In today’s marketing world, crafting content that’s both engaging and informative is key. While big-picture messages are important, when it comes to hooking your readers, the devil is in the details. Focusing on creating strong, direct and clear sentences is the first step in ensuring your copywriting is as effective and persuasive as possible.

Read also: Tips for making your content more readable

The following are some copywriting tips that will help you create strong content:

Be concise

Strong copy grabs a reader’s attention right away, usually with a catchy hook. Beyond that first sentence, however, it can be difficult to hold a reader’s focus. When you’re writing web copy, blog content, articles and press releases, keep in mind that most readers have short attention spans and don’t want to spend their time wading through long, drawn-out descriptions. Keep your sentences and paragraphs as short as you can while including all necessary information. In that same vein, try to avoid abstractions and hyperbole.

Use shorter words

For some of us, it can be hard to resist the urge to use longer, more complex words when a shorter one will suffice. For example, you might be tempted to choose “obtain” over “get” or “superior” instead of “best.” Longer words have a certain appeal because it seems like they will make the copy sound more professional — and every once in a while, they might. Most of the time, though, it pays to stick with strong, simple words because they are relatable and accessible. Avoid jargon and corporate speak when it comes to your copywriting.

Use positive language

Readers tend to respond better to messages that are phrased in a positive way. Writing “Don’t miss this opportunity” might not be as effective as, “Take advantage of this exciting opportunity.” Although some negative language can be necessary at times — when talking about the competition, for example — try to be aware of how and when you are using it.

Use the active voice

We’ve all been guilty of writing sentences in the passive voice: “The new services offered by our company” rather than “Our company’s new services,” for example. Keeping this basic grammar rule in mind will ensure your copywriting is powerful, confident and easy to follow.

Rethink your SEO strategy

Keyword placement is still important when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting, but search engine algorithms have evolved in recent years. These days, Google, Bing and the like monitor things like the words other people use to describe your page when they link to it. For this reason, it’s just as important to make sure your website copy and blog content is persuasive and accessible as it is to include certain keywords and phrases.

Kristin Pugmire is a senior copywriter with ProPRcopy, a firm that provides copywriting services to businesses and organizations across a wide range of industries worldwide.