one CTA is mentioned two-three times in a page, where the visitor is bound to see it. You can place it above the fold at the top of the page, to the right of the page close to the side bar, and also at the bottom of the page.

Post By
Stephen works for Invesp, a leader in the field of landing page optimization. He leverages Invesp’s expertise in the landing page optimization services area to write insightful articles.

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