Did you know that the average person will spend less than 15 seconds reading your webpage? So much for all that perfectly-precise text where you describe absolutely everything you do in loving detail! Guess what-no one’s reading it. They’re skimming. Are you skimming now?
Last year, I bought some website traffic analysis software so I could tell how my search engine placement is going and see what my popular pages were. I about fell over dead when I realized how quickly people click in and out, especially because I do some pay-per-click advertising that costs me over $1 per click! Being a detail-queen myself, I had to completely re-think my copy writing.
To be the most effective, your website copy should be written for 3 types of website readers:
People that skim:
Most people surfing the web are skimmers. To speak to them, employ a combination strategy for easy readability:
If your page is skim-friendly, a reader should be able to understand the main benefits of what your business does, without ever having to read the tiny text.
People that love details:
If you’ve got someone’s attention with your headlines, then you want to deepen their interest with the small text. Don’t put very much detail on your home page. Put the detailed information a level or two deep, in the places where someone is looking for specific information. Remember, you want to break up the tiny text with lots of breaks for skimmers.
Computers that determine your search engine placement:
One of the best ways to improve your search engine placement is to include lots of keywords in your writing. (Don’t be obnoxious and type your keywords in a nonsense fashion. That can get you banned from search listings.) Do use your relevant keywords on every page, in the headlines and in the details. And here’s a trick you might not know: if you use bold font for your keywords, it can help your results. Detailed articles & newsletters (with your keywords) work well too. Go ahead and build your site deep with rich content, just don’t lose the skimmers by putting the detail up front.
When you strike a harmonious balance of all three types of website copy, you should notice better results. When I focused on keywords, Google bumped me up to the 2nd page for “small business coach.” When I revamped my home page, my newsletter subscription rate tripled. When I started archiving my newsletter articles, I noticed that I got more traffic from people searching for those specific topics. Try some of these small changes, and watch what happens.
BTW, we just redesigned the Inspiration, Inc. home page to be even easier to read “at a glance.” What do you think?
Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.