Improving your web copy and in-turn your conversion rates [intro]…

Changing your approach to writing can often lead to a double-figure increase in conversion rates….

In my line of work I routinely run large-scale landing page optimisation tests to improve conversion rates for clients. One of the most common components to test is the sales copy of the page. It’s evident that changing the approach to writing can often lead to a double-digit increase in conversion rates – regardless of the product or service being promoted.

So what has been the core take-out of these landing page tests? It’s not about persuasive copywriting, or powerful wording to use in the headline: often the core issue with writing for the web lies at a much more fundamental level. There is something of a chasm between how much we care about our sales copy, and how much visitors online do. Yet again I tell you it’s about getting the right message to the right audience through the right media.

The key thing about the majority of web users is that they don’t read copy as they do in printed form, as they do not read a webpage word by word. The typical web user scans online text and will focus on individual words, phrases, or sentences. This audience is often interacting with your organisation for the first time, and do not know how much trust to place in your information. They are used to being assaulted with promotional messages and will tune out most of your attempts to overtly market to them. They are task-oriented and are on your site to get something specific accomplished.

Most of the adaptations that you need to make to your writing have a single purpose: to reduce the visitor’s cognitive load. Instead of being forced to pay attention to how the information is presented, they can devote more focus to getting their intended task accomplished. By getting out of their way, you empower them to be faster, more efficient, and effective. This will lead to higher conversion rates for you, and higher satisfaction for them.

To increase the odds of a favorable outcome you need to consider the following areas of your writing:

  • Structure
  • Tone
  • Format

In future posts I will give some tips on how to reinvigorate your online copy.

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