When it comes to writing for conversions, less is often more. We’ve collected these five tips to start writing better copy that converts.
Let’s face it, website visitors don’t read anymore, at least not deeply. They skim.
They bounce from one point to another – ready to bail out completely if the material they’re reading/skimming doesn’t do something fast to keep them on the page.
At Good Commerce, we’ve found time and again, that our clients’ landing pages, product detail pages, FAQ pages (and every other page on their ecommerce websites) all have way too much text.
Brands try to jam information in, not wanting to leave anything out. The aim is to convince the reader to become a customer.
Then we come alongside and prepare A/B tests to show the client how less copy is often more. We remove the clutter and conversions invariably go up.
Do you want to know how to do that very same thing for your ecommerce site?
Our aim here is to show you exactly how to write copy that converts. We’re going to give you a sneak peek at how our copywriters turn mayhem into a buyer’s paradise.
Writing website copy that converts: Step one
Every page on your ecommerce website should have one job and one job only: it should help the reader advance further along the path to purchase.
Step one: You must determine exactly what you want a particular page to do, and that job assignment must be something vital to the process of helping visitors find and buy your solution to their problem(s) – assuming your goods or services are the right solutions.
For example, a product detail page will (ideally) provide the necessary information about a certain product. Its job is to give the reader enough information to make an informed buying decision.
The product detail page should not try to answer every conceivable question about the product, nor should it talk about or picture products other than the one it’s designed to promote.
You must be absolutely clear about the one job the page you’re working on will carry out.
Writing website copy that converts: Step two
Once you’re absolutely clear about the purpose of the page you’re writing for, the next step is to amplify and gain a deeper understanding of the problem.
Much of the time, when we begin working with new clients, we find pages full of jubilant information about the company, its products or services, and how wonderful they both are.
That’s not why the reader is visiting your ecommerce website.
The reader seeks a solution to a problem or set of problems. Your job is to understand those difficulties and help people solve them.
Step two begins in step one. You wrote down the general nature of the problem there. Your next job is to write an in-depth description of that problem and make it shine.
You must not only be able to define the problem your visitor needs to solve, but you need to understand it even better than the reader. And you need to do that because the copy you write for the page will make the problem so clear in the mind of the visitor that something absolutely must be done to solve it.
Every page solves a problem. Non-product pages (home pages, about pages, etc.) are no exception.
Writing website copy that converts: Step three
Once you’ve identified the purpose of the page and shed light on the problem that page is designed to solve for visitors, the next step is to describe exactly how that magic will happen. What is it that your product or service will do for the customer?
Draw up a features/benefits list directly related to the problem.
For the landing page, your list will be delivering intangible benefits, perhaps, but benefits nonetheless:
- A landing page is clear and simple to use, making it easy for visitors to know where they are and what they can do next to solve their problems.
- A landing page uses simple words and symbols that highlight the problems you solve, making it clear where the reader needs to click
Visitors have many needs, but each page should primarily address only one. One need is the ability to quickly find out why your company is capable and trustworthy. You do that by speaking to the problems and solutions, not by bragging about yourself.
Writing website copy that converts: Step four
You know the purpose of the page, you know the problem(s) most pressing for the visitor, and you know exactly how the product or information on the page will solve that problem or set of problems. Those three things are the primary preparations necessary before the first word for any page should ever be written.
Step four is to go over the work from the first three steps, refine them as needed, then sketch out the components of the page you are creating. Your aim is to make absolutely sure of one thing: the stated purpose of the page must be fully carried out. You should be able to bring in someone totally unfamiliar with the work, ask that person to tell you what the function the page serves, and get an answer that reflects ONLY that purpose.
Remember: Great pages don’t accomplish half a dozen things; they accomplish ONE thing.
Writing website copy that converts: Step five
Many pages begin with Step Five. That’s a mistake. Without the insight gained from the first four steps, even the best writer would be shooting in the dark.
Step Five is to write the website copy, based on the information gleaned in the preceding steps.
We promised to show you how to write website copy that converts, though – “Where does the ‘conversion’ part come in”, you might ask.
Look back at the steps we’ve covered, and you’ll see that the first three steps are the essence of conversion:
Step one defines what the conversion would look like
Step two defines the problem
Step three proposes the solution
Conversions occur when your content causes the visitor to do, think, or feel the thing you’ve designed the page to accomplish. You measure those conversions by setting up a way to record and tally the indicators you set.
For example, you might determine the primary conversion you want to see happen on the product detail page is an add-to-cart decision. A secondary conversion might be to get the visitor to use the search box to look for a more appropriate product listing.
Your understanding of the problem the visitor wants to solve, along with your understanding of the solution you offer to solve that problem, gives you the ability to present the necessary information in a way that makes it easy for the prospect to make a decision and take the next step.
Conclusion About Writing Website Copy That Converts
Keeping the focus on customers’ needs is one of the most difficult things any company can do. That’s because we want to believe that everyone thinks as we think and everyone wants what we want.
That’s not true.
The more effort you put into understanding your visitors, their problems, and the words they use to describe their problems, the more effective you will be at creating website pages for them.
Testimonials and reviews should always be part of your marketing. Know your customers’ objections and use the words of prior customers to acknowledge and answer them.