Web Copy is Different

by Sarah on December 29, 2015


Web Page Writing Requires A Different Approach From Other Forms of Copywriting

By Sarah Clachar

It’s tempting to take pre-existing copy that’s worked well in a brochure or sales letter and simply post it on the web – instant website!

However, it’s not that simple.

And while the initial differences between most other forms of copywriting and web copywriting may seem even a little awkward, in fact they can make your marketing as sharp as a razor.

Here’s why:

When you send a sales letter in the mail, your primary objective is to make sure your carefully-wrought sales pitch doesn’t get tossed in the recycling bin. Your prospect is on defense, all alerts on high because she can’t waste her precious time on another piece of junk mail. This puts you in an almost combative role.

However, on the web, it’s a reverse scenario. Your prospect has sought you out. They’ve typed in a google search – or maybe decided to go to your website directly using the url that they got from a space ad or other source. They’re looking for your product.

But hold on, don’t get too comfortable yet . . . Even though they haven’t tossed you in the recycling bin, they can easily click on the back button and leave your website – often never to return.

Since you’ve got that initial interest, you have to make sure that you keep it. And the way to do that is to make sure that your website is pinpoint relevant to what they are looking for. So your headline has to say quite clearly, “I’m exactly what you’re looking for, look no further.”

And then make sure the rest of your web page follows suit. Give them good, relevant and straightforward information – with access to the final product they’re seeking. While they may have doffed their junk-mail alert cap when searching you out, they are certainly wearing their b.s.-detector hat squarely on their head. The web is no place for hyped up messages.

And then there’s search engines . . .

As much as we marketing folks sometimes think about search engines as some kind of wily chess master we’re up against, when it comes down to it – they’re really designed to help people surfing the web find exactly what they want – and easily. Search engines are almost like that little copywriting angel sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear, “Are you really speaking directly to your prospects – really? In their words?”

They keep us pushing hard to find out what people are looking for, what they’re concerned about, in their words. So in this sense, search engine optimization (SEO) is really just helping you tune your marketing to your market.

Now, granted, they are still limited in sorting through some of the subtleties that goes on in human communication and that’s why we don’t let search engines write copy andshouldn’t let them dominate how we write and communicate with our audience.

Good web copy speaks clearly, comfortably and convincingly to your prospect. They shouldn’t feel like they’re hearing from an automaton. They shouldn’t look over they’re shoulder to check if maybe there is someone else that this website is for – not them. They should feel when they get to your webpage that that is exactly where they want to be.

A few final ingredients:

  • Make your website user-friendly. Help them navigate easily, through each step to get the information they want and to secure the product you’re offering. Remember, there is no clearcut path a visitor to your website uses. So spend time thinking about the different routes they might take and how you can influence this and facilitate this process, making their visit enjoyable and productive for both of you.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t put high-tech gadgets that just make using the web more tedious and frustrating. Web users are very task-oriented: They want to get their job done and feel satisfied that they didn’t waste time or money and that they are wealthier in knowledge and a useful product for it.

For more ideas on how to make your website work better – or create one that works great! – contact me at Sarah@healthwriterclachar.com.

And sign up to get a copy of my free report “17 Health Copywriting Tactics for a Tough Economy”.


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