Great news! You don’t have to be a professional writer to write high-converting web copy. All you have to do is know what compels people to buy any given product online and adopt that knowledge into your word choice and delivery on your own website.
Understanding how people tick as well as how they consume material on the web will inform you on the best methods for increasing your conversions. Employ these two tips to start improving your conversion performance today.
1. Understand that People Are Busy
Don’t dilly-dally with your visitors’ time. Understand what they want to hear (benefits) and how they want to consume it (page scanning).
Your first-time visitors have come to your site with a purpose, and unfortunately that purpose isn’t to buy your product. It’s to research your product, and they don’t have all day.
You would think that in light of those time constraints, these visitors would only want the nitty-gritty details—feature specs and pricing—all laid out in a bulleted list. Your visitors may even think that’s what they want. But you’re both wrong.
What your visitor wants most is for you to connect the dots for them. They want you to tell them what they want to hear. So spell out the benefits. Tell them that your product will make things easier for them, and then show them why. Your product will save them money, and show them how. Your product will make them look good to their peers; it will help to preserve and increase their bottom line while giving them more time to do the things they love away from work.
They want you to spell all of those things out for them, and a sizing chart with prices won’t do that. There’s a time and a place for specs, but that place is not on the home page, and the time is not at your first introduction to a new prospect.
The best way to convey benefits is through minimal text and a lot of images. Understand that on average, people bounce off of a web page within 10 to 20 seconds of arrival, so your window of opportunity is narrow.
Your visitors are going to skim through your content, lingering longest on the pieces that are laid out to draw their attention.
A few techniques to optimize the scannability of your text is to:
- Focus on brevity. Nix fluff words. Say what you need to say in as little words as possible. Break up sentences and paragraphs into consumable snippets of benefit-targeted text.
- Bold important details, such as deadlines and explicit benefits.
- Use bulleted lists whenever appropriate.
- Never, even for the sake of creativity, stray from black text on a white background. The exception could be in the case of banner text, or text overlayed on an image.
- Determine an objective CTA for your page, and get rid of anything on that page that distracts from that objective.
- Images, especially of human faces, are gold when you’re trying pull a reader’s eye to a specific location on the page.
2. Understand that People Are Easily Overwhelmed
Less is repeatedly proven to be more in marketing. Even if you’ve written a benefit-laden home page, excessive content may still contribute to an increased bounce rate and reduced conversions. In his blog post, “7 Simple Copywriting Tweaks That’ll Shoot Your Conversion Rate up,” Neil Patel uses the company Highrise as an example of this truth. Conversion dropped 22.72% after additional content was added below the fold of their landing page.
If you can say what you need to say above the fold, absolutely do it! If you think of the home page as your first date, a conversion (whether a completed lead form, click to a next page, or a phone call) will take you to a second, and you’ll have to opportunity to share more about yourself then. Just make sure that your message, voice, and story are consistent throughout the whole flow. Every stage of the education and purchase process needs to be consistent with the previous stage.
So, how do you know what you need to say on your home/landing page?
Anticipate Their Questions
You can do this by creating a customer profile that describes your target audience. Treat it like a creative exercise. Ask your imagined customers targeted questions, such as “What keeps you up at night?” and place yourself in their shoes, and answer.
Set up a Survey
Qualaroo is a service that allows you to collect information via a survey that would appear as a popup at a moment you chose. The best time to automate this survey is after a visitor has been on the page for approximately 30 seconds. If they haven’t bounced by then, they will be more likely to read the questions. Otherwise the survey may cause them to bounce sooner.
Your questions should be brief and direct:
- What else would you find helpful on this page?
- Why wouldn’t you purchase [product or service name]?
Your Own Target Audience
Are you suffering from a high bounce rate? Which of these truths do you think is having the most effect on your bounce rate, and what’s the first thing you’d do to fix your home page?
Patel, Neil. “7 Simple Copywriting Tweaks That’ll Shoot Your Conversion Rate Up.” http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/08/05/7-simple-copywriting-tweaks-thatll-shoot-your-conversion-rate-up/. (August 6, 2014.)
Nielsen, Jakob. “How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?” http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages/. (August 6, 2014.)