“Make it so good and so clear that it doesn’t need any further explanation.” – Shel Silverstein
Writing for the web can be tricky business. You want to create content that’s engaging yet simple … SEO-friendly yet written for your readers … short yet persuasive.
It can feel like it’s an equation with too many variables. And we all know writers hate math. 🙂
However, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. By sticking to a few website copywriting best practices, it’s possible to create content that tells (and sells!) your story.
Here are 3 facts and statistics that should impact the way you approach your next website copywriting project.
Consumers’ average attention span is now 8 seconds – 1 second less than a goldfish. (This is 4 seconds SHORTER than it was in 2000). (source)
You read that right … if you read it at all. (Still got your attention down here? Woohoo!)
This is a pretty shocking fact. But if you think about your own personal actions on the web, they probably include lots of link-clicking, scanning, and jumping around. It’s the same for your readers.
So how can you possibly make the most of the 8 seconds you have with them?
- Focus on your headline and your hook. You want to create engaging intro copy that draws the reader in.
- Tell the reader what he or she will get from reading your page. Set expectations, and demonstrate why your page is valuable.
- Keep the most important information at the top of the page. Journalists have been doing this forever — keeping all of the critical information in the story’s first paragraph, or “lede”. Copy their lead.
On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. (source)
All those words you’ve painstakingly selected, edited, and had your internal review team stew over are most likely never going to be read. But that process is still critical. Each and every word on your website is important because you want the select few words that ARE read to resonate with your reader.
Want to make sure your readers are reading the RIGHT words?
- Cut down on the content. A lot. Your website should be the “hello”, not the entire conversation. Your words should be enticing audiences to take the next step. Don’t feel like you need to say it all upfront.
- Create white space and levels of reading. Add subheads and bullets to make it easy for audiences to scan and absorb key points.
Users look for facts online, so incorporate facts to attract and keep readers. (source)
Most readers are looking for sources they can trust online. By incorporating trustworthy facts and statistics, you help position your site as a resource.
- Keep information straightforward and easy to understand. Creativity is not as important as comprehension.
- Seek out and include facts and information that will help your audience make a decision or meet a need.
In short, focusing on answering reader needs up front, keeping content short and simple, and incorporating straightforward and helpful facts will help strengthen your web pages.
Want more help crafting website content that converts? Learn more about working with us.
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