Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How to Successfully Write for the Web Site Audience

Posted by Amanda Walsh

I have blogged before about effective writing when it comes to public relations, but this is a new interesting article from Rick Sloboda at Cision's The Navigator, called "Web Writing Tactics That Convert." Rick is a Senior Web Copywriter at Webcopyplus. PR professionals write for many audiences, one of them being visitors to the company Web site. Some special tips from Rick and me are below to help you successfully deliver your message via the Web.

Accurate and concise writing is needed for successful Web site copy. Many consumers browsing the Internet don't read every word on a Web page. Readers simply skim the page for the information they need. Be sure to write in a way that will allow them to easily spot your main message.

Don't bury your message with jargon or clichés. Unlike other forms of communication, online writing does not benefit from the use of clichés. Many times clichés are not able to cross cultural lines and by using them you may be unintentionally limiting your message to a specific country or culture. Remember the audience that you are writing for or those who will most likely visit your Web site. Tailor your message accordingly.

Change your frame of mind. Craft your message with the idea of "you-driven" communication versus "we-driven." Online consumers don't want to know what benefits their business will bring your company, but instead are looking for ways that your company will benefit them.

Provide Testimonials. Testimonials are a great asset to have when developing your Web site. They build credibility for your Web site through third-party praise. Testimonials can be obtained by conducting brief interviews with past or present clients. Be sure to be specific with full names of customers, company names and appropriate links.

Don't Forget the Call to Action! This is the most important part of Web site copy. Tell your audience what you would like them to do! The entire effort of crafting a message will be lost if you don't give your consumers an outlet to act on the information they have just received.

Constantly Tweak and Revise. Monitoring Web site traffic and sales goals and numbers are a great ways to analyze the results of your Web copy.

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