Reading poorly written web copy is a lot like running. It’s hard work.

While most marathon lovers enjoy a run now and then, your customers will probably be hard pressed to do the same before cutting a check.

That’s why it’s baffling so many websites ask visitors to work. With well-written web copy you remove the huffing and puffing. You give your visitors easy to find information. You allow them to scan your text. And, you call them to action.

Want to start writing great web copy? These three tips will help:

Write Short Sentences to Give Visitors Quick Answers

Short sentences are the lazy reader’s paradise. They are web copy gold.

Even if you love James Joyce and his long sentences, you’re not writing a book. Visitors aren’t interested in deciphering wordy language. They want answers that they can find quickly and easily.

Use Clear Headers to Allow For Scanning

As a web copywriter, it hurts to say this, but most visitors don’t read. They scan. They glance at headers. They pass over bold print. They look at pictures.

Then, maybe some visitors will read a paragraph or two. Using clear headers throughout your text quickly informs visitors what valuable information you’re offering. It tells them not to click away. It invites them to read more.

Call Visitors to Action with an Active Voice

Writing with a passive voice feels safe. It doesn’t require bold statements. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t call visitors to action. The difference between “Imagine climbing Mount Everest” and “Climb Mount Everest” is subtle. And yet, this subtlety is huge.

“Imagine climbing Mount Everest” asks a reader to think about climbing the mountain.

“Climb Mount Everest” suggests to the reader they are going to climb the mountain. It’s not presented as a choice. It’s given as a decision that’s already made.

Bonus: Knowing Your Audience Lets You Break the Rules

These tips serve as a great guide for creating reader friendly web copy. But, they aren’t rules set in stone. Writing to your audience is key. The better you know them, the better you can tailor your web copy to their specific wants and needs.

For instance, does your website already have a loyal following who visit regularly and is looking for longer, more detail oriented answers? Then, lengthy sentences and text heavy pages might be ideal.

The key is to always put your reader first. Hard work is best left on the marathon course.