Conversion Rate Optimisation Best Practices 2018 For New Website Copy:
Conversion rate can be summarised as the average number of users who take a desired action while visiting your website, be that purchasing a product, signing up to an email list, or whatever. A high conversion rate is good news for your business, and there are a lot of factors that come together to influence it. In this article, we’ll look specifically at how to tailor your website’s copy for maximum conversions, but it’s worth spending time thinking about design and usability as well.
The content on your website holds a lot of power, so it’s worth putting the time into getting it right. This is your chance to provide visitors with a host of good reasons to shop with you – and not one of your competitors. Here are some of the best content conversion rate practices you should implement in 2018.
It’s common to see landing pages that tell users to do many different things. But the reality is: less is more. The fewer options and distractions you have on a page, the more likely people are to understand and follow the primary action, whatever that may be.
When you have a web page cluttered with CTAs that point users in all directions, how do they know which route to take? Their journey will become much easier if you point all CTAs toward the same goal, such as ‘create an account’ or ‘find out more’. So of course, you need to figure out the one action you want users to take when they land on any given web page.
If any element on the page could distract users from taking this one desired action, it’s time to say goodbye to it. To give you an extreme example, take a look at this web page from Lings Cars. Aim to achieve the opposite of this. Be ruthless and stick to the point with your copy – and your sales figures will thank you.
Personalise as much as you can
Let’s just say there are a lot of generic-looking and sounding websites out there. So if you want an edge over your competitors, it’s time to get personal with your customers. According to Accenture, 58% of people are more likely to make a purchase when they get recommendations based on their preferences or past purchases.
Personalisation will set your brand apart, increase your conversion rate, and improve the customer experience as a whole. And there are plenty of ways to go about it. Start by segmenting your visitors according to their location, buyer persona, or browsing activities.
For example, would a high-powered businesswoman from London, who loves sleek technology, fancy soaps and tiny dogs, be likely to want the exact same thing as a laid-back vegetable farmer from the Scottish highlands with a penchant for pottery and playing retro video games? Maybe – but it’s unlikely.
When you have clear customer segments, you can use them to create personalised offers, pricing and recommendations that will make each individual more likely to convert.
Write detailed descriptions
If you run an ecommerce website, then one of the best things you can do to improve your conversion rate is to write detailed, evocative product descriptions. The problem with shopping online is that you can’t handle the product yourself, so you rely on words and images to know exactly what you’re getting. This is also the place to preempt any questions or objections your visitors may have.
Detailed product descriptions with strategic keywords will also help with your SEO efforts, so it’s beneficial all-round. Once again, a keen awareness of your buyer personas will enable you to write copy that appeals to their mindset. The key here is not simply to write about your product, but to write for your customers.
It helps to start with a list of all your product’s features, then take these points and translate them into benefits for your customers. What do these features enable the customer to achieve?
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 12MP dual camera. That’s a feature. But the benefit for the user is that they can take crystal-clear, high-quality photos.
It’s ok to write a long-ish product description (and it helps from an SEO perspective), but be aware that visitors may not read the whole thing. So it helps to rank features and benefits in order of those that are most compelling, and to also make your copy simple and scannable. Use bullet points and keep paragraphs to around three sentences long.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use behavioural science to your advantage. Provide reasons to buy that are both rational and emotional if you hope to engage, persuade and convert.
Write in the second person
People care rather a lot about themselves. So when they’re investing in a product or service, they want to know exactly what’s in it for them. Using the pronoun ‘you’ and ‘your’ throughout your copy allows you to speak to the user directly. What’s more – it pulls the reader in and makes it feel personal, which as we’ve discussed, is a great way to sell.
The second person point of view isn’t used so much in creative or academic writing, so we don’t encounter it all the time. But don’t go mad with it – make sure you mix up your sentence structure and avoid repetition, lest it start to read like a ‘choose your own adventure’ story.
Here’s an example of second person writing from Apple. Note the use of ‘you’ and ‘your’ – five times to be exact. You’re asking the reader to imagine themselves using your product. And it works.
Pay attention to headlines and CTAs
Headlines and CTAs are the top two stand-out features on a webpage (or at least, they should be). So they deserve a little more attention to ensure they’re spot on. But what do high-converting headlines and CTAs look and sound like?
Get your call to action right, and you can be sure that your conversion rate will perk up. And funnily enough, it’s not the place to get super whacky and creative. Our human brains crave familiarity, so simplicity is what you should be aiming for. Never underestimate the power of the word ‘get’.
- Keep it short – no more than 10-15 words
- Keep it simple – don’t try to be clever
- Keep it clear – tell the reader exactly what to do
Take a look at this example from Exchange. We have a powerful headline written in the second person: ‘your next big success is waiting to happen’. And we have a short and sharp call to action: ‘find stores for sale’. As you scroll down there are further CTAs that all support the desired action: ‘view stores’. The next step is clear.
So what about headlines? It’s good to play around with them – write several, if you can. You can always use the discarded ones later when you promote yourself elsewhere online. It’s not always easy to figure out which headline will perform best, so one way to know for sure is to split test and analyse the results.
If you’re not feeling creative, using a headline generator can be a good way to spark ideas that will get you thinking. Include sensory words where appropriate – those that will help the reader to jump on their own imagination wagon. For example, 6 Ways to Delight Your Customers With Colourful Photography.
Best practices: learn from the best in ecommerce
The online retail battle is being won by Amazon. It’s no surprise really — they have the cleverest designers, marketers, and strategists at their beck and call. Let’s look at one of their product pages to see how they are using copy and design to improve their conversion rates.
Amazon’s product page is actually quite dense with copy, which is interesting considering the modern tendency towards sparse, visual web design.
But even with a fair bit of copy, it’s balanced out by plenty of whitespace and broken down into lists in order to avoid overloading the user or making the page design feel too ‘busy’.
Amazon’s product page also includes a large design element that keeps the user scrolling: and it’s all aimed at answering critical user questions. Answering questions is a great copy strategy for improving traffic figures and conversion rates at the same time.
Another useful copy element for the user that will increase conversions are comparison tables. These are proven to increase conversions and are a user-friendly way of passing on a lot of information quickly.
It’s also essential not to forget the power of copy and content that actually comes from your users. User-generated content like reviews are great for conversion rates — and millenials trust it 50% more than any other online media.
To conclude, if you hope to improve your website’s conversion rate through content optimisation in 2018, remember to:
- Stick to the point
- Personalise copy wherever possible
- Give detailed, benefit-laden descriptions
- Write copy in the second person
- Pay particular attention to your headings and CTAs
Make these changes and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Got questions or comments? Share them below!
Victoria Greene: Freelancer Writer & Brand Marketing Consultant:
Vicky is an ecommerce marketing consultant who works with a range of online brands to help them spread their wings. She loves sharing her knowledge with other entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them get to the next level.