How To Get People to Really Read Your Website.
by Robert Garment
, Executive Editor | August 23, 2006
An "attractive", well-designed and inviting website is essential. But the words and copy writing style are just as important in keeping visitors engaged.
You are essentially trying to create a path paved with compelling words that people will want to follow and eventually make them do what you want them to. The all-to-common mistake among website owners is to think that your copy doesn't really need to do that much work.
This mistake stems from the idea that your products, features and benefits, in and of themselves, do all the selling, and you just have to put them into words, even if the words are in the wrong order or don't compel you to read.
Here is how to get visitors to really read your site.
No one reads until they SCAN
Numerous studies have shown that you only have a few seconds to get a visitor's attention.
Most visitors will take a quick moment to scan your site and decide if they should read more. This does not mean they are trying to decide in 3 seconds whether or not they should buy from you, they are deciding whether or not they should even read any further. Every page of your website should be made "scan friendly" with the use of headlines, bullet points, and wisely used graphics.
A good line of copy does ONE thing: makes you want to read the next line.
Good copy doesn't use every line to make a pitch. Good copy makes the reader want to keep reading.
Start with a lot of copy, writing everything you think is important, THEN make it short by cutting away the fat.
* Make sure all your most crucial copy is first. People scan titles/headlines first.
* Always caption photos - studies show people almost always read captions, and sometimes only read captions - so put vital selling points there
* Use bullet points for easier reading of lists
* Don't overload a page with copy - keep the look "airy"
* Proofread your copy CAREFULLY - You would be surprised how many websites have typos, and that's a killer
* Hire a professional writer if you have to - becoming a good, persuasive writer takes years of experience, so don't learn on the job on your own website