Online Copywriting - WRITING FOR THE WEB
- How to Write Accessible Web Content Part 4
Titles, headlines and headings cause more confusion and consternation for online writers, designers and developers than perhaps anything else.
Get them right, and you'll get more traffic, reader engagement and conversions; get them wrong and you'll get nothing.
But first let's make one thing clear: Titles are not headlines or headings. They may be the same, but they are two different parts of any online document.
I'll discuss headings and headlines in the next post, but for now you need to understand that Titles are their own dog.Learn how to avoid title crimes... read more...
Mar 21, 2013
How to Write Accessible Content - Part 3
Search engine friendly urls and folder names are often overlooked when building and maintaining a website, yet they are important for many reasons.
Apart from some organic search engine benefits they also help with accessibility, usability, social media sharing, marketing and conversion rates.
Otherwise known as FURLs (friendly URLs) or "pretty links", they simply mean that what's in your web page address (URL) can be understood by human beings.Learn how to write better names... read more...
Mar 12, 2013
White type on a black background is 10 times harder to read than the usual black type on white.
Recently this issue of reverse type reared its head in a presentation I was doing for Perth online business owners at Smarter Digital Roadmaps for Retailers.
Some were unaware of the concept and its consequences and quizzed me further on it, so here are some more facts, tests and links to demonstrate the difference.read more...
Feb 28, 2013
Conversion Optimisation Tip 8
The average text size on most websites is costing site owners money because it’s too small and hard to read.
Text size (font size, type size) is one of the most over looked aspects of increasing results from your online marketing efforts.
Yet it is obviously one of the easiest changes you can make (if you can live with your web designer’s screams of abuse.)
Unfortunately, most web text is around 12px or less, which is far too small to be effective. The text has been made small in order to fit all the other elements onto the page.
However sacrificing text size for looks is short-sighted.read more...
Dec 13, 2012
Choose the Right Platform
If you don’t have the right platform (CMS, Cart, Blog), or have it set up correctly, then any accessibility improvements you want to make will be pointless.
So choosing the right platform at the start and making sure your IT staff or developers have the knowledge to set it up correctly is critical.
Get it wrong and you can be in for years of pain.
These days most modern Content Management Systems (CMS), ecommerce shopping carts and blogging platforms are more than capable of producing accessible, standards compliant content.
That is most, though not all.
Even so, sadly in my experience almost all content, ecommerce and blogging installations I’ve come across in the past 15 years have not been correctly set up.
Usually this is because the IT and development staff simply don’t know what is required, or they simply haven’t been briefed correctly.
Often they make arbitrary setup decisions that prevent the system from being able to comply with accessibility and standards guidelines.read more...
Dec 12, 2012
Why You Need to Know How to Write for the Web
There are three crucial reasons any business and its staff need to know how to write for the web:
- You can be sued if you do it wrong
- It will get you more business if you do it right
- It helps people find you and share your content
Unfortunately far too many Australian websites fail to meet the basic accessibility and standards compliant requirements.
Writing for the web is more than just dashing off a quick post and finding an attractive image to go with it.
Even hiring a professional PR consultant or copy writer to produce your content probably won’t keep you out of trouble.read more...
Nov 28, 2012
- Not for Apple
Long copy vs short copy is one the never ending arguments in marketing, both online and offline.
Hardened direct response marketers will insist that long copy produces more sales every time, while many online gurus’s will insist that short attention spans mean we must keep our online copy short.
What to do? Well, looking at what other successful online marketers do is a good place to start.read more...
Apr 16, 2012
You must start with the end in mind
Too much about what is written about writing for the web comes down to rigid rules that can often do more harm than good. A better approach is to take a more strategic look at your web writing and go from there. IE: “Start with the end in mind.”
My recent post about How People Read on the Web certainly stirred up a lot of debate, which either means I’m a clever copywriter or good at stirring the pot. (More likely a little of both.)
The interactions I’ve had certainly show that people have strong opinions and beliefs about the topic.
So rather than try and espouse some hard and fast rules about what and what not to do, I’m going to list seven strategic options to consider when writing your web copy.read more...
Apr 05, 2012
There’s been a dangerous rule floating around the web for the past decade that people read differently on the web than they do offline. Well, they don’t. They read exactly the same way.
So called web copywriting guru’s like to say that people scan and skim on the web, so writing for the web should be different.
Scanning and Skimming Since the Dawn of Time
Scanning and skimming are nothing new; people have always read that way, it’s actually part of our survival instinct to scan and skim the horizon for any possibility of mating , potential dinner and threats from things that might see us as dinner, but that’s another story.
To understand how ingrained scanning and skimming are... read moreread more...
Mar 27, 2012
This clip with Ronnie Corbet and Harry Enfield is a short masterclass in clever copywriting.
Obviously it's funny, but it's funny because the writers have done their research.
Every line is packed with meaning, both subtle and obvious.
The skit appeals to all personality types.read more...
Feb 07, 2011
Back in the eighties Formula One Grand Prix teams discovered that the easiest thing to read on a car travelling at 300kmh is black type on a white background.
They promptly redesigned the car’s livery so that where ever they needed to paste a sponsor’s message it was black on white.
This of course gave the sponsor a better return than if their message had been say black text on a red background, or even worse white text on a black background (otherwise known as reverse type).read more...
Oct 11, 2010
There is a dangerous and persistent myth around online copywriting that you should keep your copy short.
Doing so will cost you sales and leads.
The argument goes that any potential customer has a short attention span and is constantly skimming and scanning copy rather than reading it.
Well, what are they scanning and skimming for?read more...
Jul 31, 2010
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