How to Write Persuasive Web Content
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You’ll never write website content the same way again.
How to Write Persuasive Web Content
Use strong marketing words
The tiniest shift in wording can make all the difference in marketing. We have found that if we change the wording of our website content to be more relatable and conversational, it tends to do better with our visitors. In our social media posts, we can shift around a few words and get 3x as many link clicks. That’s power.
Our advice to you is to do some testing and find what kind of language is most compelling to your specific audience. And, when in doubt, look into using these 10 Powerful Marketing Words and Phrases.
Acknowledge the objections
If some of the information on your site seems too good to be true or asks people to take a risk (make a purchase), acknowledge some of the qualms that people may have. “Some worry about Product X becoming rusty over time, but…” “Service X may seem too expensive, but we offer…” These are ways to get even the strongest objector to listen to what you have to say, and it passes along goodwill.
Show how your products and services are beneficial to consumers. In marketing, we talk about how you should show off benefits instead of showcasing features. For example, if you are selling a water bottle, you could talk about how it helps people stay hydrated and healthy instead of saying it is 20 oz. Showing benefits helps people see why they need what you offer.
Write powerful headlines
Your headline is the “Open/Closed” sign on your website. If you write a subpar headline, you may as well have a “Closed” sign on your website content, because people aren’t going to click those links. You need to have a reason to get people to act. Now, you don’t need a flashy neon sign, but strong messaging can sure win people over.
We have more guidance for you in our Guide to Writing Clickable Headlines.
Use compelling images
Websites are becoming more and more reliant on fabulous multimedia creations. Videos, imagery and infographics have power in enticing site visitors to dig a little deeper into your website. Don’t short shift your images.
Don’t worry about being creative
Create original content. Be clear, concise and compelling. That is all you need.
There is a lot that can be said for creativity in different forms of writing and marketing, but when it comes to your website content, creativity doesn’t need to be a priority. Your goal is to get people to read more, and the best way for you to do that is to make it clear why they should read more. Extra pizzazz into necessarily going to accomplish that, so there really isn’t a point in spending the time doing it. Save your time. Save your money. Get to the point.
Make it skimmable
Moment of honesty: people don’t read things online. They just don’t. So, if you want someone to still spend time gleaning information out of your content, you are going to have to make it skimmable. If while skimming, people find information that is interesting, they will slow down and read something. Your goal, then, is to get people to slow down and read your content, and the best way to do that is to make that content easy to scan.
- Choice simple language
- Write in short paragraphs
- Use large enough font size
- Avoid jargon
- Leave negative space
Guide the lost
Imagine each of your website visitors as someone shopping in a grocery store. People don’t usually go grocery shopping just to wander aimlessly around the freezer section for a few minutes. They chose to shop at that store for a reason. So, let’s think about what it is like to go grocery shopping. You probably make a list of things you want to purchase before you head into the store, and you probably have somewhat of an idea of where you are going to find those items. If you are looking for milk, you’ll probably find it in the back of the store. If you need flour, you’ll probably find it in the baking aisle… You get the point.
Think of your website in the same way. People generally know why they have come to a website and have a good idea of what they are looking for on the site. If they want to find out what you do, they look for an About Us or Meet the Team section. So, if your website isn’t mapped in a way that makes sense, you are probably going to frustrate your visitors.
And, don’t forget your Calls To Action!
Put the most important information first
Writing web content isn’t like most forms of writing. When one typically writes, s/he may include a hook of an interesting anecdote, fun fact or an in-depth introduction. In journalism, we often will hear about writing in an “inverted pyramid” format. This is the same thing we want to do when writing website content.
Your most important information should be at the beginning of your paragraphs and “above the fold.” (“Above the fold” is the content that you can see on a website without scrolling down at all.)