What would you say if I told you that a few tweaks to the copy that you’ve got on your website could massively increase the conversions you see from the page?
Well, as a copywriter, I’m delighted to hear that virtually all businesses with an online presence usually say something like ‘Where do I sign?!’
Driving more conversions from your existing internet real estate is a complete no-brainer – it’s almost literally free money. That said, you can’t just throw a thousand words at a page and hope it does the trick.
I’ve created copy for thousands of pages – and that copy’s driven an enormous number of clicks, subscriptions, sign-ups, sales, phone calls and all those other important steps you want your customers to take. Along the way, I’ve honed my copywriting skills – and these are my 4 rules that I ALWAYS stick to when writing copy that’s designed to convert…
Special thanks to Rawpixel for the cover photo
Write for a specific audience
Photo by Ronile
If you want your copy to be as effective as possible you’re going to have to avoid hedging your bets.
If you’ve got a product that’s designed to be appealing to a particular audience, you need to make sure the copy is written to appeal to that audience. Now, part of the art involved with making this happen is getting rid of the general audience your page attracts.
Driving some of your traffic away might sound counterintuitive – but, stick with me.
Affiliate marketers are a great bunch to study if you want a masterclass in this. If like me, you’re a guy in your mid-30s, affiliate marketers know you’re a prime candidate for spending money on dating sites. However, if you’re 18, you’re enormously unlikely to be putting your hand in your wallet when it comes finding love.
So, they narrow their copy to appeal to an audience most likely to convert.
“Are you 35+ and looking for love in the Bay Area? We’ve got a special offer made for you.”
The other traffic hitting the page? Well, who cares? They weren’t going to convert anyway. Write for the audience that you know converts and you’ll see those conversions soar.
Narrowing your copy like this can be tricky if you’ve got a product that’s got fairly universal appeal – but, if that’s the case – then you’re in an enviable position – one that can be maximized with marketing efforts that will drive specific demographics toward dedicated copy that’s designed just for them.
Imagine you’re talking to your audience
Photo by Crew
Now you’ve identified your audience, you need to think about how you’re going to engage with them.
It’s absolutely crucial that you pitch your copy at the right level. Underestimate your audience’s knowledge and they’ll consider your information useless – but pitch it too high and you stand a chance of making your audience feel stupid and overwhelmed.
Sure, good copy is likely to involve some educational element – but go easy on the jargon and terminology unless you can explain in a couple of lines.
I find it really useful to talk the copy through before you consider it done. Most creative copy/content agencies will talk to you about the ‘voice’ you want your brand to have. Since we’re not all charismatic natural salespeople or talkers, I’d suggest thinking about who you’d want to be the face/voice of your brand if you could choose a celebrity or high-profile person. What would you copy sound like if they were reading it to your traffic?
It can be difficult to be impartial when it’s your product and your company – so, bounce your ideas of people you know who might fit into your audience – and, make sure they’re honest with their feedback! Remember, you’re not the one acting on this stuff – your audience is.
Don’t write volume just for search engines
Photo by Patrick Tomasso
There’s a bit of a myth that relates to page copy and search engines – and it’s all to do with the volume of words on your page.
There are plenty of people who’ll tell you that you should be putting at least 1000 words on each of your site’s pages – and they’ll usually follow that up with a statement about how search engines prefer a ton of content.
In actual fact, this isn’t true. Search engines are far more sophisticated than this – they’re not word-count algorithms. In fact, Google’s far more interested in seeing how your customers act when they’re using your site than caring about the 10,000 words you’ve got there. Valuable content is the answer here – as 300 quality words that people are reading, sharing, linking to and returning to are far superior to 3,000 words of padding that get skimmed over for 5 seconds.
Remember; the copy you’re writing isn’t for search engines – it’s for real people. Keep it simple and valuable. The beauty of this approach is that as real people act, search engines take notice.
The ‘so what’ test
Photo by Rochelle Nicole
We’ve outlined the importance of creating copy that’s simple and well targeted – but what’s the acid test that decides if you’re hitting the mark when you’ve written your page copy?
Well, I like to put myself in the shoes of the traffic that’s landing on your page – and read through the text with your customer’s most important question on my mind at all times. That question? “So what?”
We’re passionate about customer service!
We’ve got years of experience delivering excellent products!
Our solar panels use the latest tech!
The camera’s body is made from a new composite!
Honestly, unless you’re in a super-specific niche, 99% of your traffic doesn’t care about much more than what your claim-filled copy means to them – so try not to get bogged down in just features – make sure there’s a payoff for the customer.
We’re passionate about customer service?
Our passion for customer service means that we carefully track each of our jobs. This allows us to offer a guarantee that we deliver your job on time – and we’re only a phone call away if you need an update.
‘You’ is the important word here. If people are buying something from you, they need to know how it’s going to benefit them. For this, you need to think about your customer’s experience and any potential ‘pain points’ they might suffer with when they normally engage with a company like yours.
If you can simply and specifically explain how you’re going to make someone’s life a little better, then you can almost guarantee that conversion’s coming in…