When a customer is scrolling around your website and isn’t totally sold on your products yet, what gets them to finally click “add to cart”?
In many cases, that final push doesn’t come from beautiful product photography or easy navigation. It comes from good copy.
Website copy can make the difference between a lead and a conversion. It’s what tells your audience exactly who you are, what you’re selling, and why they need your product. Muddle your messaging, and you could lose countless potential customers.
If you’re one of 60% of brands who write their own website copy (Semrush), here are 7 proven tips you can use to improve your online copy and increase conversions.
Clarify your audience
People buy products that they believe fill a need. Increasing website conversions starts with identifying exactly who you’re selling to and what their needs are.
Try developing a few user personas to help you identify your target demographic. This might involve doing research to identify the demographics of people who are using your product and determine what they have in common. User personas can tell you who the average reader is landing on your website, what their pain points and challenges are, as well as their goals in life.
For example, imagine you own a business that creates sustainable outdoor activewear. There are a number of potential user personas you could create for your products. You might target Liam, a middle-aged man and empty-nester who keeps fit by hiking on weekends. Another might be Prisha, a style-conscious university student who cares about the environment and enjoys camping with her friends.
It wouldn’t make sense to target Beth, a retired school teacher who prefers to spend her days crocheting and babysitting her grandchildren.
Creating personas and looking at your website data will help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience, allowing you to write copy that highlights their need and explains why your product or service offers the best solution.
Understand your “why”
One of the most important rules of effective communication is knowing the “why” behind your message and using that to guide your writing. Once you have a clear understanding of who you’re speaking to, ask yourself, “so what?” Why should your audience care?
When we talk about the “why,” we’re not just talking about your brand’s mission, although that’s crucial to define before you write any copy for the company. We’re referring to the purpose behind the specific piece of website content you’re about to write. It’s what you hope the reader will gain from reading that piece of text, and what you want them to do after they read it (the “call to action”).
Think ahead of time about why your readers should care about what you’re about to write, and make sure you include a clear call to action that tells them exactly what they should do next, whether that’s adding to cart, getting in touch, or signing up for a newsletter.
Say it in as few words as possible
The fastest way to lose a reader’s interest in your website or product is to fill the page with dense paragraphs of text.
It’s easy to believe that the more you write, the more value you bring to readers. But for website copy, the opposite is often true. Readers want to glean the most essential information so they can find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If they have to spend time reading long blocks of text to decipher who your company is and what you sell, you’ve probably already lost them.
Try writing all your copy ideas down first, then going back and whittling the words down to their essential message. See if you can communicate what needs to be said in as few words as possible.
For example, “A running shoe that’s more comfortable than any other that’s ever been on the market” can become “The lightest, most comfortable sneaker ever.”
Have fun with it – write how you speak
Customers don’t want to feel like they’re reading a textbook when they visit your site. Connect with your customers on a personal level by speaking to them in the same way you’d speak to a friend.
That doesn’t mean throwing tone and voice strategy out the window, though – tone and voice is more about your brand’s personality than reading and writing level. You’re still speaking to your audience like a friend, but you’re taking your brand’s personality – and theirs – into account.
Defining how your brand speaks allows you to have fun with your messaging while making sure that you always sound like the same person. You can even change and liven up the language at the expense of grammar, which will give your brand a more human quality.
Break up your copy with headings
Most customers don’t spend time reading full web pages, especially if they’re visiting from a mobile device. Instead, they scan for the most important information so they can find what they’re looking for quickly.
Eye-tracking studies have shown that people read in a capital “F” pattern. Take advantage of that knowledge by keeping the most important information in the header and the first two paragraphs, then start subheds and bullet points with information-carrying words.
Headings are truly your best friend when writing web copy. They visually break up the text and guide readers’ eyes to the most important information, reducing your need for bullet points and numbered lists.
Keep SEO in mind as you write
While there was once a time when you could optimize your website’s SEO simply by “keyword stuffing,” or using your target search terms as much as possible, search engine algorithms have long since shifted.
Instead, search engines look for quality content that brings value to readers. To create this kind of content that’s also optimized to help you rank higher on Google, you’ll need to:
- Find out what your customers are searching for
- Once you know what your customers’ search queries are, you can write copy that addresses those searches and help them solve their problem.
- Check out the competition
- Find other businesses that are killing it and take a look at what they’re writing about and gather inspiration. What words are they using?
- Encourage customers to share on social media
- Include social share buttons in your content to make it more shareable, leading to more website traffic.
- Write an engaging meta title and description
- This is what readers see when browning their search engine results and what will either draw them in or make them keep scrolling.
- Link internally to other pages on your site
- Linking to other relevant pages helps readers stay on your site longer by giving them more to explore.
- Integrate keywords as naturally as possible
- Avoid keyword stuffing, and instead try to use keywords in a way that feels natural – your readers should hardly be able to tell.
Focus on the ultimate benefit
It’s easy to make the mistake of only talking about the great features of your product or service in your website copy. But people aren’t just buying a product – they’re buying what that product ultimately brings them, whether that’s convenience, social status, better health, etc.
By focusing on the ultimate benefit of your product in your copy, you’ll appeal to the deeper need that customers are trying to fill – taking them one step closer to clicking “add to cart.”
Try stepping into the customer’s shoes and considering what they’ll gain from using your product. For example, they’re not just buying an energy bar – they’re buying better grades, because they can stay alert during a late-night study session.
Or maybe they’re not just buying an eyebrow microblading appointment – they’re buying greater confidence and less time spent in front of the mirror in the morning.
Outline the benefits front and centre on your website, and watch the conversions increase.
Too busy running a business to think about optimizing your web copy? What if we told you we can help take your website copy from muddled to magnificent?
Conversion copywriting is kind of our obsession. If that sounds good to you, it might be time to join the 40% of brands outsourcing their copywriting (we think it’s a pretty smart move). Drop us a line in the contact form below to get started.