Pry the Buried Hook from Your Webpage Copy

Do you revise your webpage copy?

Revising web copy is as crucial to the final product as is putting practical and tactical words on a webpage. It is the pressing down process, the molding and shaping that can really make you sweat. Here’s a quick rule I’ve successfully applied to my own web copy over and over again:

Ditch the lukewarm copy that can kill interest at the top of the webpage.

It’s natural that when you begin the writing process on each new webpage that your initial text is usually more akin to a lukewarm engine; not running at peak performance. Once the engine warms-up you’re really putting the “hot” copy on the page. When you revise–absolutely critical component in the process–you learn how to differentiate between that lukewarm, wishy-washy, totally ineffective copy that you wrote at the top of the page (could be a couple sentences, or a couple paragraphs) and the real beginning of the fish-hookmessage.

  • Make sure you can “hear” where your copy message really begins–try cutting everything above that point and go from there.


  • Identify the “hook” sentence or two that could be buried mid-page. Pull it to the very top of your copy and test it for effectiveness that way.

To support this even more we have plenty of studies available on neuromarketing–how the brain responds to language, text–and eyetracking, or how we respond and interact with the content on a webpage. Both support the notion that our brains consistently and voraciously suck in the message at the top of the copy and again at the bottom of the copy; and in visual heatmap studies of websites our eyes consistently scan particular chunks of the page, including those near the top and largely ignore the middle.

Tune your ear so you can “hear” your page copy. Where does the message really begin? Identify the page hook and consider that your jumping off point. Be bold.

But don’t take my word for it–test your copy. Make sure it makes sense for you, your client and the project at hand. That’s the beauty of webcopy: it can be modified in myriad ways to accomplish a goal or target an audience.

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