How to write magnetic web copy

Magnetic CopyWhen it comes to the web and web copy, we don’t follow our mother’s advice – “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That little ditty was a warning to avoid jumping to conclusions upon first meeting of anything or anyone.

But that principle doesn’t apply on the web. First impressions are central to making and keeping website visitors.

So how do you write web copy that will make that great first impression? How do you make it magnetic? Whether you’re blogging or creating static content for your website, here’s a web copy manifesto that will ensure that you don’t worry about first impressions:

  1. Short sentences without extra clauses
  2. One main point per sentence
  3. Short paragraphs (sometimes even one sentence – breaking traditional grammar rules)
  4. Chunking/segmenting – including several sub-headings. This helps your readers scan and find the pertinent information that they are looking for.
  5. Bullet points – a great technique that enables scanning – it’s like reading down a list without extra verbiage in it (like phrases and all that extra stuff that make up sentences)
  6. Bolding or italicizing – this makes certain phrases stand out – bold or italicize the information that you want your readers to notice while they scan
  7. Hyperlinking – making sure that you have text that links your site together for a smooth user experience
  8. Using keywords both in titles and subtitles on the page and throughout the text. The closer to the heading or beginning of a paragraph the better. [This technique is not for your readers but for search engines]

If you use these web writing principles, you won’t have to worry about being “judged by your cover.” You’ll be on your way to keeping and then engaging your site visitors.

Have I missed any web writing techniques? What else do you do to magnetize your web copy? Leave me a comment.

Stock Photo Courtesy of Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5

If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

Thoughts on writing naked
Draw and keep your website audience with 4 time tested tactics
Five ways to kick start your writing
Developing web content through play

Cross-posted at Learn WordPress

Web copywriter, lover of words, WordPress workshop facilitator. When I'm not writing, I am gardening, drinking coffee or letting my cat lounge on my lap.

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4 comments on “How to write magnetic web copy
  1. Rob Cairns says:

    Great article. One thing I would suggest when doing web copy is when you put a link to an external web site in your text, always open the link in a new browser window. This keeps people on your web site and they do not lose there place in the article they are reading.

    In the Title use questions. This is a great technique as people search Google using questions for example How do I?

    Web copy can also contain pictures and/or video when they are relevant and add to the text of the article.

    • Dawn says:

      All excellent additions and thanks, Rob. Agreed on all points. About opening external links in new windows – people can so easily wander on the web; you want to keep your site in front of them. Cheers

  2. Ruth Maude says:

    Terrific post Dawn. It is so true that people scan and don’t read on the web. If a web page is too cluttered they don’t know where to look. Your principles really help. I would add that it’s important to direct readers where you want them to go with a call-to-action button.

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