Effective online Ad and sales copy is about telling a story or describing your offering over the Website of a section or a page.
Now, first off, let’s get this out of the way. Stop designing your online Ad campaigns in the same way as your print Ads.
Online AD copy demands clarity of message and an easily understandable progression.
Simply put, clever online that make you work won’t do as well as those that are simple and easy to follow.
While your full-page newspaper AD might look beautiful and really create that wow impression to someone at a café, if you try creating a webpage with just a few words and branding, you’ll more than likely get a reader who is left wondering, okay, now what?
While online readers might have different expectations than print readers, in general, their eyes tend to behave the same.
People tend to start at the top, then go right, down a line, to the right, and so on, with a decreased attention rate the further down you go.
Most online designers tend to follow the F-pattern for copy, but there has been a bit of a movement against it for modern design aesthetic reasons.
This means left-aligned headlines, left-aligned value proposition points, followed by a left-aligned call to action.
Now, while all this is by no means universal, it’s useful to note if your website follows this layout style and plan accordingly.
This allows for increased speed of readability. Since the reader doesn’t need to be trained on how to read your content.
It does, however, have one big drawback in that, since most readers can read it quickly, they do read it quickly, probably quicker than you’d like.
According to a recent study, this means that over 50% of users tend to not scroll beyond the first few paragraphs.
So, the F-pattern holds a lower attention span than other patterns, such as the Z-pattern, in which copy jumps position and forces the reader to focus on the content directly in front of their face.
A good rule to follow is if you feel like a viewer is equipped to make a purchase by just remembering one key piece of your proposition, one feature, one benefit, use the Z-pattern since it forces that focus.
If, however, you’re telling a story or want to build your case in more than just one paragraph, the F-pattern is preferable.
As a Web copywriter, this means using as few words as possible, concise, using bullet points where applicable, quickly readable, and removing bias, objective.
So, for you, I want you to take a step back and ask why do I prefer the websites I personally visit?
What layout do they have? You are a consumer of online content, so let your own actions and tendencies give you the answer when it comes to word usage and layout.