Since 80% of people scan web copy, versus reading word for word, copywriters need to start with the most important information.
Present unnecessary web copy in the form of filler or cute intros and you risk promoting high bounce rates, where visitors leave a website without going to a second page.
The sad thing is the desired information might be elsewhere on the page. But if it’s hard to find, visitors won’t hesitate to click the back button and check out the competition.
That’s why web copywriters need to take a page from newspaper journalists, who employ a popular writing technique called the “inverted pyramid.” The inverted pyramid is like a triangle standing on its point. The most important information is put at the top in the headline and lead sentence. Details follow in the body copy, filling in the rest of the pyramid in descending order of importance.
Readers are then able to gain a good understanding of what the content is about by merely reading a sentence or two. If they deem it relevant or interesting, they can read on. If not, they can look elsewhere in the newspaper — or website.
However, arranging information in descending order of importance can be challenging for any copywriter as it requires skill, experience and planning. In fact, it’s one of the many elements that distinguishes proficient copywriters from weak writers.