One of the most important parts of running any business website is writing engaging website copy. When done properly, it can help generate new leads and gain new customers. But done poorly, it can drive potential customers away, so it's crucial that it is not overlooked.
To ensure that your website copy is engaging and useful, here are some simple tips you can follow when writing your next piece of web content.
Know Your Value Proposition
What is a value proposition? A value proposition clearly tells your audience what you or your product can do for them. It establishes what your product or service offers and why it’s better than anything else out there.
Your value proposition should be short (one sentence), focused, and include benefits, not features. Think of what problem you are able to solve for the customer with your product - and use THAT as your selling point. As Harvard professor Theodore Levitt says, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”
Know Your Audience
Getting to know your audience is an essential part of creating effective web content. If you don’t know who your audience is, then how can you make sure your content speaks to them? You need to have a good idea of who your customers are so you can create compelling content that targets those needs and interests.
Think about what motivates your users, what hobbies they have, and where they live, work, and play and use this to inform your content strategy. By knowing more about your audience and how they interact with your business, you will be able to retain repeat visitors who may become loyal customers for years to come.
Keep The Reading Time In Mind
Most people are busy and they don’t always have time to read your entire post. Try keeping your content short and sweet so readers can digest what you have to say quickly, if necessary. In fact, the average human attention span is a pitiful 8 seconds according a recent study - making our attention spans less than that of a goldfish.
So say everything you need to say in as few words as possible - no more and no less.
Ditch The Unnecessary Adverbs
Stephen King says that the road to Hell is paved with adverbs, and I tend to agree. Adverbs can lend power to your writing if they are used sparingly. But overuse them, and they weaken it.
And overuse of adverbs is the hallmark of lazy, cluttered writing - which is definitely not what you want people to think of your business. So, instead of using an adverb, just choose a stronger word (yes, it may be necessary to dust off your old Merriam-Webster Thesaurus for this, but it is worth it!)
Use An Active Voice
It is best to stick to writing using an active voice - it is concise, direct, and less confusing to read as well. Simple writing wins every time. What exactly is the difference though between an active voice and a passive voice?
An active-voice sentence has a subject performing the action of the verb: I ate lunch.
A passive-voice sentence has a subject receiving the action of the verb: Lunch was eaten by me.
Switching from active to passive voice is a common mistake that makes otherwise clear writing harder to read, so do your best to avoid this.
Pro tip: Use the website Hemingwayapp.com to show you what sentences in your writing are in a passive voice, so you can see quickly what sentences to fix.
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