How to Craft Copy People Want To Read

How to Craft Copy People Want To Read

It’s no secret few people read every word on a web page. This is a tough pill to swallow if you’re a copywriter who works hard to craft copy that converts.

Nearly 80% skim (*raises hand*) and only 16% read every word (I’m surprised it’s not lower).

Most of us read a website page like we shop for groceries: You find what you need and leave as quickly as possible, using self-checkout to avoid getting into a discussion with the checkout clerk over your exciting weekend.

Or maybe that’s just me.

  • Recent eye tracking studies show:
  • 79% of users scan web pages, while only 16% read every word
  • Eyes don’t move smoothly but jump from word to word
  • Short words (4-6 letters) are often skipped, favoring longer ones (7-8 letters)

These findings have remained intact since the early days of the internet. People’s behavior has remained the same for over 20 years, studies show – regardless of the copywriter’s skills.

If you’re a copywriter involved in digital creation, you’ll want to note two particularly common reading patterns: F-Pattern and Z-Pattern.

  • The F-pattern is common on text-heavy sites like news pages and blogs, where users scan headlines and bullet points.

Here’s an example:

  • The Z-pattern is used in visually driven layouts like landing pages and corporate websites, guiding the user through a storytelling journey.

Like this one:

So how can you make your copy scannable so the average reader will capture your main points and calls to action?

Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Use clear headings, crossheads, and subheadings
  • Front-load your content with important information
  • Break content into small, distinct chunks
  • Highlight keywords and use bulleted list.
  • Keep paragraphs short and ideas succinct

Here’s how to combine the patterns with scannable text:

  • F-Pattern for Text-Heavy Pages:
    • Use clear headings aligned with the F-pattern layout.
    • Start with the most crucial information at the top and left.
    • Incorporate bulleted lists to facilitate scanning.
  • Z-Pattern for Visual Pages:
    • Strategically place key elements like logos and CTAs.
    • Use engaging visuals and headlines to draw attention.

Remember, the key is to help users quickly find what they need without overwhelming them.

I recorded a solo podcast breaking this down further – complete with images on YouTube.

Check it out at: YouTube 

Or listen to the episode on these platforms (and please subscribe!)




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