Web copy is often the difference between visitors and leads, and leads and customers. It plays an integral role for consumers at every stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to decision making and advocacy.
Most marketers can identify poor web copy when they see it. Why? Because poor web copy doesn’t read smoothly, stir emotions, influence behaviors, or make explicit calls to action—it feels purposeless—and that’s just bad marketing. And yet, web copywriting is a strategy that sometimes falls by the wayside, overlooked for other site priorities like gated content, video, design, and functionality.
Perhaps you’ve spent a good deal of time and money on all that other jazz, but don’t rest on your laurels. If it’s time to step up your web copy game, the ten following tips will help you increase conversions on your website and ultimately close more business.
1) Be clear
“Clearness is secured by using words that are current and ordinary.” – Aristotle. If you wouldn’t use a phrase in a personal conversation with a customer, then don’t use it in your web copy. Clarity is the key to mutual understanding between you and your customers.
2) Be concise
Every single word used in your web copy should add value for the reader and act as a critical part of your argument or purpose. Cut out excessive language whenever possible and aim for an average sentence length of about 16 words.
3) Make it about them
As straightforward as this seems, many companies fail to reflect this principle in their web copy. Instead of saying “We do inbound marketing” try something like “Increase your web traffic and leads with irresistible content.”
4) Break up the page with subheads and bullets
A study from the Nielsen Norman Group found that 79% of readers skim, while only 16% read every word on a page. Breaking up your page with subheads and bullets will make it easier for those 79% to digest the copy—and ultimately take a desired action—on your website.
5) Avoid overuse of buzzwords
It’s one thing to ensure the inclusion of certain keywords you want to drive traffic for, but don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Overuse of buzzwords and industry jargon clouds clarity and damages concision.
6) Don’t overlook microcopy
Microcopy is the text that doesn’t seem to come up in conversation very often. It may be the label on a form field, a tiny piece of instructional text, or even the words on a button. But it’s little details like these that can make or break the user experience on your website.
7) Craft a compelling call to action
Don’t betray your web copy by leaving its reader without a clue for what to do next. The call to action (CTA) is one of the most important aspects of web copywriting and, as such, it can be one of the most difficult to master. I recommend subscribing to the email list on WhichTestWon.com to receive regular emails about A/B-tested marketing campaigns (yes, CTAs are included).
8) Gauge the competition
Be aware of the web copy your direct competitors are using. How do they present their products and services to consumers? What features and benefit claims do they make? What CTAs do they use (and on which pages) to drive traffic through to the bottom of the funnel?
9) Know your audience
More specifically, know their pain points and address them in your web copy. Figure out why people buy your product or service, how they buy it, what they use it for, and what really matters to them.
10) Revise and optimize
Experiment with changing fonts, colors, and graphic placements within your web copy to learn how to most effectively drive people to your desired action. Revision and optimization should be a regular practice for your copywriters.
Web copywriting is a talent that few possess, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be taught. At DigitalRelevance, we understand the importance of using effective web copy to influence specific behaviors and increase conversion rates.