By Katherine Andes
I had a new client who asked me if I used the “inverted pyramid” style of writing
in my copy. I think he was trying to “test” my knowledge. I told him no and that the inverted pyramid was appropriate to journalistic writing, but not to web copy.
So I was surprised when I picked up a web copywriting book and the author suggested using the inverted pyramid style for web pages. Then I ran across another web copywriter who said the same thing.
An inverted pyramid refers to putting all of the most important information at the top of the page and less important material following, with the least important details at the bottom.
I don’t believe the copywriters I cited above knew the reason for the inverted pyramid or they wouldn’t have recommended it for promotional copy. In news journalism, the inverted pyramid is so that editors who are squeezed for space can just lop off copy from the bottom.
A good copywriter arranges copy so that it moves and compels the reader to take an action. While it can be valuable to lead a web page with the most important information, it isn’t always the case. Often you have to set the stage, till the soil, dim the lights.
Then you have to tell the story in a manner that connects to your prospects. You have to woo them. Just slapping all the cold unembellished facts at the top of the page ain’t gonna cut it.
Okay, there might be some exceptions to that statement, but we’re talking general principles here.
And, as good copywriters, we certainly don’t write text that can be just chopped out. Every word matters or it doesn’t go in at all.
Easy Furniture Web Tip #152:
The inverted pyramid style is fine for news stories, but not for web pages.
Katherine Andes specializes in web content development and SEO services
— including page customization for storefront and franchise web sites. You can phone her at 559.589.0379 or email at Kathy@AndesAndAssociates.com
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