If you are unfamiliar with the field of copywriting or its fundamentals, you may want to refer to the previous blog posts that were written on the subject of copywriting. This post will assume that you are aware of the information that we’ve already covered. If you are already familiar with copywriting and other related marketing principles, then you’ll probably be fine.
We previously discussed two copywriting topics—the Fundamentals of Copywriting, and the Importance of Copywriting in Online Marketing. While the information in both of those posts should be helpful, they do skip over some important middle ground: Applying principles of copywriting to online writing.
Copywriting has always been an evolving discipline. That evolution was only accelerated by the prominence of online media, and eventually, online marketing. If you want to make the most of what strong copywriting has to offer your site, then you need to adjust your copy to reflect the medium that it is presented in.
Online copywriting is not only a matter of techniques, but also a matter of perspective.
Know Your Audience
Almost every type of writing relies on proper identifying, and then directly appealing to, your audience. Copywriting is no exception, and the web audience is one that requires a very specific approach. There are several qualities that define the online audience that are not typical of audiences that copywriting has been designed to target in the past.
We’ll start by examining what makes this audience special, and how you can use what you know about this audience to adjust your copy to reflect their needs. Doing this will make your entire site more effective, and should help you draw more interest and increase sales.
The most defining feature of the online audience is their attention span. They don’t have one. If they don’t find what they are looking for immediately, they are likely to leave the website without giving it a chance.
In an almost contradictory way, the online audience is also recognized for their hunger for information. They may have the attention to be exposed to large amounts of content, but they want as much information as they can wrap their minds around, particularly when they are looking to buy something.
Your job, when you are creating content, is to try to align both of these needs into your content. Essentially, you want to communicate a lot of information into as little space as possible. This is something that many online marketers have struggled with, but several strategies have developed a reputation for being effective.
Online Copywriting Strategies
Prioritize Small Paragraphs
Several studies have demonstrated that online readers will go further through content, and pay more attention to it, if it is presented in short paragraphs. People don’t care for long blocks of text even offline, but online audiences are particularly unresponsive to them.
A good rule of them is to try to keep all paragraphs between three and five lines. Make sure that you check all of your formatting when your copy is uploaded to your website, so that you can be sure that this rule is not being broken be the display of your paragraphs.
Use Space-Saving Tactics
Remember that online audiences crave information even if they don’t want to read much content. The best way to unify these goals is to use some effective space-saving techniques. There are many ways to present complex information in condensed ways. Most of them involve presenting the information graphically.
Since there are so many ways to save space, and they have different applications in different situations, it would not be fair to try to jam them into what’s left of this post. If you want to find out what some of the best space-saving techniques are and when to use them, you’ll want to catch our next post on writing for the online audience.