Capturing your reader’s attention with a headline isn’t enough if you want to be effective at writing for the web.
The truth is most people who find your website will bail out before they read all of it. The problem comes about when someone feels you aren’t taking them toward the information they want. But you can use these tricks from persuasive letters to make sure you web page copy holds your reader’s interest all the way through.
#1. State your objective clearly
When you craft a persuasive letter with the intent of making sales, you start with a big idea and an offer. These two things give you a clear idea of what you want readers to do when they finish the letter.
The same applies when you’re writing for the web. Before you start writing, decide what the purpose of the page is. Try to limit it to a single purpose… trying to accomplish multiple goals on a single web page only gives your reader more reasons to leave.
Your conversion rates will be higher if you stick to a single topic or message per page.
That’s exactly what a landing page is meant to do. Marketers realized that their general web pages weren’t converting very well. To fix that, they began creating stand-alone pages, now known as landing pages, which served a single objective.
#2. Let your readers see the final outcome, from the beginning.
How many times have you received a piece of direct mail-a persuasive letter that let you know right up front what you’re going to get out of reading it? It’s a common approach and one that works well when writing for the web.
For instance, if you want to sell me a vacation in Iceland, let me see where you plan to take me.
A typical way of doing this would be to write a headline that says something like, “5 reasons why Iceland has become the #1 travel destination for adventure lovers.”
When you write a headline like that, the reader knows what he’s in for. He knows you are trying to sell them a vacation, and he knows there are exactly five steps between the beginning and end of your page.
But if the headline were to say, “Iceland grabs hearts of outdoor adventurers,” your reader might think any number of things. Maybe he’ll expect you to describe the country. Or talk about conservation. He won’t know if you’re going to educate him about Iceland or sell him a trip.
Make the purpose and objective of the page clear from the beginning, so the reader can stay focused.
#3. Don’t take detours in your writing.
When writing a persuasive piece, the direct route works best.
When people come to your site to make a purchase, they are task oriented, impatient and anxious to find what they want. Help them get their task done quickly and effortlessly and you’ll make the sale.
Confuse the issue with tangential information and you won’t.
Web users are impatient and they generally have a specific goal in mind before they even arrive at your page. If they want to buy something, then they want to find it quickly.
Respect that-keep your pages straightforward and uncomplicated-and you’ll see your conversion rates go way up.