When one speaks of writing good copy, there’s a bunch of pointers that jump to the fore. From writing in the first person to using short paragraphs to keeping your language crisp and easy to understand, copywriting tips are endless. Most of these will help your copy be readable, interesting, even memorable.
However, when you talk about maximizing conversions by sharpening your copy, there are some critical factors that stand out over and above all the others. Let’s take a look.
1. Get your USP right
Every business that aspires to be successful has a clear and well defined USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. A USP can range from low prices to a feature that no one else has to a variety of services or even fantastic service delivery.
Whatever the USP of your business may be, your Web copy needs to spell it out clearly to give your visitors a reason to buy, or at least a reason to try!
Don’t try and squeeze a bunch of different positives into one sentence to come up with a USP. You are either the fastest. Or the cheapest. Or the most exclusive. Don’t try to be cheap, fast and exclusive all at the same time. No one is going to buy that story, unless you’re selling recipes or something.
Source: If you want convincing copy, pick ONE real USP.
If you’re stuck on what would be the ideal USP for your business, check out this quick tool to test how strong your USP is before you set out to immortalize it on your website or other marketing material.
Need more guidance? A quick way to determine your USP is to think back on what keywords your users tend to use to arrive at your site. Then turn it into a strong benefit statement.
2. Optimize Your Key Page Elements
Pay special attention to your money-makers. Page elements like your headline, call to action (CTA), forms, etc., are what bring in the conversions. However great your design, however slick the rest of your copy, unless these key converters hit the mark, your conversions are going to be a lost cause.
A headline must catch the eye and convey the gist of the page in just one sentence. That’s quite a tall order, but it’s the first thing a user notices when she lands on your page, so it’s a good idea to spend some time on this one.
Source: A generic headline that tells the user nothing about what service is being offered
With your forms, try to keep them as simple as possible. Autofill contents wherever you can. Give clear indicators to show whether the data filled into your form is correct. Make it even more apparent when wrong data is filled in.
Most users are time starved. Even more users are wary about giving out personal information. Ask for information that is absolutely essential. You can begin your in-depth data mining once the visitor has converted and is a regular user of your site.
Master Your Call to Action – that crucial piece of real estate on your page that is the penultimate step before a conversion. Don’t make the mistake of having two or more CTAs on the same page. You’re distracting the user and splitting your conversions. Bad move.
A CTA that blends in with the rest of the page gets lost in the clutter. No conversions there! Pick a contrasting color for your CTA button and leave enough white space around it to allow it to really stand out.
Source: A single, clear, action-oriented CTA that can’t be missed by the user
Too many Web pages have CTAs that are too generic (“Know more” or “Click Here”) to convey any real information to your user. Your CTA must tell the user exactly what she needs to do to enjoy your services.
3. Test, test, then test some more!
Even after all your effort to craft the most convincing copy, a killer headline and a knockout CTA, you might not get the results you need.
Sometimes even the most logical assumptions can fall flat in the real world, as Michael Aagaard explains in his article on fixing existing Web copy on ContentVerve. Aagaard shows how something as intuitive as a message assuring security of email IDs actually led to a drop in conversions as compared to the version that had no security messaging at all.
The answer is to make not one, but multiple options for each key page element—headlines, CTAs, forms, even the remaining copy on the page. Test each element using A/B tests to shortlist the best performing ones. Put the various chosen elements together and perform multivariate tests. Then analyze results for the best combination of elements for the best conversions.
This can seem a tad overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Use an easy-to-use project management tool like WorkZone (for a business content team) or Trello (for individual collaborators) and save the results for each iteration and each type of test. With a tools like that, you can even delegate responsibility for testing between various team members to speed up the process of getting the perfect copy elements for your web page.
For some strange reason, conversion optimization tends to revolve around page layout, design and user experience alone. The most important part of your Web page—the words—are often left to fend for themselves. Climb out of this ‘design only’ rut to make sure that the words that convey your message do the job in the best way possible.
After all, a love letter is remembered for the words you use to declare your love, not the little pink hearts that you draw to decorate it!
Featured image: Alan Cleaver on Flickr
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