May 27, 2022

Creating Readable Copy: Writing Your Audience Understands

readable-copyReadable copy is one of the most important aspects of a website’s content. Visitors must be able to understand the writing and feel a sense of trust that what they are reading is reliable information which answers the question they want answered.

All too often, web copy doesn’t fully explain the subject matter thoroughly or is too technical for lay people to understand. Esoteric language only serves to confuse readers, it does not impress, but rather frustrates visitors.

For example, a travel site writing about Australian adventure tours stated, “You’ll take a combi out so far never never you’ll leave the boomers far behind and there won’t be a dunny to be found.” Or a site dealing with HVAC systems explaining the benefits of a digital thermostat contrasting an analog with web site content stating, “Digital is superior because analogs incorporate antiquated hardware–a bimetallic strip of two dissimilar metals which are affected by the coefficient of thermal expansion.” Only a native Australian or mechanical engineer would respectively understand these statements.

Content for Web Sites

What you put on your site reflects upon your company, so you want your web content to be not only coherent, but follows a central theme. Visitors will place trust in a site that’s dedicated to particular subject material and more so for sites that are useful resources about that niche.

Your website is often a potential customer’s first experience with your business. Bland content or poorly written copy could mean the difference between that person sticking around and buying, or clicking away to a competitor’s site. —Inc.com

Plainly put, content for web pages has to strike a balance between interesting and useful.

You want your readers to get something for nothing when they come to your site. That’s really what the Internet is about, finding information on-demand and getting for free. But that certainly doesn’t mean you have to give away the store–just enough to make it worth their while.

Web Copywriting Must-Haves

What visitors expect when they click onto a page is the copy delivers on the promise of the title. They expect to have their question answered. And while you can’t please all of the people all of the time, you certainly can accommodate the majority. But it still has to be accessible. It still has to be accepted.

Creating Readable Copy

To produce truly readable copy, that is, understandable content, do these things and do them well and your visitors will get what they came for. Moreover, they’ll be inclined to share it socially. Here’s how:

  • Create a title that answers or asks a question. Think as though you were performing a search for something. What would you look for? What would answer your question or rephrase it for clarity?
  • Establish your authority on the subject. Demonstrate straight-away that you know precisely what you’re writing about. You do this by continually updating your site with content that speaks on a subject in a confident, emphatic manner. And don’t be afraid to borrow authority from others.
  • Give away enough information to answer questions. How long would you stay on a site if the title promised something but did not deliver? Answer the question and do so clearly using lay terms.
  • Leave out the insider talk. The phrase “loss of consortium by tortfeaser” means something to a personal injury or worker’s compensation attorney but don’t mean anything to lay people. If you do use insider terminology, explain it.

Lastly, you want to explain it so to be understandable but not confusing. So, get to the point and don’t include extraneous information. And if necessary, hire a copywriter to get the job done.


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