In any online marketing it’s not just important what you say but also how you say it. Unlike with a book or newspaper where people will happily spend hours reading it from page to page, online people are impatient and they don’t read from a screen in the same way as they would paper. For that reason, the usability of a website is particularly important – how simple it is to navigate from one part of the site to another and how easy it is for the user to find the information they’re looking for.

You might think, “surely this is a web design matter?” but copywriting also has an important role to play. Here a few ways in which a professional copywriter will make your content more usable, and thus improve your conversion rates.

Descriptive titles – When people arrive on one of your webpages you have a matter of seconds to capture their attention. The first thing they will look at, whether on the page itself or in the search results, is the title of the page. In order to capture the reader’s attention instantly, a professional web copywriter will make this short, punchy, and indicative of what visitors can expect if they read on.

Helpful sub-headers – Sub-headers help to break up the content and also make helpful ‘signposts’ that the reader can use to find specific information that they’re looking for or to get a quick overview of the piece of content before they go ahead and read the whole thing.

Bullet points – When people are reading online, they’re often trying to find out specific information. By using bullet points you can get this information across quickly and make it easier to locate. Seasoned web copywriters also use bullet points to break up the content and make it easier to read.

Short paragraphs – Reading text on a computer or mobile device screen takes longer and is generally regarded as more difficult than reading from paper. Particularly in the case of small tablets or smartphones, long paragraphs may take up the entire screen, making it difficult to follow. A good copywriter will always stick to shorter paragraphs when writing for the web.

Succinctness – It’s not just paragraphs that should be shorter but the whole thing. Online articles should generally be around half as long as their print counterparts. If you’re over 35 you may not be familiar with the popular internet acronym TLDR, but this stands for ‘too long, didn’t read’. People don’t expect to spend 20 minutes reading anything online, and if your article is too long then there’s a serious risk that they simply won’t bother reading it.

Scannable content with relevant words/ phrases – The best way to encourage people to read your content is to make it scannable. This means not only making it easy to read but also ensuring that it’s full of relevant words and phrases that people can pick up on to determine whether it’s what they’re looking for. Doing so will also naturally take care of the search engine optimisation requirements for your content.

If you invest in web copywriting that is clear, accurate and interesting, your online marketing will benefit from a considerable boost. More importantly, by making your content usable and accessible, you’ll encourage users to visit again, and to potentially tell their friends about your site.