Where Does the Beginning Begin? Copy Insight

pink eraser and word "obstacles" on paperI’ve spent a great deal of time reviewing my copy, particularly the start of a page or piece. This is one of the most challenging parts of web copywriting–exactly what’s the right beginning. For me the real story begins about two or three sentences in, which means I can shear off the top copy I’ve written in my first draft, those few sentences that act as a speed bump when your reader is already in motion…. action has already happened, see?

So what of this notion: dig right into the story already going on in your reader’s head? What’s that all about? On the web, your visitor or prospective customer lands on your page–landing page, webpage, deep webpage–because they’ve followed a link to it. It’s not some chance accident. You already have someone who is looking for the information promised back at the link they clicked, whether it was a search results page, an AdWords ad impression, a text link on a webpage or blogpost and more. Point is, they already have a story line working in their brain–they are in motion and  a lengthy intro only creates a frustrating hurdle. If you have informational copy you feel you need to provide, you can backfill the story once you get visitors involved.

Move tools, forms, tips and call to action items up on the page when possible for those who are looking for those capabilities; and push informational copy lower. Afraid the pithy info could be lost below the fold? Place an anchor, or jump-to link, early on the page so those that need it have the option to chew on that first.

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