How different is copywriting for a digital mindset?

The visitors who come to your website are looking for some specific information that could help them. However, web copywriting remains a highly undervalued skill, with several companies preferring to invest large sums of money in the design and build of their websites.

With that said, even people who write well for the print media can come unstuck with website copywriting. This is because writing for the print is different from writing for the digital mindset.

In fact, it is this mindset that influences how visitors respond to a web page. As a web copywriter you need to know about the psychology of how people read online and you must write with this in mind.

“Once I was a scuba diver in a sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a jet ski.” This is how one technology writer described the change in his relationship between offline print and online words.

Online reading is more about instant gratification – print reading is more gentle linear reading. Perhaps this is why copywriting for a digital mindset so different. Spending time online is tiring – you are constantly staring at the screen. It is also stressful – you need information and you need it now.  And finally, it is addictive – you find it impossible to switch off.

Most website visitors are on an information quest. They have something very specific in mind. They know that the answer is out there and so they are willing to scan headlines, keywords and images in the hope of finding it.

According to a research, 79% of online visitors don’t read – they either scan or skim, 16% read word for word while the other 5% usually move on. Understandably, most web copywriters focus on making their web pages highly scannable to appeal to the 79% and make the mistake of overlooking the more important 16% who could actually bring in the conversions. So, the 16% figure should be the target audience and as a copywriter, your aim should be to keep them glued to the page and make them stick around by making their reading experience as pleasant as possible.

Here are some ways you can achieve this.

  • Use web writing approaches to suit topic, market and audience.
  • Use short sentences and words with a low syllable count.
  • Add the right copy cosmetics: bold, font, italics, size, color etc.
  • Change and vary tone and style.

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