Before you read a web page, you scan it. So do I, and so does everyone else. We need to write in a way that takes account of that fact.
Here’s one way to do it. Look at a page of web copy you’ve written (or, if you’re a marketer, signed off) lately. In particular, look at the sub-headings you see on the page (you do have sub-headings, right?) and picture captions.
If any of them are words like:
…Then you need to go to your freezer, and grab a large frozen fish, pork chop, or vegetarian equivalent. Now find the burliest person in your immediate vicinity, and ask them to hit you with it, while repeating “you silly, silly person”. Because you already blew it.
Imagine someone turned up at your web page, and had a quick glance around to see if they’re going to read on. Their eyes will go straight to the section headers and the captions. And what will they learn? There are features. There is some information. It needs implementing.
And then, because they’re not stupid, they’ll leave. And you won’t have told them anything about the subject you were writing about. Fail.
Wherever the reader looks, deliver value.
The good news is, it’s a simple fix. Simply stop using your a heading or caption (or anything else people will glance at) to describe the content it introduces, and instead summarise or – better still – interpret that content.
Don’t tell me there are features. Tell me what the features mean.
So if the takeaway from your feature list is that your invoice software is “perfect for wet weather conditions”, say that. If the diagram shows your server is clearly 40% more handsome than the competition, don’t be shy about it. If the software implementation can be performed by a small rodent in two minutes flat, that’s the thing I want to read.
Wherever your reader looks, deliver something of value – and be consistent about it.
Write better B2B web copy, today
Or, better still, royally annoy your colleagues by telling them how to do it. Download our free web copywriting ebook, and share it far and wide, with our blessing.