Mere seconds is all you have to capture the interest of a website visitor. An amazing image or a compelling video will certainly help and keep your visitors attention but most of it will come down to the text on your page.
I have been studying copy-writing for nearly 10 years now. I can honestly tell you that copy sells. If you hear someone say that less words is better, I’d ask you to ask them says who? It’s certainly not your bank manager.
Copy or the content on your website is critical to your website’s success. If it works, your reader will stay a while. If it doesn’t, they’ll walk.
Here are some tips to keep your reader reading your page and moving onto another page. Because it’s not just about getting a reader, it’s about keeping a reader on your site….and motivating them into action.
1. Know your Audience
I know I say this all the time but you got to use words that your target market use. You have to write to topics they are interested in.
Are you interested in making your content work? Are you interested in marketing better? I hope those answers are yes! But turn it around and think of what your readers what to read.
2. Talk to, not at, your readers
I work with professional services and I have this conversation regularly. “I couldn’t possibly be personal in my approach. People expect me to be professional.”
If that’s you, then listen up. I’m not saying that you have to use text speak. Use everyday language that your clients can understand. Make your tone personal, have a conversation with them. Don’t lecture your readers. Write as if you speak to them. There is a massive difference and this helps enormously.
3. Keep things active
The active voice keeps things action oriented and people can visualise it better. Try using more active voice than the passive voice.
Active: I sung a great song at the concert.
Passive: A great song was sung at the concert.
Active: I mailed the letter and hoped it would arrive on time.
Passive: A letter was mailed with the wish of arriving on time.
There is a great link on Grammarly which helps you understand which is which if you’re struggling with it. It all comes down to Zombies! (Go figure…but you’ll find out more when you read the article)
4. Say what you need to say and that’s it
Write succinctly. People are pushed for time and don’t have the patience to read ultra long content to get to the point. While I advocated above that copy sells, it still must be engaging and get to the point. Quickly.
Blaise Paschal famously once wrote – “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time.”
Make the time to cut out the fluff.
5. Use one idea per paragraph
I see this all the time. Multiple ideas in one paragraph. It’s hard to stay focused when there are multiple ideas. Plus it will add to the length of the paragraph. Begin with a sentence about the topic and follow it through with sentences that support that idea. That’s it. Nothing more.
I have umpteen more points but I thought I’d leave it at 5 today. Your action today is to look at a page on your website and see what you can change….
- Is your copy written in the active v passive voice?
- Is your tone too professional and not relatable enough?
- Have you massive paragraphs with lots of ideas?
- Are you clearly stating your idea or message or is it full of fluff?
- Is what you’ve written interesting to your visitor?
If you need help with any of this, give me a shout. Content is the key to successful marketing – it engages people, whether its new clients or existing clients.