Is Your Content Being Read?

4 Tips to Win Clients with Strategically Placed Online Copy.

Do you know how many people actually read the copy on your website?
Unless your value proposition is strategically positioned, chances are it’s simply not being read.  Companies are expending significant resources on online marketing campaigns that are destined to fail as a result of poorly placed copy.
Marketing executives would be wise to consider the following tips before developing copy to support their campaigns.

  1. Place Your Value Proposition
    “Above the Fold”foldline1

    The term ‘above the fold’ refers to the premium space above the fold of a newspaper.  Journalists covet this valuable real estate knowing that copy placed here is the first to be read.  The same principle applies to websites; any copy that relies on scrolling will probably be overlooked.   As computer screens, tablet devices and smart-phones become smaller, the above the fold space is shrinking which puts even greater pressure on marketers to tighten their copy and place it strategically.
    In fact, not only do readers scan above the fold messaging first, eye tracking research reveals that users read web copy in ‘F’ shaped patterns.  The eye moves horizontally across the top of the webpage (above the fold), back across to the other side, and then vertically down the left.  This map should serve as a template for how content gets placed.

  2. Make Your Copy Scan-ablesubheading

    Research confirms that people generally scan website content and don’t read it in full.  An overwhelming 79 percent of online readers attest to this trend, and companies should be mindful of this fact when they develop their online content.  To make your content scan-able, it should:

    • Include meaningful, bolded and succinct subheadings (like this blog post)
    • Bulleted lists (like this one)
    • No more than one overarching concept per paragraph
  3. Use Interesting Imagesimage1

    Strong headlines are reinforced by interesting images.  An image can encourage a reader to delve deeper, beyond the headline, and this can support your value proposition.  Furthermore, an image placed at the top of a website also serves to shorten the width of content, once again drawing the reader in.

  4. Think of Width

    The ultimate goal of online content is to lure the reader beyond the heading and directly to your value proposition.

    If you can get the reader to persist through the first few sentences, they are more likely to continue to the end and to purchase your product or service.
    The width of your web column can actually help in this process.  According to typographers Dyson and Haselgrove, the ideal column width for online readability is between 40 – 55 characters or 250 – 350 pixels.  That’s a fairly compact space; it demands strong, succinct and pointed copy.

It would be a waste to spend time and money on copywriting that falls flat simply because it hasn’t been strategically positioned on your website.  By considering these tips in your design and layout, your copy is more likely to be read and your value proposition will resonate through to conversion.
Ruth Zive,

Ruth Zive is a writer , Mom-to-five (plus pooch), wife, Ashtanga yoga devotee, designer handbag enthusiast, special needs advocate and vegetarian chocoholic (not necessarily in that order).  In her spare time, she writes The Freelance Writing Blog

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