This is the first in the new series of copywriting advice blogs from WORD-right, the Hampshire copywriters.
Take a look at the image above and see if you know what’s wrong. If this is how your copywriting looks, would you be better off going to the pub? After all, if you spend a lot of time writing your own copy, you want it to be effective, don’t you?
You see, copywriting isn’t just about clever, fancy, or imaginative words. It’s also about how you present your copy and making it easy to read. Think about your behaviour when you visit a website. Do you laboriously read every word on the page? Do you visit every page trying to find the information you need? Probably not.
Time isn’t on anyone’s side. We click into a website, have a quick glance over the page and perhaps scan-read some of the content before deciding whether or not it’s relevant. We only stay and investigate further if we find something that interests us.
The purpose of your copy is to inform and motivate your prospective customers. You want to encourage enquiries and ultimately, make sales. If people can’t read your copy quickly and easily, they won’t bother reading it at all.
Why you shouldn’t centre-align your copywriting
Let’s go back to the image at the top of the page. The copy there is centre-aligned. You might be wondering why this is a mistake. It’s actually quite simple …
We read English from left to right. When text is left-aligned, our eye can easily find the start of the next line. This is a sub-conscious thing and you won’t know you’re doing it. It means you can scan read the text rather than having to read it deliberately.
By centring your text, you are putting up a barrier that prevents people from scan reading your copy. Their eyes can’t easily find the start of the lines because they are not all in the same place. This means it can’t easily be scan-read. And, if your readers and / or website visitors can’t read your message in an instant, your copy won’t be doing its job.
Centring headlines isn’t a problem, because that is a single line, but if you centre-align all your text, it will be hard to read. So check your copy. Have you centre-aligned it or is it left-aligned. If it’s centred, you could have wasted your time writing it. And if that’s the case, you might as well have downed tools and gone to the pub!