#1: Treat Your Web Visitors Like Wild Animals
Your web visitors behave like wild animals, they are hunting for information or a product to buy. Just like a hungry panther for their next meal. When a panther sniffs a scent trail he quickly decides: will the scent lead to a good meal?
A hungry panther doesn’t like wasting time to catch a meal. And your web visitors don’t want to brows around your website for several long minutes to find a product they’re after. They want to find it quickly, so you need to give it them quickly.
#2: Put your most important first
Writing for the web is completely different from writing an essay or a paper. An essay might go like this: First, explain what you are going to discuss. Then, present an overview of the literature. Next, discuss; and finally draw your conclusion. The most important point you make is in the conclusion – at the end of your essay.
On web pages you have to do the opposite: your most important points always come first. An example: you’re looking for a new red three-seater sofa/ when you arrive at a website you want to see it sells sofas. And secondly, you want a search box so you know you can quickly find out what the red three-seater sofas re like.
#3: Don’t try to make your web copy creative or clever
On the web it is rare that a reader hangs on to every word you write. He doesn’t have time. He is in a hurry because he could check out several other scent trails – websites – instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you do. Simple statements often work best.
Clever phrasing requires people to think. And asking people to think, doesn’t work on the web because web visitors are hunting – they don’t have time to think. So, keep your web copy as simple as possible. Write as if you’re writing for a 12-year-old because that makes your copy easy to follow. And be careful with jokes unless you’re absolutely certain your target audience will get them.