There’s a fine art to writing web copy.
A website’s content is key to increasing your organic traffic and converting the average reader into a great client. Yet if it’s dull, confusing and doesn’t solve your audience’s problem, what’s the point?
The same way your brain switches off listening to a monotone voice, your audience needs to be kept engaged when they read. Otherwise, their brains won’t process or remember anything.
Avoid losing them to mundane copy by adding layers to your text to create interest and stimulate the somatosensory cortex – the part of your brain responsible for processing information and sensing visual and auditory stimuli.
Textures in art spark visual curiosity. Likewise, adding layers of texture when writing web copy energises the human brain.
If you want to tackle the pages of your website, hire a copywriter or use these expert tips to write creative copy that engages and informs readers.
This article covers 10 ways to add texture to your content:
1.Vary Sentence Lengths
Embrace short sentences.
By varying sentence lengths, you add diversity to the content’s structure which charges the reader’s attention span and makes your copy more interesting to read.
Shorter sentences are powerful suckers. Ernest Hemingway was a master of minimalism when it came to writing. So is Judy Blume. In fact, Blume broke the rules to write children’s books with realistic dialogue and relatable stories.
When writing web copy, make sure you:
- Break up long sentences, particularly complex ones
- Pay attention to sentence structure when you write and edit
- Follow complex, compound sentences with simple sentences
2. Reorder Paragraphs for a Smoother Flow
Logical paragraph flow is essential for reader engagement.
If you’re not careful, paragraphs will end up as cluttered content. Rearrange by connecting ideas and varying first words. Keep a list of these words you frequently write to catch them in edits and alter as you need. Have a second set of eyes read over web content to gauge its flow before you publish too.
Need a professional edit? Read about my copy editing services.
3. Use Active Voice
Where possible, write with an active voice. This creates a clear and direct line of communication with your audience.
Active sentences use the SVO sentence structure: Subject, Verb, Object. For example:
- Passive sentences bore people
- The copywriter writes the client’s web copy
If you write them in the passive voice, they’d follow the OVS sentence structure: Object, Verb, Subject.
- People are bored by passive sentences
- The client’s web copy was written by the copywriter
Remember these rules:
- Always put the subject first
- Avoid the passive verb to be (words like am, is, are, was, were, be, been)
- Minimise adverbs
Yoast and Hemingway app help cut out passive voice and improve readability.
4. Include Transition Words
Transition words show your reader the connection between ideas, phrases and sentences. For instance, because, and, but, another, also, likewise, despite, instead, yet, still, otherwise.
These words help thread your writing together and better engage audiences. Add them to link paragraphs or end paragraphs with an emotional punch.
5. Use Visuals to Add Authenticity to Your Copy
Brains process images much faster than text.
In fact, human attention spans are shorter than a goldfish. Research shows technology changes our brains to deteriorating memories and shorter attention spans. Your content needs to reach a digitalised, fast-paced lifestyle. It must cut through the noise.
Information overload has turned copywriters into the speed daters of storytelling.
Pictures, photography and infographics break up text for readability and draw visual interest. Images will:
- Add authenticity to your copy
- Improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) with alt tags and description text
- Encourage social shares and engagement
- Achieve an emotional connection with readers
- Explain your main point (for example; screenshots or graphs)
6. Apply the F-Pattern
Readers often read left to right, skimming the first few lines of text before jumping down the page to the next subheading. This style of reading is referred to as the F-pattern.
To write this way:
- Use simple and concise subheadings
- Add bulleted lists
- Make the first two words of paragraphs count
7. Structure Copy to Keep Scanners in Mind
People rarely read every word on a web page. They scan and pick out words and sentences.
For readable copy, format content to help readers digest the important information first. Use blocks and micro-content. Incorporate whitespace to give readers room to breathe.
8 Write Comforting Words
Avoid boring or confusing readers with difficult language and jargon. Redundant adverbs, complex nouns and excessive words switch off brains.
Instead, use comforting words to create connections. Keep your copy clear and concise.
- ‘help’ over ‘facilitate’
- ‘show’ over ‘demonstrate
- ‘change’ over ‘amendment’
9. Appeal to all Sensors
Effective writing balances simplicity with description.
Sensory writing, in moderation, sparks the reader’s five senses. Good description draws them in and transports them to another time, context and place. But if you overdo it, it’ll clutter and kill your message or story.
Stephen King has a great tip for finding a balance. Show, don’t tell.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”Stephen King: On Writing
- Using a few well-chosen details, not bombarding them with too much background information
- Describing things in a way that causes your reader to prickle with recognition
- Writing in simple English – the key to a good description is clarity
10. Build Consistent Sections
Create patterns in your content to make reading easy.
Consistent structures encourage flow and cover three main points.
Again, it’s about balance. You want to create consistency, without losing the content’s natural rhythm. Neil Patel warns if all sentences and paragraphs read the same, it’ll lack rhythm; the punctuation and stress patterns of words in a sentence.
Writing good web copy is more than strategically placed words on a page. It’s about delivering knowledge, telling stories, and conveying information.
How well are you communicating to your audience?