Copywriting–Being ConversationalOctober 18th 2011 Sally Ormond copywriting tips, website copywriter, Website copywriting
Why is it that so many corporate and professional business services websites are written in a stiff and formal tone?
Granted, they are serious businesses, but that doesn’t mean that to portray a sense of professionalism you have to use intensely complex language.
The result is generally, an under performing website that no one wants to read because it’s too boring and the language completely unfathomable.
If you want to make someone think…
“Yes, this is great. They sound just like the company I need”
…you have got to write in an approachable, accessible and friendly manner.
Writing in a conversational tone is the best way to get readers on your side. That doesn’t mean you have to ‘dumb-down’ your language, it just means creating something your readers can relate to.
Your website will be instantly more accessible. I know what you’re saying, most of your readers will be CEOs and other high-flying individuals who are uber-educated. That doesn’t matter. They are still real people. In fact, it’s very important the information is easily accessible and in simple language as they won’t have time to read through oodles of formal text.
It will also give your company a distinctive voice.
So, how do you create conversational copy?
- Research your target market and use their vocabulary (but not jargon)
- Write in short, clear sentences using simple language
- Don’t use an 8 syllable word when one with 2 will do (put your thesaurus away)
- Read your copy out loud to check to rhythm and understanding
- Be real – don’t use literary language
In a nut shell, you need to write as you would talk. Go through your text as though you were directly addressing a customer in front of you.
The way you use language on your website (and other marketing materials) will determine their effectiveness. If you write formally and (dare I say it?) pompously, your reader isn’t going to be impressed. But if you write with clarity and in simple terms they will understand what you mean and see you as a company who cares enough about their customers to write in plain English.