Is Your Web Copy Reader Friendly? Copywriting School is Now in Session!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Dakno Marketing

Do you find yourself being asked by blog and website owners to read “War and Peace” novel articles with forever scrolling content? I call these novels a "Wall of Words". The sheer thought of reading it sends me in search for the big red X or the back button. Admittedly, I have written my fair share of terribly long articles in the past, but no more.

Are You a Tease?

Plus, most real estate web sites fail to use proper structure. Failing to use sub headlines (designated with a Headline tag-h3) to help tease the site visitor to what the paragraph will say is a missed opportunity on so many levels. Your website backend editor should allow you to designate your sub headlines with an h3 "tag". If your current website editor prevents you from having the ability to designate sub headlines in this fashion, you are handicapped and it may leave you on the “long end of the search engine results“. Having the ability to easily edit your headlines, sub headlines and body content really is important if you want to be near the top of the search results.

Format Your Copy to be Scanner-Friendly

I also strongly recommend you format your copy with the following structure (when practical). You might be asking why? Your website copy must be scanner-friendly! Site visitors all have a terrible case of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Consider using this format for your content:

  • Page Name=Headline (h1)
  • Short intro paragraph
  • Sub headline (h3)
  • Short content paragraph with complimenting image (images give the reader's eyes time to rest plus it adds interest to the page)
  • Use bullet points so the reader can scan and easily find the information they are looking for
  • Sub headline (h3)
  • Concluding paragraph containing a "call to action"

Avoid Using Multiple Font Styles, Colors and Sizes

If you long for your website or blog to look like it stepped out of the 1990's, go ahead add all the weird font styles, colors, words bolded and underlined! Just know that you will probably be the only site visitor who hangs around long enough to read your content. Using these tactics to format your copy is so unprofessional. Now add spelling mistakes and you'll get an "A" for making your site and it's information look less than reliable.

Ask the Site Visitor to Take Action! (this is an example of a Sub headline with an h3 tag)

In your concluding paragraph, always include a strong call to action (request this information, read this article, search homes now....). When should the reader take action….NOW!

Don't Forget Those Geographic Keywords!

So the next time you write copy or have real estate web copy written for you, think “geography” and then add the geography identification to the copy. Once you have written the copy 21 times using these techniques, it will become a habit and you’ll write great, reader-friendly, SEO-rich copy formatted properly without missing a beat!

What's Stopping You Now?

Be sure to leave a comment now (I practice what I preach!! - call to action) and let me know what is preventing you from taking action (and control) of your website (and its content). Implementing these best practices TODAY, you will begin to see better results.

Bobby Carroll - Dakno Real Estate Marketing

Follow Bobby Carroll on Twitter (@rewebcoach)

P.S. Have you visited Dakno.tv? You really should!

Update!

See my next AR post on easy instructions to adding h3 tagged sub headlines to your AR post!

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Comments 44 New Comment

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
298,489
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes
LemonTree Realty

Bobby very good advice as usual my new site launches in a few weeks and I cant wait to get rid of my old sites, well the url will stay but  not the content :)

May 05, 2009 06:54 AM
Rainer
81,130
Bobby Carroll
Real Estate Marketing
Dakno Marketing

Hi Missy - It's wonderful seeing all our awesome Dakno clients come to comment! No problem adding your contact info to your outstanding blog!

May 05, 2009 07:32 AM
Anonymous #27
Anonymous
Kelly DeCourcey- www.movetoday.ca Saint John New Brunswick Re/M

YOu've got a great teaching style bobby...and love your positive attitude!

May 05, 2009 08:41 AM
Rainer
198,415
Jeani Codrey
Jeani Codrey Referral Broker & Instructor

Great advice...we can all probably improve our sites and blogs...I am going to work on implementing your suggestions soonest!  Being a new office with a 3 month old website, it is like starting from scratch, so all the advice I can get is mucho appreciated!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

May 05, 2009 09:15 AM
Rainmaker
255,748
Melina Tomson
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon

Okay just want to push people to your call to action...DaknoTv has some great training videos on wordpress AND they have the videos from REBarCamp PDX.  Everyone needs to watch Brad's session on driving traffic to your blog.  He was good, as usual. 

Otherwise, I learned about how to add those header tags to my wordpress blog at REBarCamp and have just started doing it.  I'm with you Kathy...I always feel I have such a long way to go on my blog...

May 05, 2009 10:10 AM
Rainer
81,130
Bobby Carroll
Real Estate Marketing
Dakno Marketing

Greetings Mary - Be sure to checkout the links - especially the ones for dakno.tv. We offer FREE Wordpress training videos.

May 05, 2009 11:10 AM
Rainer
13,603
Daren Krause
Keller Williams Realty

Excellent stuff and worthy of a bookmark.  I'll definitely check back in on these tips as I polish my postings.  Thanks.

May 05, 2009 12:52 PM
Rainmaker
408,443
Gary Coles
Latin America Real Estate
Venture Realty International

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Great tips.  I think I will get right to work on some changes to my website.  I am also practicing being more concise in my writing. Using Twitter is really helping. Thank you.

May 05, 2009 09:47 PM
Rainmaker
173,615
Greg Large
Quite Simply, A Better Way
ERA Real Solutions

Great post! Good solid information. Thanks!

May 05, 2009 11:50 PM
Rainmaker
796,184
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Great article, Bobby. As a copywriter, I agree with everything you said. 

Making it easy for visitors to read and comprehend the message is almost as important as the message itself. If it looks like too much work, they'll leave without ever knowing what you had to offer.

I'd be really glad if everyone would quit using all the fancy flash and dark colors. For people like me who can't get high speed (I use satellite) the pages load so slowly that it doesn't seem worth the bother to wait and read them. Not only that, having words flashing on one side of the screen is both annoying and distracting.

I've also seen people in all kinds of businesses use white lettering on a black or dark red or navy background - and that's an invitation for people to go away. The combination is simply so hard on eyes that few people will stay.

The words you choose to promote your services are vital - but they are only part of the package.

May 05, 2009 11:50 PM
Anonymous #35
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hello Bobby,

Wow, was this a timely article to find! I have been working on my website for another business I have recently begun, and then thought about my RE site , , , sadly neglected as of late.

Thank you for your insight, I look forward reading more from you!

All the best,

May 06, 2009 01:08 AM
Rainer
81,130
Bobby Carroll
Real Estate Marketing
Dakno Marketing

Lane the real estate car guy - I'll be seeing you at the #REBCCLT for sure. Dakno.tv will be streaming it live. Maybe we can meet and reform you when it comes to adding pics to your post! LOL!

May 06, 2009 06:59 AM
Rainer
81,130
Bobby Carroll
Real Estate Marketing
Dakno Marketing

Greetings Joanne - Like most here at AR, it's all about adding great content for the members.

May 06, 2009 07:01 AM
Rainmaker
240,126
Palm Coast Homes
Palm Coast/Flagler County Real Estate, The Ross/Co
Prudential East Coast Real Estate

Hey Bobby...first....huge Dakno fan...you guys allowed me to attend seminars and events through your streaming feeds...loved that.  Second...great info...I can always use some education ;-)

May 06, 2009 07:52 AM
Rainer
26,036
Stephen Graham
Inactive

Isn't placing your keywords in bold font beneficial?

May 06, 2009 08:06 AM
Anonymous #40
Anonymous
jon

I recently read that the average web visitor decides within 4 seconds whether to stay and read more on a website or just to move on.  How can we use that short time limit to our advantage?

 

May 06, 2009 09:08 AM
Rainmaker
808,064
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Your use of the word 'scanner' was confusing to me but you really mean visually reading.  Anyway, have noticed the practice by others over the last few months on H3 and have been trying to work it in.  Good tutorial on how to do it because I normally use NVu to write my posts.

May 06, 2009 09:14 AM
Rainmaker
1,237,048
Gene Riemenschneider
Turning Houses into Homes
Home Point Real Estate

Your comments about War & Peace had me laughing.  I dread the final demise of News Papers as I will now have to take the phone or the laptop into the throne room in the morning so I can read the news.

May 06, 2009 10:43 AM
Anonymous #43
Anonymous
Anonymous

I am VERY copy challenged on my site.  On top of that it's a battle between SEO and readable copy.

May 14, 2009 03:40 PM
Rainer
29,199
The Niche Agent
Your Niche Is Our Niche
The Niche Agent

Great post! Speaking of copywriting, I wanted to share the episode of my podcast that I just launched where I interview Chris Barr from Barr Direct. Chris is an awesome copywriter and we discuss real estate and copywriting. 

www.TheNicheAgent.com/Episode16

 

Ryan Smith - The Niche Agent

April 28, 2014 04:12 PM
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Rainer
81,130

Bobby Carroll

Real Estate Marketing
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