Copywriting Essentials to Improve Your Web Content
Great copywriting is very easy to identify—it is what you choose to read. Not the pieces you fight your way through because you have to read them, or the ones you feel you should look at, but find yourself glazing over after a couple of paragraphs.
This basic principle holds for all copy, from brochures, adverts and press releases to the ever more important web content. Good, flowing, readable text is vital. Keep jargon down to a minimum (unless the piece is aimed directly at technical users), and make sure spellings and punctuation are all spot on. Grammar, however, does not have to be heavy handed to the extent that it ruins the flow and conversational style of a piece. “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”–Winston Churchill, on being corrected for ending a sentence with a preposition, shows nicely, that sometimes what is correct can scan very badly.
Get your keywords into your writing naturally. Google’s bots now read web content in a very human way, and obvious loading will be spotted and rejected. There are plenty of online tools available to check your text before publishing. But do make sure you get the most important ones in your title and in the first paragraph, and reinforce them later on with just one or two repeats further into the piece. Keep the proportionate to the length of the piece, which should be between 300-800 words.
Where to Start
So, with this in mind, what to write?
Copywriting can be divided into four distinct categories:
- Information—a new service or product.
- Analysis—your expert opinion on a subject related to your business (especially powerful when responding to a topical issue).
- Seasonal/Events—notice how retail have built Halloween up in recent years.
- Human Interest—something extraordinary an employee or client has done, or how your product or service has benefited the public.
Formulas, not Formulaic
With these four categories to guide you look at other writing to see what trends and styles are being used. One perennial favourite, which always gets a great response is a list. This can be anything from the top 10 UK holiday destinations to the six reasons to buy a nearly new car. Other starting points could be “The best way to….”, “How to cope with….”, or “the future holds….” Use these ideas as your building blocks, and from there you should start identifying stories that will be of interest to potential and existing clients alike, driving traffic to your site in the most natural way possible.
By Mike Howell, Wordcrafting – 07962 269260
Mike Howell is a freelance copywriter covering a wide range of industries, with clients in music, HR, education and local funeral directors.
Lime Consultancy publish quality guest blog posts that we think are relevant to our audience. A thank you to Mike Howell for this piece. Any comments then please add them above, or for feedback then contact us.