People who strive to grow and run a profitable business in online environments have one thing in common: they all want to get their hands on a larger slice of the pie. So what exactly manages to separate the proud winners from the losers? Clearly, first-class web content is an important piece of the puzzle. Cleverly selected words that help you resonate with your audience are the secret recipe to success.
But many content creators are still not fully aware of the fact that how you write is almost as important as what you write. In order to capture the attention of a large segment of readers that could be converted into devoted buyers and valuable brand evangelists, you must put your best thoughts on paper and organize them in a flawless manner. The Internet is a complex labyrinth in which essential info is sometimes difficult to spot, so your web copywriting should be focused on 3 principles: objectiveness, conciseness and scan-ability.
Correct Formatting Is the Key to Organizing Reader-Friendly Web Content
Readability is an important criterion that you should take into consideration, when it comes to crafting, editing and publishing content. You can’t just try to stitch different pieces together and expect to obtain an awesome-looking cohesive whole. As tempting as it may seem to follow your first creative impulse and write countless pages without catching your breath, you have to learn how to polish, prioritize and publish your ideas the right way.
Awe-Inspiring Content Versus Just Yawn-Inspiring Web Writing
Is your presentation awe-inspiring or yawn-inspiring? Dull, yawn-inspiring web content pieces do not sell and do not engage with their targeted audience; therefore they are a mere waste of time, energy and money. On the other hand, killer content plus adequate formatting represents a match made in heaven that can move mountains and help you attain your boldest objectives. Properly formatted texts work to your best advantage for a few reasons:
- They allow you to organize and prioritize your ideas
- They enable you to list and highlight some of the most important details
- They give readers the chance to scan the text in a timely fashion and spot the information that they were actually looking for with minimal effort
Apart from the fact that well-organized texts let readers find, filter and absorb information the easy way, they also help you create and maintain a tidy image that is always appreciated by any kind of public. Still think that visitors have nothing against scattered paragraphs, as long as they succeed in finding the information that made them land on your site in the first place? Think again.
Bullet Points: Friends or Foes?
A nice, clean structure based on bullet points is a huge part of formatting in reader-friendly web content. While trying to figure out what the perfect draft should look like, ask yourself the following question: what would Steve Jobs do? When in doubt, it is always advisable to assimilate the priceless lessons offered by the most captivating, successful presenters of all times. It’s no secret that Steve Jobs managed to deliver some of the most memorable and compelling keynote presentations of all times.
Although we are great fans of Steve Jobs and we appreciate his legacy, we can’t help but wonder: was he wrong about bullet points? Despite the fact that Jobs always came up with well-structured presentations that created a long-lasting impression and encouraged the audience to take action, he never actually included bullet points in his presentation. Never ever! Why on earth was Steve Jobs so determined to say no to the useful bullet points serving a very practical purpose?
Seth Godin manages to provide a concise answer to this question in his book entitled Really Bad PowerPoint. Godin affirms that people who include bullet points in their presentations encourage their listeners to take notes, instead of actually paying attention to the important matters that are being discussed.
The most important ideas are highlighted via bullet points, and the audience members feel stimulated to rely on their note-taking skills to capture the essence of the presentation. While going down this path, they obviously pay less attention to the explanations provided by the presenter and walk away with an incomplete image of the new product or service that is being introduced. Godin makes an interesting parallel, stating that everyday people do not think about taking notes when they go to the opera.
While Godin may be right about the negative impact of bullet points upon the public’s ability to filter and assimilate key information, their less desirable effect can only be associated with live presentations. When it comes to putting your thoughts on paper, bullet points can’t hurt your end goal. On the contrary, web content writing is all about a clean, clear structure based on bullet points. Since readers are free to scan your content whenever they want and as many times as they please, your message cannot be jeopardized by the utilization of bullet points. On the contrary, these elements enable you to put your thoughts in order and organize your content the right way.
Although we don’t share Godin’s opinion about bullet points because we understand that their potential risks do not and cannot affect our web writing, we do love the unforgettable lessons on content creation and formatting that Apple offered us, listed by KissMetrics. Apple is the gigantic, extremely successful corporation that is basically teaching us what we should have known from the very beginning, like for instance, the fact that online readers have their own way of scanning content, that design is an underrated factor that can easily create interest and help us boost conversion rates or that a short, simple, user-friendly structure is what’s actually keeping visitors on our page for a longer period of time.
Using Bullet Points in Your Content
You cannot deprive business writing of its bullet marks. These tiny elements serve a huge purpose and have multiple benefits: they turn document scanning into a simple, time-effective process, draw attention to the most important aspects emphasized in your written presentation and enable you to communicate much more efficiently. Of course, bullet points come with a fairly large list of dos and don’ts.
Let’s start with the Dos:
- Make sure all the elements comprised in your list actually belong together and manage to create a logical whole
- Keep your bullet points short (not longer than 3 lines)
- Make sure all bullet points look similar ( they should display a similar length and a consistent format)
Pay Attention to These Tricky Don’ts
- Don’t include bulleted lists in other bulleted lists. This is a very counterproductive practice that can confuse your readers
- Don’t use bulleted lists when it comes to introducing a rather sensitive issue
- Don’t mix questions with declarative statements in the same bulleted list
- Don’t mix fragments with full sentences in the same bulleted list
- Don’t end the items included in your bulleted lists with semi-colons or commas
Taking into consideration all these more or less obvious dos and don’ts that influence the effectiveness of your web writing, should you actually be intimidated by bullet points? As long as you use them wisely to convey important details rapidly, you cannot go wrong with bullet points. If this particular formatting issue still makes you feel pretty confused, just take a closer look at the 5 foolproof ways to use bullet points in your content.
5 Excellent Ways to Put Bulleted Lists to Good Use
1) Use Bullet Points to List the Special Features of Your Product and Its Unique Benefits. Aren’t you dying to tell your potential buyers just how special your products and services are and how they could change their lives for the best as soon as they add them to their shopping carts? Bulleted lists allow you to do just that. Instead of boring your prospects with useless adornments and exaggerations that nobody wants to read, you can simplify their decision-making process by publishing accurate, well-organized, easy to read, relevant information structured in bulleted lists. It’s the easiest, most effective way to introduce your goods and reflect their uniqueness.
2) Publish Compelling Testimonials. Nobody has time to read endless chunky testimonials that sound surreal, to say the least. If you want to maximize the results of your content campaigns and establish a powerful connection with your readers via testimonials, keep in mind the fact that less is more. Sometimes, a catchy, memorable, totally relatable phrase revealing the most amazing attributes and advantages of your products can become your most powerful ally in the long run. Count on bullet points to create and organize compelling, attention-grabbing testimonials that will help you prove a point and stay on the same page with your audience.
3) Promote Interesting Facts Included in a Short Statement. A strategically placed, shocking or intriguing statement can help you sell, sell, sell. This is an ingenious method to trick your visitors into reading your sales pitch., according to Crazyegg.com. You basically introduce a very powerful, attention-grabbing statement at the very beginning of your copy and try to resonate with your audience. You provide interesting details related to a specific context, to the problems that your buyers may encounter, which could be easily be annihilated using your awesome products or services, and so on.
The key is to create a compelling introduction allowing you to bond with your readers, before actually asking them to take action, one way or another. Bullet points support your initiative and allow you to accentuate the most important aspects, rather than getting stuck in endless studied, elaborate phrases that usually have a minimal impact on savvy readers who are immune to aggressive marketing strategies. Don’t beat around the bush. Rely on bullet points to come up with a perfectly logical, well-structured introduction that can convince readers to take your sales pitch into consideration.
4) List the Main Qualifications of an Expert. If you have the chance to count on a real expert who can back your statements and support your line of products or services, you should consider yourself fortunate. This is a great opportunity to promote your commodities and earn the trust of all your potential buyers. Unlike most of your competitors, you have someone who can actually vouch for you. That special someone is fully trained and qualified and is ready and eager to tell the whole world that your merchandise is truly something. You can use bullet points to enumerate the most important qualifications of your expert. This is the most effective way to reinforce your authority and build credibility and trust.
5) List Very Specific Product Details. Killer web content has a clear, comprehensive structure. It allows readers to discover different products, compare their features and make a smart buying decision. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that a company that provides laptops and a local restaurant that is trying to promote its divine micro cuisine will employ different selling techniques.
When you are writing about good food, you can afford to unleash your creativity to underline the best aspects of your business. As long as you follow a few basic formatting rules while presenting your products from a unique, fresh perspective, you are on the right path to success. On the other hand, when you are selling gadgets, you have to be very specific.
You may need to count on the services of a skilled tech writer and you have to find the best way to keep it simple when it comes to organizing and prioritizing your content. Technical product descriptions are extremely important and should be visible and easy to read. You can use bullet points to list the particular features of your goods. Bullet points come in handy, enabling readers to scan your text and find the info that they are looking for (price, availability, color, model, warranty, size, weight, battery life, and so on) in no time.
It’s no secret that great copy sells. Premium web content is your most powerful tool, allowing you to turn business goals into accomplishments. But formatting also plays an important part in this equation, enabling you to enhance the readability level of all your texts and respond to your readers’ aesthetical and practical needs and demands in an optimal manner.