Copywriting with a Bite to Hold Your Reader’s Attention
By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
Every website owner is competing for the hearts and minds of their visitors. Keeping their eyeballs transfixed to your site can lead to more business and increased revenue. Making that important good first impression is the result of great direct response copywriting. Your content must engage the visitor within the first 15 seconds, giving them reason to stay, read and navigate through the site.
Here are five copywriting take-a-ways that can make your website more effective:
1. People Are Motivated and Looking for Something — Make it Easy to Find!
It sounds so obvious, but here’s the catch. A first time visitor to your site is looking to fulfill a need. They are in search mode, looking for answers or solutions to their problem. They are motivated. Your content must address their core issues at first glance. You need to bait the hook, so to speak. What is that one single thing that will make their eyes widen? Find that caveat and make it prominent.
2. Teasers Are the Most Underutilized Attention Grabbers.
Everyone uses headlines, sub-heads, bullet points, underlines and bolds for emphasis. However, how you say it is more important than point size or punctuation marks. Reading a bold headline or a series of bullet points can draw yawns. An effective headline or sub-head is one that “pushes” the visitor to want to read the paragraph below and engage your content. Here is an example: Which headline will give you more pop? “10 Advantages to Using a Mortgage Broker!” or… “Be Informed. Make the Right Mortgage Decision!” One simply gives you the list while the second headline gives them a personal motivating reason to read the list.
3. Don’t Be a Politician.
A political analogy works best for this third take-a-way. Politicians tell you what you want to hear or give you a reason not to vote for the other guy, a.k.a. the competition. We like our politicians or their political ads to give us hope and inspiration, tempered by confidence that they are sincere, honest and competent. Effective copywriting also embraces the care and nurturing of the viewer. They want a reason to like you, to use your products or services. Be real and straightforward. No gimmicks or inflated promises. Write with passion, with emotion. Be believable and convey that you like what you do. It’s more than a job, it’s a way of life.
4. English Is a Misunderstood Language.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw (also attributed to Oscar Wilde) who penned, “America and England are two nations divided by a common language!” Newspapers figured it out long ago. Write so that most people quickly understand the story. Websites are no different. Avoid complicated and unnecessary big words that show readers how intelligent you are; keep your sentences and paragraphs short; and use examples to support your content. You will have a better chance of convincing your audience by being direct and straight to the point. Here is my example: “I won’t bore you with a long-winded example!”
5. Stop, Push and Pull.
Effective copywriting is about pace, rhythm and raising expectations. We all have experienced a novel we can’t put down or an article that begs to be read. We enjoy the experience in seeing the story unfold. In writing effective web copy incorporate “stop”, “push” and “pull” words. Stop words make a reader literally stop reading to reflect on what has just been said. It may be a dramatic statement of fact, or an ah-ha moment. Push your reader to the next paragraph by ending your previous sentence with a great transition like, “Here is a fresh new approach to mortgage lending.” Pulling your readers through your copy by giving them that sense of discovery will produce results.
By utilizing these copywriting guidelines you can double or triple your visitor viewing time. Your audience wants to find the information they are looking quickly but they also want to be wooed. Making that great first impression is hard work but will pay big dividends. Remember, the clock is ticking so craft your content for the motivated reader and they will contact you to learn more!
Grow Your Business Online: These tips are meant to be used as a guideline to improve traffic to your site, increase your conversion rates, help turn visitors into buyers, and keep you ahead of the competition. Turning to a web marketer can ultimately save you time and money and increase your success online. The Web Success Team has many proven marketing strategies and techniques. The Team would be happy to discuss your web marketing needs with a complimentary consultation and web marketing assessment of your current site. Simply mention this article when contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818-222-5643 for an appointment. Please visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for more information. To your web success!
Final Note: Reader comments and marketing experiences are welcome and can be posted below. They are a valuable resource of information.
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