Although it can be hard to break away from the formal way you were taught to write at school, when you have only a few seconds to make an impression online, it’s better not to fill your home page with corporate jargon.
If potential customers can’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll quickly give up and go straight to your competitor’s website.
People buy from people. So write like a human, not a robot.
Here are 5 easy ways to make your web content more conversational:
1) Don’t use the third person
Writing in the third person is fine when you’re writing a press release or a contract but it’s usually way too formal for your average web page.
If you’ve written about your company in the third person, swap your company name for ‘we’. Your web copy will instantly sound livelier and friendlier, e.g.
Change: Made Up Company is able to
To: We can
The same goes if you’re a sole trader or freelancer. You wouldn’t talk about yourself in the third person in real life, so why do it on your website?
Make the reader feel like you’re talking directly to them by using the first person, e.g.
Change: Kate Greenwood is a freelance copywriter and proofreader
To: I’m a freelance copywriter and proofreader
2) Write how you speak
And by this, I don’t mean fill your website with regional slang, and litter your copy with ‘ey up’ and ‘ta’, as people outside your region won’t know what on earth you’re talking about.
To help your customers understand and connect with your message, use natural phrases and words that you’d use in a real-life conversation.
Utilise to use
Commence to start
Facilitate to help
3) Use contractions
Using contractions instantly makes your content less formal as it makes your sentences shorter and helps them flow more naturally, like speech.
You are to you’re
Would have to would’ve
We are to we’re
4) Cut the jargon
Unless you’re writing about something technical that only another expert in your industry will read, write in simple plain English.
Jargon can make your target audience feel intimidated and give the impression your business is stuffy and uptight.
Cutting out the jargon can increase your potential customer base as you’re increasing the number of people that can understand your message.
5) Ask questions
All good conversations are based around questions. By adding questions to your web copy, you’re not just talking at your reader, you’re encouraging them to engage with your content by thinking of an answer.
Want more advice about writing for your website? Check out my blog post on why error-free web copy is so important.