We recently looked at how ecommerce site copy writers could take pointers on writing powerful H1 tags from the world of public relations. The comparison got me to thinking. The truth is, ecommerce copy writers could learn a lot about writing for the short attentions span of ecommerce shoppers by thinking like a PR professional.
Here’s what I mean:
PR pros have known for a very long time that they have a very short window of opportunity to catch the interest of an editor considering their press release.
Similarly, ecommerce sites have a maximum of 7 seconds to convince a visitor that their site is credible, interesting, relevant, safe, and easy to do business with. That’s a lot of bullets to dodge in a short amount of time.
Here are some copywriting tips culled from the land of the PR professional that will bullet-proof your ecommerce copy:
H1 tag (a.k.a., the Headline). In the world of PR, the entire story must be succinctly and powerfully told in the 8-10 words allotted for a headline. If the headline doesn’t grab an editor’s attention, the release will never be seen by the public. H1 tags aren’t much different.
- Keep them short and to the point. Maximum of 10 words. Think billboard style.
- Edit, edit, edit. Then revise it again.
- Use at least one powerful keyword/keyword phrase for maximum SEO power.
- Focus on a single topic–the topic of the web page.
- Tell the story. Or at least enough of it to capture the reader’s attention.
- Have a “hook.” What will entince your reader to read further? No hook? No reader.
- Be informative. Pass up being cute. Make sure the reader knows what he/she is going to get. Then make sure you deliver it.
- Learn more about writing exceptional H1 tags.
Body copy. This is the meat and potatoes of your site, but that doesn’t give you free license to overwhelm your visitor. Instead, harness what you know about web readers and combine that knowledge with the following PR best practices to ensure they take away the most important bits.
- Start with the conclusion. Your visitor has a short attention span. Give them the best nugget first. That way you’re covered if they get distracted and quit reading.
- The second, third and fourth sentences should expand on your conclusion.
- Know that the further down the page your content gets, the less likely they are to read it. Or even see it.
- Use bullets and bolding to your advantage. Online readers don’t read at all–they scan. Learn how to serve up ecommerce copy in a way your reader will appreciate.
Cover the facts. PR pros know that they have to get all the facts into each release or an editor might sideline the whole story. Make sure that all of the obvious questions are answered about each of your products.
- Who is the product for?
- What should they do with it?
- When should they use it?
- Why should they choose your product?
- How will your product make their lives easier?
Additional resources. The advent of electronic press release submission has afforded PR professionals the ability to support their release with additional web-based resources in the form of embedded links. Savvy B2B ecommerce sites will do the same thing.
- Link key terms to internal site pages, the corporate blog, images, illustrations or video clips.
- Consider linking to external sources that support your content–just make sure that the link opens in a new tab or window to keep the visitor from completely navigating away from your website.
Thinking like a public relations professional will ensure that your ecommerce site copy is bullet-proof.