Writing for the web. The 4 Cs of effective communication in attractive copy.

author: Angelika Zopf

Storytelling, content marketing and SEO strategy: Website copy is an integral part of the whole. So, what makes a web text a good text?


on-screen presence

Those writing copy for the web must do more than merely observe the rules of good writing. That’s because reading from a screen is tough on the eyes, whether on laptops, tablets or smartphones. We read text online around 25% slower than we do printed text.


  • Scanning

    The first 2 or 3 seconds are decisive: A user only picks out around 20% of all content. Navigation, titles, headers, images and buttons enable users to perceive content.

  • Skimming

    In the 2nd phase, users may take in 50% of the content and become more involved with a theme. The focus is on lists, graphics, tables and sub-headers.

  • Reading

    For intense reading, it’s vital to offer clear structure, useful content and meaningful calls-to-action that meet the user’s expectations.

Reading web texts, users initially focus on headers and only take in the basic structure of the information. Specific content is consumed at a later juncture.


think online

Simple graphics, sub-headers, striking calls-to-action and short paragraphs help readers to navigate within your copy.


Visualisierung der Entwicklung der Content-Strategie

voice and tone

However good the structure, choice of words and use of bullet points are, it’s no good if the reader isn’t interested. Web copy is often authored by companies themselves to reach out to customers, so it’s essential to see what is written from the user-viewpoint. Not all content important to the company answers the questions of the customer. Do they seek the family tree of the company’s founders or product features and delivery times? Remember to write texts containing information users search for.


If no one reads, all is lost. That may sound a bit pessimistic, but content that is hard to read or is written from the company’s point of view will probably miss the mark.


Michaela Mayrhofer
Senior Content Strategy Manager

The more comprehensive the issue, the simpler the structure.

Specialist articles, job offers and social media posts may all fail, unless they are structured well, hit the right note and tell a gripping story. The 4 Cs of effective communication help you to address users rationally and emotionally across all channels, and to package complex issues in simple texts



Have you clearly defined a target group and a goal for your page? Is the copy simple and easy to read with meaningful headers? Have the meta data been attended to and the headers well structured? In short: Is your content search machine-friendly? If you answer ‘Yes!’ every time – you’ve built a comprehensible text.



Simple language and short sentences establish relevance. How do you get to the point in just a few words? Most online users seek quick and precise answers to their questions. 1-2-3 lists, clear formats and relevant content elements also generate a visual structure.



Professional, uniform brand language engenders trust among the target group. Success is dependent upon more than just a style of writing. Users need to be able to rely on a regular supply of posts on social media channels.



Empathic calls to action, helpful FAQs and useful crosslinks hold the attention of your readers. Why? Because users’ needs are served and they feel understood, increasing the probability that they read your copy to the end and follow the call to action.


blog or posting?

Text is a central structural element of almost every online presence – on websites, apps and social media channels: All content must be easy to understand, and must prove the company understands the customer. Truly striking, copy and content have to take into account the idiosyncrasies of each individual platform.


let's do it

Our "Writing for the web" training sessions ensure you and your team become expertly aware of what each blast of copy requires. You learn how to compose copy that grabs attention and stimulates emotions for all your digital touchpoints - across issues such as theme research, the arrangement of headers, copy structure, tone of voice and SEO details. Inquire about our training sessions and we’ll be happy to send you more information!


Do you need help writing web texts? Would you like to attend a training session?