Websites, WeWe, and Telling It Like It Is

The words that you use on your website are crucial not only for attracting visitors to your website via search engines, but also to convert your visitors into paying customers or clients. Even if you consider yourself a good writer, you may not know about writing for the web and how it differs from writing for print. Jakob Nielsen, usability guru, starts an article on “How Users Read on the Web” with the phrase “They don’t.” Users will scan content for key points and then move on. So how can you write effective web copy that will achieve your objectives? Here are some brief pointers:

  • Don’t use ‘marketing speak’. Keep your content factual and simple wherever possible, using plain English.
  • Make copy scannable, using bullet points, highlighting key points, and keeping things short and to the point.
  • Check your ‘WeWe’ score! In other words, how often do you talk about yourself on your website? You should be focusing on the customer, not on your own company history.
  • Keep jargon to an absolute minimum – even if you think all your visitors will understand your industry jargon, why complicate things any more than necessary? The quicker the visitor can skim your copy and reach the conclusion they need you, the better! Tell it like it is, in simple language. Check your readability score here: http://www.addedbytes.com/code/readability-score/
  • Know your limitations! If you’re not a good writer, be aware of that fact and get help from a specialist – if you need a copywriter to help you convey your message effectively, then use a copywriter – it probably won’t cost the earth and you may reap the rewards many times over by improving the enquiry rate from your website.

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