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10 tips for writing better web copy

Written by Sarah Gleeson on September 10th, 2013.      0 comments

Writing copy for your website can seem like a formidable task. You spend hours agonising over each carefully crafted sentence, prudently selecting each word, until you have a perfect piece of writing that is keyword rich, speaks to your reader and gets across your point; only to edit it again and tweak it some more the next day!

The aim of any copywriting is to reach right out and pull your intended audience in before they can glaze past your main points. You want to know what is important to your audience; what their problems are, and how you can resolve them. It is essential to know this before you start typing. As our own Glen Sharkey once said; you need to know where your target is first before firing off arrows into any direction. By gathering this information, you are able to understand what will satisfy your audience and then write accordingly. Successful copy will spark interactions; suckful copy will increase your bounce rate.

Here at Zeald, we spend a lot of time copywriting for your website content, our own content, blogs and advertising. Because of this, we have become seasoned professionals. It can be gut-wrenching, not to mention costly, to discover that your web copy just isn’t working. No one is engaging, signing up for your newsletter, buying your product etc. So instead of agonising over your about us section or your latest blog post, follow our top 10 tips for writing better web copy.

  1. Appeal to your reader. As we mentioned you need to know your reader. You need to know their wants, worries and needs, and then write about what they want to read, not what you like to write about. Appeal to your reader by using “alluring words” such as YOU, IMAGINE and BECAUSE.
  2. Brainstorm attention grabbing headlines. Make sure it is catchy enough for people to want to read on. Numbers, questions, problems, and facts are a great ways to spark the attention of a reader. 
  3. Evoke emotion. People are more likely to remember it, and connect with what they are reading. For example, if you run a gardening shop, remind people how satisfying it is to have their own produce on the table.
  4. Acknowledge worries. You want to make people aware of what their concerns are with your industry and then address them (make sure you can address them). For example if you own a florist shop, highlight the concern of flowers not being delivered on time, then put their mind at ease with your track record, money back guarantee etc.
  5. Be confident. Words like “may, wish, hope, try, perhaps” leave your audience not knowing if you will come through, instead choose the words that instil confidence- “will, can, do”.
  6. Write for the here and now. Avoid using past tense; you want to engage with your audience straight away. Present tense is the key.
  7. Break up your paragraphs. People avoid big content blocks because they take effort to read. Play around with images, bullet points, headlines and your layout to keep their attention for longer.
  8. Use language your audience can understand. There is nothing worse than when a great message goes over someone’s head because they did not understand what was being said.
  9. Utilise stories. Most people avoid advertising at all costs. A relatable story can break down those barriers and create a more willing listener.
  10. Humour never killed anyone. A good chuckle from your reader may be more effective than you know. 
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About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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