The ever-shortening attention span compels us to write to pique interest instantly. Under 6 seconds, that’s all it takes for a site user to scan the written content before he decides to leave. So, how and what to write to capture the attention of the website audience in such unforgiving circumstances? Here are some clues how to write a website copy that hooks.
Reading patterns of a website copy
We are far from being diligent readers. Typically, we search for anchors to set our eyes on – figures and highlighted words. And only once we find them, we keep reading from there. When these are in short supply, the reader will inevitably follow what takes a form of an F pattern focusing on the beginning of the lines, losing interest in what comes at the bottom of the page and on the left-hand side. But when the text has subheadings and eye-catching components- numbers, quotes, images – it will hold reader’s attention beyond the ominous 6 seconds.
Headlines that hook
Headlines make or break the spell. 8 out of 10 people will read the headlines. But a far smaller number will read the rest- only 2 out of 10. There is a lot at stake when crafting a captivating headline. In the era dominated by information overload, headlines that pose a question, suggest a solution in the form of a listicle or include numbers, are the ones that stick out the most. And if you turn the spotlight on the reader and add words spurring negative emotions such as fear, the headlines will likely pass the glance test. And hook the reader.
It goes without saying that the website copy needs to be enticing to keep the visitor browsing for more information. Plain text though is not enough to win the race against short attention span and an inclination towards favoring images over text. As reports suggest, only 28% of words of a website copy are read. The need for visuals to be added to a masterful copy, such as videos or infographics, or numbers is thus even more critical. And it is not just for the sake of peppering text with figures or irrelevant images. Adding numbers makes for a compelling story apart from building credibility and authority. And images are a way of attracting to discover what stands behind them. A website copy crafted in such a way hooks.
Call to action
Let’s face it, websites are created for a purpose whether is a subscription, purchase, or download. And that purpose needs to shine through the content. Yet no one will take any action, if the willingness to do so does not flow from an aptly written copy which contains no visible trigger to do so – a link or a button. An efficient call to action urges the user to act on what’s advertised and do it with no delay. It needs to be succinct to do the job and stand out from the rest of the information to lead unequivocally to what we want the reader to do- subscribe, buy, or use the services in any other way. Often it is reinforced by an additional benefit promising no charges, no commitment or long-lasting, effects.
Let’s not forget about SEO as way of attracting the user to the website in the first place. And a user-friendly design to help navigate it unimpeded. But once the two have been achieved, have you made sure the website copy has all those components to hook your audience and keep them coming back?