This article comes from a discussion on LinkedIn and original author is unknown. It has valuable information about what you should consider when writing effective web copy.
Writing for the Web
Writing for the web is unlike any other kind of writing. Whether you’re an author or a marketer, knowing how to write good web copy is a valuable skill. Besides the basic principles of good writing, two things make online content “good”: how easy it is to find and how well it persuades readers to take a desired action. Use the following ideas to improve your web writing skills.
The goal for every piece of online content is to get search engine traffic. In order for the search engines to deliver your copy as a result in a search, use keywords related to the search query. For example, if you want people who search for “freelance editor” to find your website, use keywords like “freelance editor,” “freelance editing,” and “professional editor” in your web copy. While search engine optimization is more complex than simply using keywords, using them is the best place to start. Pick about 3 main keywords for each page, article, or blog post and use as many of them as possible in the title, headings, and body of the copy without stuffing them in unnaturally.
Add Links and Get Links to Your Web Copy
Keywords tell search engines how you define your content; links to that web copy tell search engines what others think of it. More links to one article or blog post indicates to the search engines that your web copy is useful and interesting, so you turn up in search results more often. You want links to your online content from as many respectable sources as possible to get noticed by search engines and generate traffic. Start by submitting your URL to directories, linking to your copy on social media, and participating in blog comments and forums with a link to your related content. Internal links are important, too; link to your most popular blog posts often so they don’t get buried. Return the favor for others by linking to their useful and interesting content as well.
Make Your Web Copy Skimmable
Online readers don’t really read. They skim. If you make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for, you’ll increase your chances of catching their attention. Readers that find what they want and enjoy what they read are more likely to link to your web writing, saving you some work of creating links yourself. More links also means more traffic. Write online content using headings, bold text, bullet points, numbered lists, color changes, and other techniques that draw the eye.
Write a Strong Call to Action
All web writing ultimately guides the reader to perform an action, such as commenting on a blog post, purchasing a product, downloading a free e-book, or subscribing to a newsletter. Readers won’t know what you want them to do unless you tell them. Craft a strong call to action in your content that persuades and motivates them to do it, such as “Order now!” or “Download your free copy today!” Calls to action should be short and powerful. These examples create urgency (now, today), include power terms (free), and use strong verbs (order, download).
Above all, web writing should sound like a person who is fluent in the English language wrote it. This means using correct spelling and grammar, logical organization, and other principles of good writing. Consider your audience and choose your words appropriately.