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Is there a Secret to Effective Web Site Content?

By Charlene Rashkow
Posted Saturday, August 14, 2004

How often have you searched the Internet for information or a service only to discover that many of the sites or articles were disappointing? Of course that wasn't the intention of the writer but all too often written communication on the Internet falls short.

While we all have the freedom to put as much information on a web site as we please, when presenting copy on the Internet, it's obvious that the material presented should quickly grab the reader's attention. But overly done content, poorly constructed verbiage and misleading information doesn't attract the attention of a visitor.

What Does Attract?

When writing copy for the Internet keep in mind that you are always selling yourself! Whether through a service or a product, consider that your web site is your tool and can either draw people to your business or send them off to another site. You may have the most beautiful site ever created but without excellent content on your site, it will not reap the fruits of your labors.

People often pay a fortune to have sites created that are overly done thinking that the beauty of the site is what sells. In truth all that extra stuff does not attract the masses and in fact can detract from your purpose. What sells is good copy.

The Secrets of Exceptional Web Site Copy!

Of course a web site should be designed, constructed and presented so that it piques the interest of your target audience, but there's more to it than just pretty graphics and design. The secret to a successful site stems from the way you use words to sell yourself.

#1 Creative Headlines or Slogans
The number one rule when it comes to selling yourself on the web is opening with an enticing headline, one that describes what you do or how you can help a potential client immediately. It is not enough just to have an opening at the top of your home page, but more important is a good headline that grabs a reader's attention. Or better yet, a creative slogan that mirrors your purpose or goals. You've heard it said many times before that words have power, and that never changes. Take advantage of the power of communication by showing potential prospects right off the bat that you're aligned with their needs.

#2 What Attracts Visitors?
When determining what verbiage to incorporate on your site, be mindful as to what attracts you when visiting other sites. Have you noticed that there are words that grab your immediate attention? Notice what inspires you to request information from a site? What emotion is evoked when you visit certain sites? Those are the clues that reveal the secrets of good web site content. Basically the message you convey should be sincere as a reader connects more easily if they feel comfortable. The more at ease with your words, the more quickly a visitor will choose your services or products over a competitor.

#3 Descriptive Words or Emotional Content?
The way you sell speaks volumes about you, therefore send a message that says: "My product or service will enhance your life, fill a need and make things better for you and I can prove it." How is that achieved? By making sure that you not only write descriptive words but demonstrate benefits. Think about why the visitor is at your site. What does he or she really want? To gain access into someone's head, heart or wallet, your words must not only evoke curiosity but they must appear authentic.

#4. Simple is Still the Way to Go
Whatever content you choose for your site, make sure it's easy to read. Most experts will agree that content should be understood as easily by a young person as it is to an adult. Simplicity is what counts. Too often excessive information can be overwhelming. The trick is to say a lot in as few words as possible. Well-written content makes it easy for visitors to buy your products and services. Therefore, spend lots of time writing and rewriting your copy.

#5 What is Your Intention?
Having a real intention to help others comes through very clearly, as little else builds as much rapport and confidence as someone who genuinely cares! Rather than just selling your services or products, show your interest in your clients by including tips, articles or suggestions that are considered useful. Give something away in your copy and it will come back to you tenfold.

#6 Make it Somewhat Interactive
Since your goal is to make sure the content speaks to your audience in a manner that invites inquiries, instead of conveying only what you can do for your potential clients, include some pertinent questions in your content that evoke responses. Encourage your visitors to think. Making your content somewhat interactive engages visitors and pay off in dividends.

Whether you plan on writing your own copy or hiring a professional to create or revamp your existing site, stop for a minute and define your objectives. What message do you want to convey to visitors? How do you want newcomers to view your service or product? What type of reputation are you trying to establish? Look around at other sites in the same industry and see what appeals to you. Essentially, notice what works and then let your own personality shine through in your copy. Overall keep it simple. And although you may not win over every potential client, you can do a great deal to ensure victory by knowing the secrets to a well-written site.

About the Author
Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist/Consultant to her creative efforts as a freelance writer. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding web site content, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans and all other forms of marketing material. You may contact Charlene at ( or e-mail her at You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844


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