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Hell yeah! – 6 tips to KILL bad website copy8 min read

8 min read

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In a culture whirling in a world of speed-dating, tweets, fast food, multitasking and quick fixes, our ever-increasing short attention span means it’s vital for businesses to ensure their website grabs the attention of the modern internet consumer super quick.

A study published by Microsoft Research says website visitors only have a fleeting 10 seconds to decide if they want to stay on your website. That means you have to ensure you capture their attention immediately. So how do you weave your words for maximum impact and customer conversions? Here’s a few simple tips.[/text_output][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][text_output]

[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 1. ‘You’  is a powerful word [/feature_headline]
Still number one after all these years, YOU is personal, and is the most powerful word in advertising. Let’s talk about you, you are interesting, you find yourself interesting and let’s be frank, when it comes to you, you are all ears so don’t underestimate the power of ‘You’. It has consistently been proven to be one of the most powerful words in advertising for a reason, so, use it.

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[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 2. Craft captivating headlines [/feature_headline]
Your headline is the first, and sometimes the only, impression you make on a prospective reader. If it does not draw the browser in to read on, then you’ve wasted your time and the rest of your words may as well not even exist. Statistics show on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Every element of captivating copy has just one purpose – to ensure the next sentence is read, all the way down to your call to action so if people stop at the headline, it’s fairly evident you’re already in dead water. Use irresistible headlines

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Question Headlines[/highlight]
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and think about what the reader would like to see answered. For example for a plumbing company, Are you sick of your kitchen sink leaking?

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Command Headlines[/highlight]
These headlines boldly tell the reader what to do and are great call to actions. A strong verb at the beginning of the sentence are great for demanding action such as Subscribe for the Latest Gadget Releases Today![/text_output][text_output]

life is simple

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Testimonial Headlines[/highlight]
This entails taking a snippet from what someone else has said about you, your product or service and using it as actual words in your headline with quotation marks to then continue throughout the copy. An example might be “I check Croud’s Facebook page every morning for the latest digital news” admits Leonardo Dicaprio. What? I can dream it can’t I?

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]News Headlines[/highlight]
These headlines are great for new product announcements, an improved version or even a content scoop which can be the basis of a compelling news headline. An example for a cooking website could be My Exclusive Interview with Jamie Oliver or a software website may use Introducing Windows 9

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Indirect headlines[/highlight]
These headlines are much more subtle than direct headlines. These tease the curiosity of the reader just enough to raise a question in the reader’s mind to want to read more. E.g Don’t let the mark you leave on Earth be a cavity in your couch. Be wary when using these headlines as although they may perk interest if used correctly, if it’s too subtle or too hard to digest, it can be confusing to a time-stressed reader.

[highlight type=”standard, dark”]Direct Headlines[/highlight]
Headlines that go straight to the core of the subject without attempting to be clever. A headline that states the selling proposition directly could be Pure Silk Dresses – 40% off while a direct competition title might read Win a Free Manicure Worth £25![/text_output][text_output]

[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 3. Find the pain and provide a cure [/feature_headline]
Regardless of whether you’re writing for a B2B or B2C market, every consumer has a problem they are looking to solve. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and find the visitor’s potential pain factors (challenges they want to overcome).

The key is to write short, engaging, pain-orientated messages followed by the product or service – the ultimate solution that will relieve them from their pain.

Since visitors only hang around for about 10 seconds then you only have a small window to grab their attention. If you can demonstrate you understand their pains and get them to think, “hmmm, this company seems to get my challenges”, then they are more likely to stick around to see how you can help to solve them. Find the pain then offer the solution with your product or service, and you have a customer.

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[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 4. Encourage Call to Action  [/feature_headline]
The aim of a website is ultimately to encourage call to action which successfully coaxes the reader to take a specific course of action. So if you’ve successfully completed the hard part of persuading someone read on from reading your compelling headlines, you don’t want to mess it up with a weak call-to-action. CTA’s needs to be concise, unambiguous and help to create a sense of urgency. So for example, ‘Call us today’ might be more effective than ‘Click here to speak to one of our sales people’.

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[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 5. Use Bullet points/numbered lists [/feature_headline]
This is a well-known method for making key information easy to locate and eye-catching. Bullet points allow the readers to scan the page more easily and enables the writer to highlight the main key facts or USPs to make them stand out without reverting to long, descriptive paragraphs. So if you’re struggling to come up with tight, compelling copy then bullet points could well be the answer to get the key information across.

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[feature_headline type=”left, center, right” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”lightbulb-o”] 6. Keep it short before I lose interest [/feature_headline]
The online reader usually:

  • Skims rather than reads every word.
  • Jumps from page to page.
  • Can enter content at different points.
  • Doesn’t like deep scrolling.
  • Finds reading on screen more difficult.

[/text_output][image type=”circle” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”4805″][text_output]Visitors are likely to be distracted at any point by phone calls, text messages, or whatever else is going on around them. Endless scrolling into oblivion is enough scare them away before the first sentence is read. So unless your aim is to bore your reader to death, ensure content is short, punchy and concise so it is easy to digest. That means getting straight to the point and front-loading all the most important details, such as product/service details, key features and the most compelling benefits. It’s always possible to get a point across quickly and precisely by shaving off a few words here and there, so after your first draft take a break and come back with a fresh pair of eyes to see what else could be cut out.[/text_output][vc_row_inner no_margin=”true” padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][text_output][gap size=”10px”]
In conclusion, bad copywriting will not only scare people away, aggressively discourage people from returning to a website, but can be most harmful to a business’s brand. Great copy although may not have universal appeal or the ability to convert every reader, but bad copy will offend and irritate the eagle-eyed, bore and alienate the casual observer and estrange every facet of your audience.

So don’t write copy that is dull, poorly constructed and even more poorly thought out. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a novice, it’s always important to ensure you write compelling copy that engages your readers, conveys the business message and creates effective calls for action.[/text_output][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”4804″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”10px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]