Posted: 2005-01-14 / Author: Amrit Hallan
Turn Readers Into BuyersOh yes, I know you have read the above phrase umpteen times in all those "killer copy" articles but let me tell you something, you like it or not, what you write is what you get. If your website content is good, you do good business and if your website content is crappy, well, you get my point.
Again an expression that has been beaten to pulp due to its perpetual usage: content is king (or queen, if you are gender sensitive). On your web page, what matters is content. The reason is, you are not there when someone comes to your website. It's a lonely, silent world out there. You gotta make it as lively as possible. How do you make it? By having live content on your web pages. Do I mean lots of animation having bar dancers? No (well, why not?!).
By live content I mean text that really sets the screen on fire (literally! we don't need arsonists to increase sales now do we?). The words on your web pages should be as vibrant as possible. They should make the reader sit up and take notice of what you are trying to say. You should be there, present in the form of your words. So when you prepare the copy of your web pages, just try to imagine: do you talk like this when you talk to your customers directly or on phone? Just as in real life, the attention span of an average surfer is very small. Use a few uninteresting expressions and lo! the visitor is click, click, and away!
The best way to have good content on your web pages is, write the way you talk (it's another matter if you are a Zulu warrior). Use the following points to make your web content as "active" as possible.
== BE CONCISE ==
We all love to talk, don't we? Given a free hand, we can write pages after pages, vexing eloquent about how marvelous and revolutionary our product or service is. This doesn't work. Due to some weird reason, an average web surfer is phenomenally impatient and unpredictable. May be because reading from computer screens is about 25% slower than reading from paper. Within the first five seconds you have to make it clear what is the page about. Give as much information as possible without the reader having to scroll the page up-down, right-left. Use few words, use interesting words. Write one sentence such that the reader wants to read the next sentence.
== USE LOTS OF HEADINGS ==
Headings let your reader quickly make out what's going on. The heading should tell the whole thing in one go if the reader doesn't want to go through the entire text. If your headings are interesting and captivating, the reader will read the fine print too.
== AVOID CRYPTIC LANGUAGE ==
Play guessing games with your visitors and you can bid good bye to your online business. We all love puzzles but only when we are expecting them. If I want to purchase a musical keyboard then you should straightaway tell me what sort of musical keyboard you sell and why I should buy it from your website. No, I'm not saying your language should be drab and dull, but you can be clear cut along with being direct and to the point.
== TALK DIRECTLY ==
Use "I", "You", "We", "Us" as much as you can.
== AVOID SUPERLATIVES ==
Superlatives such as "greatest", "the most used" immediately put the reader off. Let the reader, or the testimonials decide how your product or service is. As they say, "Show, don't tell."
== USE LINKS ==
A good thing about web pages is, you can use hypertext with them. Whenever you feel you are writing long streams of text and cannot avoid writing it, give a link to the fuller text so that if the reader is really interested, he or she can click and go there. But don't over-do it. Sometimes it can distract the reader from your actual message.
== MENTION BENEFITS NOT FEATURES ==
Ok, I couldn't care less if your tool can demolish an entire cantonment. I just want to know how I can drill a small hole in my wall. Tell the benefit. Tell your reader what benefits can be derived from your gadget or your service.
== GIVE LIVE EXAMPLES ==
If it can be arranged, mention live examples of how your product or service has brought about major changes (for better, not for worse!) in people's lives. =================================
Amrit Hallan is a freelance copywriter, and a website content writer. He also writes optimized content for better Search Engine Ranking. To know more about his services, visit his website site at http://www.amrithallan.com/ah.asp?d=ar.
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