Conversions are the money-makers in the online marketing world. You might have killer content that makes your brand seem authoritative and powerful and a traffic-generation strategy that funnels thousands of users to your site, but without a solid conversion optimization strategy in place, all that traffic won’t result in positive revenue for your business.
Design, placement, and functionality can all affect your conversion rate, but few factors matter as much as the strength of your copy. A good headline can mean the difference between an interested customer and just another bouncer, but finding that “perfect” headline can be a headache even for the most seasoned copywriters.
If you’re struggling, consult these seven tips for writing better conversion-optimized copy:
Remember that you can’t market to everybody. Doing so might seem beneficial because it maximizes your potential audience, but it also decreases the relevance of that audience. Instead, it’s wiser to restrict your audience to only the demographics that matter the most—and write copy that speaks directly to those users. Think about what’s most valuable or most important to those users. Think about what they feel, and what they relate to. Would they respond well to a formal argument or a casual suggestion? Would they prefer an emotional incentive or a logical one? Know your demographics inside and out, and let that knowledge appear in your writing.
Flat copy won’t get you anywhere. Use your space effectively to call upon user emotions, and inject your words with personality. Write from the heart if you can—instead of thinking how your company should write to its customers, think about how you would speak to someone you know. Use your own voice to add an emotional and personal inflection to your copy, and choose words that inspire emotions within your users. Happiness, excitement, curiosity, and fear are all strong candidates—as long as you don’t go over the top and make your writing seem insincere or manipulative.
Conversions are the result of a decision. When a user confronts a call to action, he/she can either decide to engage with your brand or decide to walk away. Your goal is to encourage a decision to engage with your brand, so focus on that critical moment. What information does your user need to make that decision wisely? What possible considerations could prevent him/her from making that decision? How might one line settle the internal argument holding up that decision from being made? These are the questions you’ll need to ask to write compelling copy.
This isn’t always the case, but as a general rule, the fewer words you have on the screen, the better. There’s almost always a shorter, more concise way to say what you’re already saying, and it’s your job to find it. Users have little patience, and can smell an advertisement a mile away. The fewer words you have staring at your users, the fewer opportunities they’ll have to hesitate and second guess themselves. Writing fewer words also forces your mind to choose only the most important words for your message, leaving you with the highest quality copy you can muster.
It’s tempting to get creative with your words, searching for that all-important golden phrase that will entice your users to convert in almost any situation. Unfortunately, those creative golden phrases are extremely rare—almost mythical. Instead, the more practical alternative is to focus on copy that succinctly and clearly describes your product (or goal). Instead of trying to win awards for your writing, just describe what you’re offering in the simplest possible terms. You’ll be amazed how much better it works out in the end.
Your users are only going to convert if they trust your brand and your intentions. There are a number of design elements that can help build this trust, such as including more faces of users and adding testimonials from other users, but you’ll also have to use your copy to convey it. Write sincerely, and instead of overselling your material, be transparent. Mention the basic advantages of converting, explain your expertise, and let your users make the decision for themselves.
This is the most important tip, because it can be paired with all the others. There are case studies that indicate certain words and certain phrasings performing better than others, but there’s still no guarantee that any chain of words will be effective (or will be the most effective for a specific purpose). If you want to maximize results, you have to experiment, comparing new variations of your themes and ideas against a control group and using the results to guide your next iterations. User preferences aren’t always rational or predictable, so experimentation is the only tool at your disposal that can practically guarantee some measure of improvement.
With these seven tactics incorporated into your conversion optimization strategy, you should have no trouble getting your conversion rate closer to your final goals. As you write more copy for more calls to action and landing pages, you’ll start developing a rhythm for how to write effective copy for your brand. Call upon this experience, but never grow too used to the same copy—always play around with new items, and update your design and copy to keep things fresh.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.