Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating engaging web copy, part of Online Marketing Foundations (2014).
- Here's the reality. People just don't read on the internet, they scan. They'll jump from a headline to an image, and then scan a few bullet points. This means when it comes to the copy on your website, less is more. And with less words to work with, it's important that you make each one count. We'll call all the text on your website "copy." Now, I'm not going to be discussing blog articles. That's a whole different beast. For now, we're going to focus on your web copy. Writing engaging web copy starts with knowing your audience. You're writing specifically for them, and no one else.
You need to deliver your information in a way that meets their needs, and you have to be mindful of the fact, that for whatever reason, they're likely in a hurry to find that information. The goal is to write great copy, not just content. it's different. To illustrate, I'm going to use some examples prepared by a professional copywriter friend of mine, Tom Albrighton. Here, he shows an advertisement for a camera. Content would be to say "14.1 megapixels," but copywriting would be using the tagline "Because memories fade." Another example. You might describe your software as such: "Multisite networking and collaboration solution." Copywriting would instead use the line "Work together even when you're apart." As you can see, copywriting adds to the experience.
It connects your customer to your brand, your purpose, and it tugs on their emotions a little. If you want more of these examples, you can find them on his website, abccopywriting.com. So, as you approach your project, start by getting rid of any long introductions and word-heavy descriptions. Stick to clear, concise, and punctual copy. Use clever headings to your advantage, and break up your text with bullet points. Building on-topic and relevant content will not only help your users, but it'll help you out, as you work to rank in the search engines as well. One thing I see often is pages that put their headline as "About Us" or "Contact Us" for the page you're on.
Now, those are helpful in the title or the breadcrumb, but save that heading space for something captivating and attention-grabbing, especially on your landing pages. As you move into the content, deliver the most important points of your story first, and then add the supporting details as you go. This way, if a user stops reading early, they've got a gist of what you're trying to say. Now, before you get started, look at each page of your website, and answer these questions: Who will read this copy? Why are they reading this? What should they feel when they read this page? What am I trying to accomplish with this copy? And what benefit and feature do I need them to really understand? Use these answers to build your first draft, save it, and then write it again with half as many words.
Compare the two, and only add back in what you need to reinforce the points that are lacking. Now, at some point, you might decide it's a good idea to hire a professional copywriter. I can't stress the importance of good copy enough. This is a worthwhile investment if you aren't able to spend the time to refine your own copywriting skills. When you look for a copywriter, read through their work. Copywriters often write in specific niches, and while they're happy to adjust their tone and style for your needs, it's often better to find someone who understands your audience. A copywriter should be invited into the project at the beginning.
This way they can gather all the facts, understand the challenges ahead, and build you exactly what you need. You can utilize a copywriter to write slogans, ad ideas, entire websites, or focused landing page copy. Most work on a daily or half-daily rate, and expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $800 per day. Write with the approach of connecting your audience to your business, convincing them to take the next step, and affirming their conversion.
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- What is online marketing?
- What makes a website effective?
- Working with a designer or developer
- Creating engaging web copy
- Understanding online analytics
- Using goal and event tracking
- Exploring the conversion funnel
- Defining key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understanding SEO techniques
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating a content strategy
- Leveraging local SEO
- Understanding who's on social media
- Marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Creating compelling video marketing campaigns
- Building an email marketing plan
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- Setting up a blog
- Running A/B marketing tests
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/08/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six movies to keep current with the latest interfaces in Google Tag Manager, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Brad also added one new tutorial on setting up a blog.
Q. This course was updated 03/21/2017. What changed?
A. The following topics were updated: installing Google Tag Manager, using goal tracking, looking at a conversion funnel, looking at attribution models, leveraging local SEO, introduction to search and display, launching display search ads, and deciding to use remarketing.