Web Copy Do’s and Don’ts
by Cathy Wagner
We’ve all heard you need good copy to sell on the Internet, but it’s harder to find, specifically, what constitutes good copy and what to avoid. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts, I hope it helps:
– Don’t expect web site viewers to get excited about your offer when the first thing you talk about is you and why you created your site or got into your business. This kind of information is nice to include, but it really belongs on your “About Us” page.
– Don’t yell at your visitors with a lot of exclamation points and hype. Internet users are becoming more and more immune to hype. Being honest and straight forward will instantly command more attention.
– Don’t dazzle their eyes with lots of different fonts and moving graphics. Be professional. Yes, it’s possible to add all kinds of fancy doo-dads onto a web site, but professional sales sites don’t use most of them because they detract from the sales message. If you don’t want to stand out as a beginner, don’t use them.
– If you’re selling a tangible product, don’t make visitors hunt to find photos. Offline stores have known for years that, sometimes, all it really takes is for the customer to see the product. An effective sales site is more than just copy, be sure to include high quality pictures of your physical products.
– Always lead with words that clearly and honestly convey the benefits of using your product or service. Prospects are not interested in who’s selling a particular product until they are interested in buying it. The first thing your copy needs to do is tell people what’s in it for them.
– Speak to your customer as though they were sitting in front of you. Of course, I don’t mean to use a lot of slang, but it is important to relate to prospects as a real person. You don’t have to be formal or 100% grammatically correct so long as your prospect can easily grasp what you’re trying to say. Read your copy out loud to be sure it flows.
– Use simple language. This does not necessarily assume your prospects have below average intelligence, but it does assume that they are busy and easily distracted. In today’s world, who isn’t? Visitors will appreciate the simple and straight forward approach.
– Don’t forget to tell your readers what to do next. If you want them to subscribe for something, be sure to say so, otherwise, send them on to the buy page clearly. Sprinkle several links to the buy page throughout your copy, especially if it’s really long, so potential customers will never be frustrated by having to search for the “buy” button.
Effective business presentations on the web are the result of persistent effort. You must monitor your results and get help if necessary until you see the results you want.
About the Author – Cathy Wagner, owner of ONE STOP Internet Business Services, is a writer/author, webmaster, and online business consultant. Her articles and business advice have been published all over the Internet. She personally helps a wide variety of online business people sell their products and services more effectively and she’s earned an excellent reputation as an honest and knowledgeable expert in her field who is truly committed to helping others.
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