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How to Write Web Copy That Keeps Visitors on Your Site

wordpress-923188_1920Every marketing professional writing for the Web has two objectives for their copy: Attract readers and keep readers on the page. The first objective can be achieved by optimizing the copy for search engines and by developing a robust distribution strategy. You can measure your success by tracking how many visitors come to your site. The second objective can be measured by looking at how long a visitor stays on specific pages of your site.

If your bounce rate is high – visitors come to your site and quickly leave – it’s likely that your content is either not relevant to them or not engaging enough. With better SEO, you can attract more people who have a direct interest in the topics you cover.

But with better Web copy, you can keep visitors engaged so they stay longer. Follow these writing tips to keep your readers glued to your page.

Make It a Three to Six Minute Read.

There is a strong case to be made for long-form content (posts over 2,000 words), but the social media management company, Buffer, has found the optimal length of a blog post to be about 1,600 words – or about a three to six minute read.

On the other hand, as more people consume content on mobile devices, a shorter length – perhaps around 500 words – might be more digestible on smaller screens.

The key is to understand your audience and how they interact with and respond to your content. Experiment with different content lengths and track Google Analytics to see which type of post works best.

Break up paragraphs.

When you read a book or magazine article, longer paragraphs aren’t that difficult to read. But in a digital environment, they become visually unappealing to the reader.

An easy fix is to break paragraphs every two to three lines, even if it doesn’t seem logical in a literary sense. On screen, this approach makes it much easier for the brain to process the text.

Use bullets and lists.

One of the most popular forms of content is the “listicle,” precisely because it is so easy to scan on the screen. Not all information will lend itself to this style, but add these to your content mix and then track visitors. You’ll likely to see much more traffic to your list posts.

Be conversational.

In other words, ditch the formal writing style. Though the Web is long past its wild West days, its culture is personal, friendly and casual. Studies show that Millennials like brands that are both authentic and approachable. They are more likely to engage with a brand that writes with a sense of humor or presents a strong opinion. Traditional and formal copy is much less appealing.

Remember to link.

One of the greatest attributes of Web writing is the ability to reference – and link directly to – original source material. Be sure to direct your readers to useful information and tools that relate to your topic and help educate.

Incorporate multimedia.

This is perhaps the most important tip: Writing for the Web is not limited to your words. Images, video and audio can enhance your story and what’s more, it will attract more readers. In fact, content with relevant images get 94% more total views.


Today, “writing” for the Web offers more exciting possibilities than writing for traditional print sources. So experiment outside the boundaries of mere words. Mix words, images, video, charts, and links to deliver a rich user experience, one that will capture the interest of the reader and encourage him to spend more time on your website.






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