Do you have a website that you need to provide content for? Have you wondered how to write articles and web pages that capture attention and get people to call you or buy your product?
This article takes you through 5 basic steps that will help you write website copy that works for you and that gets readers to take the action you want them to take:
1. Decide what do you want to achieve with the article
Do you want to describe a product or service and get people to buy from you? Or do you just want to give plenty of information about a subject you know a lot about?
Your answer here will determine things like the structure and the maximum length of the article. If you’re just giving information and you don’t need anyone to call you or click on a link, then the article structure and length are not vital considerations. However, if you want to tell people about your services or products, in other words if you want people to take some kind of action, then you need to look carefully at structure, length and the other issues addressed in this article.
2. Give the article a logical structure
Each article or page should focus on just one subject and should have a clear beginning, middle and end:
- beginning (introduction) – catch people’s attention by stating a problem
- middle (argument) – offer various solutions
- end (conclusion) – sum up and show the result of those solutions
Right now we’re in the middle section of this article. The intro section described a problem – ‘you need to write website articles but don’t know how’. When I’m finished with the middle bit I’m going to conclude this article with a brief paragraph showing how your life will be improved by being able to write quick and catchy website articles.
3. Get the article length right – not too short, not too long
This is where many website owners make some big mistakes. Your copy needs to be long enough to satisfy search engines that you are offering something of value, and short enough that your readers don’t get bored and click away. So let’s put some numbers to that:
- minimum length – 250 words
- maximum length – 600-700 words
These numbers aren’t set in stone and there are different types of articles that can go on a lot longer. For instance, this article is going to be quite a bit over 700 words, but my main aim here is to give information that will benefit website owners. I know that anyone who has battled trying to write website articles will be highly motivated to continue reading. No matter what type of article you are writing, you need to keep one golden rule in mind: When people are web surfing, they don’t want to do a lot of reading. You have to catch them in the space of a few seconds.
4. Make the article easy to read by people in a hurry
Web surfers are after quick bites of information – so most of the reading is really just a scanning of a page to see in one glance if it contains information they are looking for. If it looks like it does, they will slow down and read more carefully – but only if you make it really easy for them. This means you’ve got to break the text up into bite sized pieces and offer information that stands out when readers scan the page.
How do we do this?
- break the text into short paragraphs, just like I did in the line right above this. Create lots of white space so that you don’t have long chunks of text that tire the reader.
- use bullet points to make the information easy to scan
- create lots of subheadings to break up the page and show at a glance what the article is about
- use bold text on points you want to emphasise – this helps the reader by telling them where they should look
5. Tell people what you want them to do
Once you’ve given people the information they are looking for you need to tell them to buy your product or call to make an appointment. We refer to this as the call to action. It can be a simple “Buy now” or “Add to cart” button, or it can be more subtle and be worked into the text as an invitation to call you or to read more. This often happens towards the end of your article. Make sure you give clear contact details or other instructions.
OK, I think this covers the basics … enough for you all to get started on creating quick and effective web page copy for your websites so that you can get more customers and clients. Remember the golden rule – keep it short, and keep to one subject. Oh, and break up the text, add bullet points, use bold, etcetera.
And, of course, this article would be missing something if I didn’t have a call to action – so … call me now if you want a small-business website at a start-up price !