Website copy quality: meeting readers’ expectations and informativeness

Good content works wonders: everyone has to agree that conversion is nowadays the key factor for a website success. And this success is grounded in a quality website copy.

It is often a case when of two texts on a same issue visitors clearly prefer only one and as a result this page gets more backlinks and shares. It often doesn’t matter which site is ranked higher. We’ve already touched upon various do’s and dont’s of a website success, and now it’s time to talk about the most equivocal and least expressible one of all, that is, the quality of a website copy.

Amongst all the criteria of a post evaluation, we would mention 5 basic parameters of a good website copy:

  • ability to live up to reader’s expectations,
  • copy informativeness,
  • appropriateness of style,
  • copy readability,
  • illustrations quality.

In this article we cover the first two characteristics.

Website Copy’s ability to live up to readers’ expectations

This is the first and most important hallmark of a quality text. When a site visitor starts reading the copy, they prepare to see a certain type of info. If this doesn’t happen or if the reader doesn’t get enough of expected information, the wish to share it with other users decreases.

Let us take a publication that claims to provide comprehensive information on a certain topic. Here is the thing to be considered first:  the content of a page should be complete.

The information provided in the article should be complete to an extent: full but without too much attention to minor or unimportant details.  Besides, this attention should be balanced between all the info bits: if some points are covered in a more superficial way than other points of equal relevance, you may feel that the author lacks the complex understanding of the matter. A true master of the subject  presents the topic in a very intelligible and explicit way, and readers will definitely form a positive opinion of such a copy.

How to learn to do this? When you read somebody else’s, esptcially your competitor’s article, check if there are moot points and wrinkles in the fabric of the text.  When writing your own copy you will be well aware of this and be able to avoid mistakes.

Completeness demands that the contents of a page should fit in with what was promised in the title and the first paragraphs of the copy. If at the beginning of the text the author promises that the most important aspects of the issue will be looked into, but ends up mixing up the significant and insignificant facts, this may indicate that the text is badly written.

For an author it makes sense to plan a copy with the followin sentences:
1. «Actually, the major aspects are…» – and state which and why
2. «There is a number of minor aspects which were ignored, however, if combined, they may influence the big picture»

Another thins is that the information in a copy needs to be actually true.  Not look true, not pretend to be true – but just to be true. This doesn’t mean you have to provide references or prooflinks or whatever. A great text will seem an undeniably true one, even if there aren’t that many prooflinks. A reader will gain this impression and believe the text if the author is confident, relies on facts, and his/her viewpoint isn’t too much at odds with the reader’s own idea of the matter.

To provide the touch of confidence, your texts should be manysided: every issue can be covered from more that one point of view.  You can give a summary of each point of view  and go on some of them or, at least, on the one that’s your favourite.

What-to-do’s for practice: read a copy critically and
1. Dwell on the points of view that were dropped and restore the complex picture.
2. Give more detailed information on the questions that are merely mentioned in the text.

Be consistent and logical: in most cases, readers will drop your copy if instead of a promised expert opinion of the issue they get a bunch of doubtful facts, organized in a sloppy manner.

Website Copy Informativeness

Awareness of different facts and issues is distributed very unevenly within a society. This is why a quality text covering facts  or questions that seem notorious to you, may turn out to be exceedingly popular on the Internet. You  can sometimes get utterly appalled by the ignorance of some (and even many) readers who’ve never heard about the things you consider trivial! You should keep in mind, though, that school education provides many a gap, especially when it comes to history and science.

This is why it is often hard to evaluate the usefulness of somebody else’s copy.

So if you see a copy at your competitor’s site filled with notorious facts but still getting a lot of traffic and links, analyze this:
1. How much popularity does this issue get in other publications over the Internet?
2. Does the copy contain additional or exclusive information that can’t be found over  the Internet?
3. To what extent does the explicitness of the article compensate for the notoriousness of the facts being mentioned?
4. Does the informative part of the text contain references to famous people (especially in the title and h1 tags)?

When you’ve gone deeper into these aspects of writing a copy, you can elaborate your own strategies of beating your competitor at their own game.

by Olli and Vi

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