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Webinar - Copywriting for the Web: Today's Best Practices - 2017-05-18

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Webinar - Copywriting for the Web: Today's Best Practices - 2017-05-18

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Visit http://www.techsoup.org for donated tech for nonprofits and libraries!

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website copy? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website forms an essential part of your organization's marketing. It needs to deliver compelling content that your readers eagerly engage with. The words and pictures have to jump off the screen and meet your readers where they are. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.

This webinar offers plenty of tips and techniques to make sure your content is web reader-friendly, while it stresses your community impact.

Visit http://www.techsoup.org for donated tech for nonprofits and libraries!

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website copy? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website forms an essential part of your organization's marketing. It needs to deliver compelling content that your readers eagerly engage with. The words and pictures have to jump off the screen and meet your readers where they are. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.

This webinar offers plenty of tips and techniques to make sure your content is web reader-friendly, while it stresses your community impact.

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Webinar - Copywriting for the Web: Today's Best Practices - 2017-05-18

  1. 1. Copywriting for the Web: Today’s Best Practices May 18, 2017
  2. 2. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved Using ReadyTalk • Chat to ask questions • All lines are muted • If you lose your Internet connection, reconnect using the link emailed to you. • If you lose your phone connection, re-dial the phone number and re-join. • ReadyTalk support: 800-843-9166 Your audio will play through your computer’s speakers. Hear an echo? You may be logged in twice and will need to close one instance of ReadyTalk.
  3. 3. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved You Are Being Recorded… This webinar will be available on the TechSoup website along with past webinars: www.techsoup.org/community/events-webinars You can also view recorded webinars and videos on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/TechSoupVideo You will receive an email with this presentation, recording, and links within a few days Tweet using the hashtag #tswebinars
  4. 4. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved
  5. 5. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved Presenters Assisting with chat: Ale Bezdikian, TechSoup Becky Wiegand Webinar Program Manager TechSoup Dalya Massachi Founder Writing for Community Success
  6. 6. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved The Need Is Global – And So Are We TechSoup’s mission is to build a dynamic bridge that enables civil society organizations and social change agents around the world to gain effective access to the resources they need to design and implement solutions for a more equitable planet. Countries Served TechSoup Partner Location NetSquared Local Group Where are you on the map?
  7. 7. Copywriting for the Web: TODAY’S BEST PRACTICES Presenter: Dalya F. Massachi 7
  8. 8. POLL QUESTION How long have you been writing copy for the web? • 0-6 months • A few years • More than 5 years 8
  9. 9. POLL QUESTION Are you involved in: • Decision-making about your website’s copy • Implementing web copy changes • Both • Neither 9
  10. 10. POLL QUESTION When was the last time you made updates to your web copy? • This week • Last 1-2 months • 3 or more months ago 10
  11. 11. INTRO Key strategies techniques Person-to- person emotions My Background  Social sector writer, editor, speaker, trainer, coach: 20+ years  Authored countless proposals, articles, websites, award-winning book  Trained/coached thousands
  12. 12. INTRO Key strategies techniques Person-to- person emotions  Edited/contributed to 8 books  2000-2004: Founding Director, My Background
  13. 13. Outline •  Why is web copywriting so important?  3 keys to planning  Today’s web users  Usability & accessibility  Intro to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  Site reviews  Q&A 13
  14. 14. Content’s Importance Explains: 1. What your org is about 2. Who the website is for 3. Why they should care/get involved with you INTRO Key strategies techniques Person-to- person emotions 14
  15. 15. PLANNING KEY #1: Focus on Your Brand  What your org/company stands for  What you want to be known for  Your identity/personality 15
  16. 16. Your Uniqueness So powerful that it gets noticed and gets people talking about you  Under-served clients/customers, location, etc.  Innovative way to address stubborn problem  Fill a gap in your community  Outstanding credentials or experience 16
  17. 17. TYPE IN: When someone hears about your org, what’s one UNIQUE fact or feeling you want them to associate with you? Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotionsintro 17
  18. 18. PLANNING KEY #2: Identify Your Specific Users & Their Distinct Needs  Newbies  Experienced folks  Donors  Clients/Members  Volunteers  Media  Colleagues  Researchers 18
  19. 19. Web readers  Short attention spans (2-3 sec)  Read slower than on paper  Need to know content is relevant to them before they read it  Scan: Usually the first 2 paragraphs, headlines, bold characters, end  Will share your content if it’s good 19
  20. 20. Put the viewer in the spotlight  Show how you can help them be part of the solution  Encourage their trust  Keep them connected to you  Steer them to relevant resources/info  Inspire them with success 20
  21. 21. Can they trust you?  Who’s already on board? (endorsements)  Mentions in the press  Excellence ratings: CharityNavigator, BBB, greatnonprofits.org  Transparent about everything
  22. 22. Data You Need to Gather • Their values • Their problems • Their goals • What they already know/believe (including any misconceptions) Stories 22
  23. 23. PLANNING KEY #3: Emphasize Benefits More Than Features Feature: Component or characteristic of what you offer: product/service Benefit: How the features improve the lives of your clients and community: satisfy their needs and desires 23
  24. 24. Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotions Benefits Answer These Questions  What does your work mean for the clients/community?  For each feature you offer, ask, “So What?” “Who cares?” How does that offering result in something better for the clients and community?  “What’s in it for me AND US?” 24
  25. 25. Stories techniques Person-to- person emotionsintroExample: Homeless Shelter  FEATURES: You offer homeless families a soup kitchen, warm beds, restrooms, child care, long-term job and housing services  BENEFITS: (your impact)  Higher level of nutrition and stability  Higher level of employment  Fewer families living in cars or on streets  Less desperation, often leading to crime, drug abuse, etc.  The sense of being a community that cares for everyone
  26. 26. Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotionsintro Example: Slow Food USA Slow Food USA reconnects Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils, and waters that produce our food. We seek to inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices, and market forces. So what? …so that together, we can ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.
  27. 27. TYPE IN: What is your “So what”? (it might be different for different reader segments) What is the ultimate outcome/result/benefit your community gets from your program? Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotionsintro 27
  28. 28. REMEMBER… Whenever you talk about your programs, also list the benefits 28
  29. 29. INCREASE YOUR USABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY 29
  30. 30. Go from “WE” to “YOU” EXAMPLE Original: We want to bring native plants back to our community. But we need your help! Suggested revision: You can help improve our city’s environment! Plant and save native plants. They bring many benefits to our community and help avoid eco-trouble down the line. 30
  31. 31. EXAMPLE: IMAGINE… “Imagine what it would be like to walk at a pace you really enjoy because you don't have to count steps or worry about what's in front of you. To have the freedom to think your thoughts, or carry on an engrossing conversation as you walk with a friend. And now, just imagine the joy of companionship, of feeling the comfort of having a trusted canine by your side—a beautiful animal that wins the admiration even of complete strangers. What a conversational icebreaker— what a friend-maker!” (www.guidedogs.com) 31
  32. 32. On this heat map: red and yellow show where users spent the most time  So put your most critical info in the upper left-hand corner and at the left column  1st 2 words of a sentence or paragraph: most seen 32
  33. 33. LEAD WITH MOST IMPORTANT INFO: FIRST 56 WORDS  Inverted pyramid: Conclusion first, then supporting facts, then further details  Summarize the main point: who, what, when, where, why (the big benefits to gain, or problems solved)  Tell what the page is about and why they should read it (2-4 lines) 33
  34. 34. “CHUNK” YOUR INFO • Use easy-to-understand categories  Use subheads as if they are the only things your reader sees  Got a list of 3 or more items? Number or bullet it  Can you find a juicy pull-quote to feature? 34
  35. 35. FOCUS ON YOUR HEADLINES  Use a few words to tell the essence of the story  Should include keywords for SEO  Use present tense if possible  Often all people see on their mobile; must be accurate, predictable out of context  Should say: “Stop! This message concerns you!”  Speak directly to your intended readers’ concerns  Tie to main graphic 35
  36. 36. MORE ON KEYWORDS  Use 2-3 times: short page. More for longer ones  Call them out with bold, italics, links, etc. • Place them naturally and strategically (not awkwardly) • Use at least once prominently near top of page • Should be for the different users (e.g., newbies vs. experts) • Good for keyword research: Google or wordtracker.com 36
  37. 37.  Conversational: use the second person (“you” and “your”)  Can include sentence fragments, begin with a conjunction (and, but, so)  Sound like a savvy best friend: smart without being intimidating  Easy to understand (clear instead of clever) IDEAL “SOUND” ONLINE 37
  38. 38. Your personal point of view adds juice to your reader’s experience. Let it shine through: Transcribe what you would say to a respected friend Act the host giving a tour of the best parts of your “home” YOUR WRITER’S VOICE (ESP. BLOGS)
  39. 39. Use Links Strategically  Send the reader to important background or related material  Explain unusual or technical terms  Emphasize important info (repeat in strategic spots to follow reader’s train of thought) 39
  40. 40. Use Links Strategically Include a brief description (a few words) of what reader will find there:  Vague link: “More info” or “Click here”  Informative link: Learn more about the latest report on climate change  Informative link: “List of foods high in calcium” 40
  41. 41. Issue Calls To Action  Include all the details they need  Easy ways to interact with you  Special offer or deadline  Reminder of the benefits they will enjoy if they act now  Encourage comments: “Use the comments section below to share your experiences!” 41
  42. 42. Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotionsOther SEO Tips 42 Write a page description (160 characters): “snippet” displayed by search engines Higher search engine rankings: • Useful (people stay once they arrive) • Fulfilling (get what they expected) • Shared, bookmarked • Engage readers • Linked to related sites Regularly update text and earn new links
  43. 43. Editing “The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon." —Robert Cormier 43
  44. 44. Cultivate Conciseness: Less is More  KISSS: Keep It Short, Simple & Scannable  Tell how to act right away — and why  Sentences: 10-14 words  It’s all about the soundbites (tweet-worthy)  1-3 screens  Search engines like 250-300 words min. (users spend about 4 seconds for every extra 100 words) 44
  45. 45. edit Wrap-upWeb copy Proofread! • Check and Re-check your content for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other slip-ups • Always read your piece out loud (even if it’s only to yourself); most people hear words as they read them and your words should roll off the tongue 45
  46. 46. show Appeal letters Grant proposals openings endingsstories Complement With Graphics  Not just a cherry on top (integrated)  Photos: action shots of clients, stakeholders accomplishing/benefiting from your mission (pple)  Captions (“micro-copy”): summarize, ID left to right, contain keywords, present tense vivid verbs 46
  47. 47. START A “SWIPE” FILE  Bookmark what you like, but also jot down notes about why you like them  Use it to feed your internal idea factory  You can also collect poor content and use it as reminder of what to avoid DOWNLOAD YOUR STARTER! 47
  48. 48. Change.org 48
  49. 49. Nature.org 49
  50. 50. Kiva.org 50
  51. 51. Dosomething.org 51
  52. 52. 52 Let’s review some submissions!
  53. 53. 53 1. What’s great? 2. What could be improved? 3. How does it make you feel?
  54. 54. 54 SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR FIRST 5 SIGNUPS: $47 Website Reviews • I’ll review your site for only $47 (regularly $87) • Reserve NOW even if you plan to implement what you learned today
  55. 55. Free newsletter: writing inspiration, tips, event listings, & much more: WritingToMakeADifference.com Email me: DM@WritingToMakeADifference.com 55
  56. 56. TYPE IN: What’s your biggest takeaway from today? Storiestechniques Person-to- person emotionsintro 56
  57. 57. Questions?
  58. 58. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved Learn and Share! Chat in one thing that you learned in today’s webinar or will try to implement. Will you share this information with your colleagues and within your network? Please complete the post-event survey that will pop up once the webinar ends!
  59. 59. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved Get Your TechSoup Courses!
  60. 60. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved Upcoming Webinars and Events 5/25: Combatting Nonprofit Burnout: Managing Tech and Email Overload 5/31: Libraries as Innovation Hubs: Community Driven Design 6/1: IT Staffing: Who are You Gonna Call? 6/10: How to Access TechSoup Donations and Resources Explore our webinar archives for more!
  61. 61. . © TechSoup Global | All rights reserved ReadyTalk offers dedicated product demos for TechSoup organizations 4 times per week. For more information: www.techsoup.org/readytalk Please complete the post-event survey that will pop up once you close this window. Thank You to Our Webinar Sponsor!

Hinweis der Redaktion

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  • TechSoup doesn’t just help NGOs overcome barriers to effective use of technology. We also help NGOs overcome language, economic, geographic, cultural, knowledge, and access barriers.

    We create new ways to access technology, new paths to connect and network, and new means to learn and develop skills — all so that NGOs can operate at their full potential, more effectively deliver their programs and services, and better achieve their missions.
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  • Based on book, with added focus on website content
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  • Not just a brochure, but an opportunity to engage your reader on many levels
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  • Make sure each page reflects that
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  • In good company
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  • - anyone here run a homeless shelter?
    - can you add to that list of benefits?
  • GOOD PLACE TO START: YOUR MISSION STATEMENT

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  • Example of asking your reader to imagine him or herself in the story…

    how does it make you feel? – different for different audiences
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  • your readers are likely to share them/relate to your personal experiences
    This is part of your personal story as it relates to your org.
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  • -Reading aloud helps catch errors, awkward phrases
    -one client: catches lots of missing words, typos, - she is a talker, not a writer
    Cognitive psychologists: we fill in missing letters/words that we meant to include; skim over common words; repeated words/letters succumb to “repetition blindness”

    See p. 301
  • -more than a simple cherry on top – well-integrated; make your text more credible and memorable

    Pictures must go with text- for attention, memory, recall and believability. Retention jumps several times when pictures are added to text. Test the images.

    -explain a concept or help tell your story in a way that words alone cannot.

    -Ask your partners for high-res photos – literally see things thru their eyes




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  • SUCCESS STORies/ case studies FEATURED
  • Nice info-graphic- easy to understand/simple.
    Feel free to use infographics
  • WHAT YOUR DONATION CAN DO
  • USE THE LANGUAGE OF THEIR USERS
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