Strong copywriting has always been a crucial component of advertising and marketing, and even more so now for online content.  It is no secret that effective web copywriting is one of the most essential online marketing tools to attract, retain and convert customers. But how do you write copy that will get read? Web writing can be difficult, but once you have mastered these six steps, you will be lines ahead of the competition:

1. Keep your copy length short:  Though there’s no set length for how long your copy should be, always remember that attention spans are far shorter on the web. Put the “meat” of your point at the beginning of your copy, rather than burying it at the end. If you interest your customers up front, then they’ll read the details and stay on your pages longer, increasing the likelihood they will buy your product or service.

2. Create an emotional connection:  Whether you’re writing bullet points, body copy or a “contact us” statement, strive to get your reader to laugh, smile or cry to feel any emotion besides apathy. Review your copy – are others writing similar content, in a similar tone? If so, look at it from a different angle and find ways to stand out from the competition to help capture your customers’ attention.

3. Tone is key:  Get passionate and your tone will hit any target. Passion isn’t always easy to find. If you feel yourself going through the motions, stop writing, engage yourself in a different activity that you find inspiring, and then get back to writing content that will inspire others. 

4. Be true to your voice:  If you’re not a teenager, don’t try to write like one. Customers will sense the false tone because using a phrase that’s foreign to you isn’t natural and will always sound forced. Talk to your audience in a fresh way, but do not try to imitate someone else’s voice.

5. Direct your customer with calls to action (CTA) : When it comes to web copy, your CTAs are the number one item you want users to click on. CTAs direct customers where you want them to go. Be short, specific and remember you are guiding human beings, so use commands or friendly instructions when starting your CTAs. For example, “Dig deeper” is far superior to “More details” because it is actionable and sounds more like what a real person would say. When writing CTAs use three words or less, make them actionable, invite the user, don’t be boring (never write “click”) and have some fun!

6. Don’t let Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guide your overall writing :

One trap that often hurts web writers is focusing too much on SEO. Keep SEO in mind so people can find your website easily, but never let it be the focus of writing a good headline or content. Instead, make sure your web designer uses image names and alt tags, and include important terms in subheads, page titles and body copy. In other words, be aware how your writing affects SEO, but don’t let SEO overly affect your writing.

About The Author

Zach Bonnan recently joined Interaktiva Digital Marketing, a leading digital marketing firm based in Miami, as Senior Copywriter. Bonnan previously worked for Euro RSCG Chicago.