A great web page is a joy to read. It doesn’t overwhelm with paragraph after paragraph of plain boring text. It is well-formatted, informative, and has a clear reason for existing. It does not waste peoples’ time. If your web page is formatted well, your visitors will stay on your page and read it, and they will stay on your website longer. This is a very good thing! It helps with search engine rankings and increases your conversion rates.
When you are writing your copy, consider the elements below:
Who are you talking to?
Define your customer and their pain / problem / need. You need to be clear about this in your mind before you create your web page.
Focus of page
Define the purpose of your page. What is your objective? What do you want your reader to do after they have read your page? Stay focused as you write your text.
A GREAT headline
Name your page properly. The primary purpose of your headline is to get the attention of your ideal client and encourage them to read more. Try using drama, questions, or statements. Make sure your page title is clear and that the rest of your page “delivers” on its promise.
Chunk your information. Use sub-headers to organize your content so that it can be scanned. This helps your visitor find the information they are looking for quickly.
Use a variety of formatting. Lists, pull-quotes, headlines, and tabs keep things nice and organized.
Use negative space and decent margins between elements. Don’t smash everything together.
Proof for grammar errors and typos. Have other people help you with this. Read your copy out loud to find problems.
Use a high-quality photo or two. Photos are part of your message and help ease eye strain. Invest in a professional photographer so your photos are unique and on-point. Royalty-free stock photography is also an inexpensive option. Never use images off the internet (Google Images) without permission. Always use your own or photos that you have paid for. Keep records.
Add video. Embed a video from your own YouTube channel. Some people prefer watching video to reading text. Videos keep people on your page longer.
Write benefit-rich content. Make sure you are answering “What’s in it for me?” or “How can you make my life better?”
KISS – Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and to the point. Do not use long run-on sentences. Don’t use big words. Break up long paragraphs. Use headings to separate important sections on your page. Reading web pages on a monitor is fatiguing. If your text is cumbersome, it will not be read.
Place a testimonial on every page. Let your customers “rave” for you. I call this the “sprinkle” method. Positioning testimonials here and there on your website can be more effective that having a Testimonials page that lists them all in one place. Consider having both.
It is important to link to other relevant pages on your website within your text.
Tell your customers what you want them to do, or do next. This is your Call-To-Action. Make sure every page has one that is clear, noticeable, and unique. Common CTAs are “Book Now”, “Check Availability”, “Request an Estimate”, “Call”, “Add to Cart”, “Buy Now”, etc… Write unique CTAs that are relevant to the page.
Make sure there is a way on your page for people to SHARE your content.
Text Size and Colors: The Basics
Make sure your text is readable. Choose a font size, color and style that is clear and easy to read. It should contrast well with the background color of the page.
These days, you can choose from hundreds of fonts for your website. A good designer will be able to easily manipulate the size and weight of your fonts, as well as line height and letter spacing. (I love this!) This is a really nice feature of modern WordPress websites. Read Why I Love WordPress here
Your paragraph font (also called body text) should be ONE color, with your links a different color. That way, your reader can easily see the text that is clickable. Using color or underlines to emphasize text that is not a link is confusing (not good!) and not best practice. If you need to emphasize text, use bold, italics, or ALL CAPS sparingly.
Of course, not all these tips work for every kind of web page. The presentation on a long sales page is different than a bio or product page. Use formatting techniques that make sense to you and help your reader.
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