Writing for online is not the same as writing for print. When writing copy for the web, you have to consider two main types of audiences – the user (human being) and the search engine (robot) – and both only scan your content quickly to find the most important bits of information that they want.
Since time is always of the essence, here are my top 7 online copy-writing tips in a flash!
Have a bit more time to read? Here is a little more insight….
1. Always begin with keyword research
Using Google’s free Keyword Planner tool (available on Google AdWords), find out what your audience is searching for online.
2. Research your topic well
Always research the topic of your content thoroughly. Explore all the angles and don’t make things up as you go along. Passing on false or incorrect information is simply immoral and inexcusable.
3. Plan your Outline
Failing to plan is planning to fail (you’ve heard that one before right). Draft an outline of your main ideas and key points and then start to flesh it out.
4. Most important information at the top
Users scan web pages in under 5 seconds to decide if they are going to read further. Search Engines are even quicker than that! If you want to catch the user’s attention first, write with an inverted pyramid style – most important information at the top, and the nice-to-know information further down.
5. Ensure your content flows
Plan how your ideas will flow into one another from one paragraph to the next. Again, most important information at the top. Less important information under that, and the luxury info at the bottom. Remember to tailor the tone of your content to your unique audience.
6. Place keywords naturally into the copy
Ration your keywords. Recession-style. Don’t go turducken style by trying to stuff in as many instances of the keywords as possible. While keyword placement is important, it needs to be placed naturally throughout the content. At the top, in the body and towards the bottom. When writing to rank for a particular keyword on search engines, remember to surround those keywords with proof keywords (synonyms, plurals, etc.).
7. Make your content scan-able
Unfortunately on the web, people just don’t read. So they are unlikely to read the full article. To make sure the reader gets the message fast, break your ideas up into small digestible chunks, with headings, sub-headings and lists to make it easier for the reader to quickly scan your content and get the main points.
Toni Botes is an Online Copywriter at Blue Magnet Digital.