Making a Web Copy Blueprint

Thu, Nov 19, 2009

Copywriting

While there is no foolproof formula for writing effective copy, almost every type of writing requires good structure and composition. Copywriting is mainly persuasive writing, and no matter how harsh it may sound, the truth is that with copy the only thing that counts is how much cash it rakes in. And the more hits your website gets, the better your chance of making a sale. This feature sets copywriting for the Internet apart.

Copywriting for the Internet is different in that the more technical aspects of production and presentation, such as choosing the right keywords, knowledge of HTML/CSS, and meta tags, often take precedence over mastery of the written language. Considering this, I will try to come up with the fundamental elements of effective web copy. The copy that works is the copy that keep these basic ideas in mind.

Headlines

The sole purpose of a headline is to stimulate the reader. The reason a headline exists is to compel someone who comes across your copy want to keep on reading it to the very last word. Although the “meat” of the copy is in the content, the role that the headline plays is extremely important—perhaps of paramount importance. If it fails to attract and engage the reader’s attention, there is not much that the entire body of the text can do, no matter how well-written and eloquent it may be.

So what makes a good headline? Nothing sparks more attention than telling somebody else’s story. There is a reason diaries often come with a lock and key. People are interested in what goes on in somebody else’s life. Everybody wants to uncover secrets. If possible, ensure your headline speaks to this very human desire.

The choice of words is just as important. For search engine optimization (SEO) reasons it is imperative that you put the most relevant keyword or keyword phrase within the first four words of your headline. To touch briefly on keywords generally, let me say that copy need not be riddled with the keywords you’re targeting to get the job done. Use them in moderation unless you want your article to get tagged as spam and buried in search results. Also, choose simple but directly relevant words of the sort that you would likely type in a search engine’s “search” field if you were the person looking for your article.

For instance, if I am writing copy for an anti-aging cream, my headline may read “Fight Premature Aging Signs. Let Lisa Tell You How” or “I Put a Stop to Premature Aging. You Can Too.” Note that I avoided using figurative speech in the headline, such as “Discovered: The Modern-day Fountain of Youth.” Figurative speech is fine for poetry or literature, but is death to SEO.

For more hints and tips about crafting headlines check out our article devoted to the topic from September, “An Introduction to Crafting Headlines”.

Content and style

When writing copy, I personally like to take the approach of storyteller. I usually start by choosing someone who actually uses the product, and then I present him or her in the most authentic way possible–as a real person that my target audience can relate to.

Whenever I use this approach, I like to give the person at least a first name. Not only does this add to the credibility of the story, but it also helps readers identify more easily with the person.

There are a variety of styles and strategies that can be used when telling a story, but one of my favorite techniques is to write about the person’s routine (describing his or her lifestyle), his or her goals (to set up an explanation of how my product helped him or her achieve these objectives), and how his or her life has changed for the better since using the product to achieve these goals. Of course, at this stage we’re assuming I already know my target audience and market. The more your readers can relate to the person in the story you have written, the better your chance of making a sale.

Have you ever gone home after watching a feel-good movie or listening to a great motivational speaker and felt like you can do just about anything? Well, it turns out that it’s in our essential nature to feel a rush of enthusiasm after learning of a moving success story, and it is important to take advantage of that short window of enthusiasm to encourage readers to buy your product and experience the same change for themselves.

Perks

No writing technique or style can match the pull of an irresistible offer. By contrast, well-written copy with a so-so offer parses as just another ad. The only way I can guarantee or extensively explain the advantages you can get from the product that I’m promoting is for me to know my product by using it. Different people have different considerations when buying a product, but as long as you are aware of the needs of your target audience you can present your product in a way that will persuade those people to buy it. A very good copywriter can create demand with his or her words.

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39 Responses to “Making a Web Copy Blueprint”

  1. Josh Says:

    One other thing you always want to include is rich images. I have noticed and even have done tests on content with images vs. content with out images and the fact of the matter is that you’re 3 times more likely to get a person to follow your content with images provided.

    Must be something psychological, but it always works for me
    .-= Josh´s last blog ..About V2interactive: =-.

    Reply

  2. passive income Says:

    Headline is undisputably one of the thing, many look for when stumbling onto any site then followed by contents. It does help to add on pictures, a good number of people are visual learners and i’m one of them that attracts to picture.

    Reply

  3. Fifty Four Says:

    Your points are noted. Having a good headline is a total catchy.

    Reply

  4. Backtrack Says:

    I read in some blogs that asking questions in writing a headline is good. Totally catches reader’s attention.

    Reply

    • Patrick Says:

      True that. It catches reader’s attention. Like asking how, do you know why, where tos, what are the, who is and so on. I always do these kinds of headlines.

      Reply

      • Dave Says:

        Having the right material brings people back too. All of the “Top 5, 10, or 100″ titles have seemed to bring tremendous amount of traffic as well. I love the psychology that goes into a web design, just like the layout of your local grocery store…

        Reply

  5. Ronald Says:

    Different people have different considerations when buying a product. So many factors and I liked it when you said know your target audience. Interesting post btw.

    Reply

  6. Yuri Says:

    God, thanks for bringing out the enthusiasm word. This word paves way for anyone to buy your product and experience the same change for themselves.

    Reply

  7. Lagoon Says:

    The storyteller approach really works. I’m one of those who uses this kind of approach. Surely hitting your target audience.

    Reply

  8. ching Says:

    I agree, the sole purpose of a headline is to stimulate the reader. It must catch not only their attention but make them interested enough. That way when someone who comes across it, they wouldnt want to stop reading unless theyre done.

    Reply

  9. my diabetes Says:

    thanks for the information you provide is added knowledge, I would always visit your blog to get the information more.

    Reply

  10. Beger Says:

    It turns out that to write good content, headlines and articles you should own more than one field?

    Reply

  11. Carlo Says:

    When writing copy, I personally like to take the approach of storyteller. This has been my practice for the longest time and it’s proven effective.

    Reply

  12. Patrick Says:

    The more your readers can relate to the person in the story you have written, the better your chance of making a sale. I so agree with this. So better keep your words on the right track all the time.

    Reply

  13. Angel Says:

    Choose the right words. Simple. This will make a big difference.

    Reply

  14. Sole Says:

    The first name approach really does add to the credibility of the story. Point taken buddy. I love reading your blog!

    Reply

  15. Keyster Says:

    Can you please elaborate on the choice of words please. What certain words to use that’s good for search engine optimization.

    Reply

  16. Wella Says:

    It’s funny when you pointed figurative speech is fine for poetry or literature, but is death to SEO. I need to polish my headline really. Glad I was able to read this post. Really helpful.

    Reply

  17. Vibe Says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. Really appreciate it. I was able to boost my sales upon applying the ones that I’ve read here.

    Reply

  18. Barbie Says:

    I just happened to stumble upon this site. Great inputs here. Keep it up!

    Reply

  19. Nydia Says:

    Knowing your target market and audience is important when you want to boost your sales. The strategies you shared are helpful buddy. I am very enlightened. Thanks for sharing them!

    Reply

  20. Face Says:

    I am interested to learn more about how can you make your readers relate to the story you have written so you have the better chance of making sales.

    Reply

  21. Dina Says:

    Stimulate the mind of the readers. You nailed it! Asking questions as for your headline is a sure catch. Nice, nice.

    Reply

  22. Sky Says:

    Everybody wants to uncover secrets for people are naturally investigative. If you post something that catches reader’s attention, your blog will be surely visited frequently.

    Reply

  23. Skype Says:

    Your points are well noted. I clicked on the link om introduction to crafting headlines and that really helps! Thank you for sharing them.

    Reply

  24. FB Says:

    A very good copywriter can create demand with his or her words. True. I need to hire good writers that will sell my products perfectly fine asap. Great post btw.

    Reply

  25. Yuri Says:

    You should learn to construct your words well that will stimulate the reader’s mind right there and then. Asking questions can help bigtime.

    Reply

    • Carl Says:

      Yes and also avoid using the figurative type of speech as the writer said, it’s fine in poetry but big no no for SEO. Nice post here.

      Reply

  26. Grace Says:

    My content and style for writing is also the same. I want the approach of storyteller. The more authentic your writing is, the more chances of reader’s may relate to your post.

    Reply

    • Arlan Says:

      I agree with Grace. This blog made it clear about the issue and I’m glad I’m using this approach for some time now and it’s very effective!

      Reply

  27. Barbie Says:

    It’s important to take into consideration from the reader’s point of perspective that they must be moved or better yet must feel enthusiasm with what they are reading.

    Reply

  28. Bar Says:

    Crafting your headlines is important. I’m glad you pointed it out that well.

    Reply

  29. Sam Says:

    With good composition and interesting post, you can never go wrong. Stimulating reader’s mind by asking a good question is also a good idea of catching readers.

    Reply

  30. Patrick Says:

    Content and style are very important factors when making a web copy. So these must be considered very well if you want your product to be known that well.

    Reply

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