13 Copywriting Tips to Increase Website Conversion & Traffic
Whether you’re looking to promote your services, book, product, software, or online course—there’s no denying that a good copy makes a big difference in turning a visitor into a lead.
Bad copy, on the other hand, will put an unnecessary dent into your marketing budget.
According to Wordstream, the average landing page conversion is at a measly 2.35%. What does that mean for marketers? Well, you’ll need to drive more and more traffic to boost sales and we all know that’ll cost a pretty penny.
However, with the help of good copy, you’ll be able to lower ad costs, stay competitive, and increase your conversion rate.
If you’re a marketer looking to ensure that your website copy drives results, then we’re here to help.
In this article, I’ll be sharing 13 surefire tips to writing persuasive copy that will increase conversion and traffic.
Website copywriting is the process of writing digital content for blog posts, landing pages, product pages, and everything in between–all in effort to drive a desired action on a website. When done well, website copy can be a huge advantage in turning visitors into leads and leads into customers.
Unfortunately, web copywriting sometimes falls to the wayside in terms of strategy, as it is often overlooked by other elements like design, SEO, and UI/UX.
However, if you invest in a great website copy, you will be able to influence behaviors, build trust, inspire action, and accomplish your marketing goals.
Knowing who your audience is the first essential step to effective copy. If you don’t know who you’re addressing, how will you be able to solve their needs and establish trust?
As a writer, I am constantly aware about who my audience is and what they’re looking for. That’s why I am adamant about understanding who my customers are and what makes them tick.
It’s what gets my readers to trust me and my brand.
Like Rachel Hogue once said, “Imagine your customer is your best friend—listen to their concerns, be a shoulder to lean on and then shift the focus from what went wrong to how you can help make it right.”
The key to building a successful website copy is through building a successful relationship.
You must be wondering: How can I accomplish this? With the help of user/buyer personas, of course.
According to the Marketing Sherpa, utilizing buyer personas can increase your website traffic by 210%, boost organic search by 55%, and increase CTR by 14%.
If you’re not familiar with user/buyer personas, it details an archetypal character whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users.
To better determine who your audience is, you’ll need to do some research to find out which groups of people are using your product/service and figuring out what they all have in common.
Here are several characteristics to consider when building your buyer personas:
Once you’ve determined the unifying traits of your audience, you can create several buyer personas to write a copy that’s tailored to their needs and expectations.
You can learn more about building accurate buyer personas in my The 9 Essential Ds to Designing a Dynamic Digital Marketing Strategy article.
This is something many writers tend to forget when it comes to website copy and copywriting overall. Remember how I mentioned that every copy needs to be targeted?
Well, this tip will become moot if it’s not written in a way that’s personable and conversational.
Take a look at these two statements below and let me know which you prefer:
I’m pretty sure you prefer the second statement, because I do too. Now, it’s not because I’m trying to shove this down your throat—the second option simply speaks directly to the reader. This is bound to already create a closer connection between you and your reader.
That’s the beauty of active copywriting.
Besides being conversational, it’s important to keep things simple as well. SEMrush analyzed over 23,561 texts in Google’s top 10 results, which highlighted two things the lowest-scoring texts had in common: they were either too long or complex.
I totally get that. No one wants to spend time trying to figure out what you’re trying to tell them. So, take this as a sign to get straight to the point.
Famous Cornell Professor and writer William Strunk Jr said it best: Omit needless words.
As writers, it’s easy to get carried away with bombastic words. However, in marketing, it can have a negative effect.
Trust me, I would know. I used to be infamous for being wordy in my copy. It is through the school of hard knocks that I’ve learned one key skill: brevity.
To quote famous Irish writer, Katherine Cecil Thurston, “No weapons are more potent than brevity and simplicity”.
Pro tip: Keep your copy bite-sized, but not at the expense of authenticity.
Every one of your words and sentences should demonstrate that idea. When you proofread your copy, ask yourself: is it really necessary to include this? If the answer is no, then delete it.
When it comes to copywriting, you need to master the skill of keeping it concise without losing impact.
Copywriting is considered successful when there is action and conversion. If you want more people to purchase, subscribe, or contact you for more information, sprinkle action verbs and statements throughout your overall copy.
To achieve this, you need to paint a picture of how your product/service can impact your customers positively. Take a look at these two examples below:
Did you notice how the second statement didn’t include a direct CTA, but instead spurs up action through the verb “increase”?
Try using words like:
When you implement action verbs into copy, you’re more likely to inspire and interest your audience.
For all the fellow overachievers and perfectionists out there, taking a “break” can be difficult.
However, when you’ve been working at something for a while, it can become harder to spot errors to stay inspired.
That’s why I always try to take short breaks. Going on brief walks or even just getting up to get some water has helped refresh my energy.
If you’re someone who likes to take active breaks, you can try proofreading to spot awkward sentences, grammatical errors, and more.
While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised by how many businesses fail to incorporate this principle into their web copy.
Most tend to focus on what they offer, what their company does, or what their product’s features are, rather than writing from a perspective that resonates with the reader. In order to generate genuine demand for your product/service, you need to highlight what your readers can gain from it.
For example, instead of saying, “Fast, 3D rendering software for designers”, try something along the lines of, “Tired of slow design processes? Speed up your workflow through fast, real-time rendering”. This not only immediately outlines the benefit of your product/service, but it also demonstrates how it can help your target market.
To better guide you, here’s a general rule of thumb you can follow: aim to write 5 to 7 compelling benefits.
You can then display them either as bullet points, subtitles, or headlines.
Did you know that headlines with 10-13 words attract 2 times as much site traffic and 1.5 times as many shares as those under seven words? Research has also found that 8 out of 10 people only read your headline, while only two will read further—which dwindles if your headline is sub-par.
That’s why catchy, clear headlines are paramount to spurring up action within your readers. They have to ensure that:
Here are 2 effective tactics to include in your headlines:
There’s nothing more attractive than headlines that are keyword-rich, clear, and specific.
A word from the wise: always try to avoid confusing headlines. They are more likely to chase your reader away and discourage them from coming to your site again.
Savvy copywriters know that they need to write good copy that sells and drives results. Hence, that’s why most are so adamant about clarity—present company included.
This is also one of the reasons why I strongly advise against clickbait. Too often, copywriters fail to understand the mindset of their customers, which ends up misleading their target audience.
Clickbait may sound like a great marketing tactic, but it’s actually detrimental to your brand.
Jonah Berger, the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, said it best:
“[But] while these sugary sweet titles may trick our brains into clicking, in the long-run, click bait is bad because it over promises and under delivers. The content doesn’t usually live up to the bluster and in the end we’re left disappointed. So while the article itself got a few extra clicks, it undermines trust in the person or site that generated that content, making readers less likely to return in the future. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
In order to avoid this pitfall, focus on writing headlines that are relevant, clear, and meaningful for your target audience. I guarantee you that this principle works every time.
The lack of clarity in CTAs is another mistake most websites tend to make. I would know—I used to make this same mistake when I first started out. However, through experience, I’ve unlocked the secret to creating persuasive Calls-to-Action (CTAs) for web copy.
Here are the dos and don’ts of creating effective CTA copy:
To get you started, here are some compelling CTAs you can draw inspiration from:
My advice is to use these CTAs as a springboard to help you test which copy works best for your target audience. As you improve your copy, you’ll be able to provide more personalized CTAs to target different stages of the customer journey.
Microcopy represents the small bits of text that are found on a website. They often serve as a guide for users, as they help them understand how to navigate the site. These little snippets are vital in improving the user experience (UX) of your website. When done right, it can help boost your conversion rate.
Though often overlooked, microcopy is found on almost any website or app. Think of form-field texts, user experience (UX) messages, loading texts, and calls-to-action.
Microcopy has the power to subconsciously shape your user’s experience, which, in turn, affects their perception of your brand.
Good microcopy will not only explain what they need to do and where they need to go, but they will provide a sense of victory when your user achieves a desired action. These little moments will help keep your target audience engaged and delighted with a seamless experience.
I don’t know about you, but I can be quite competitive. I believe that a little competition is good because it keeps you on your toes. Having competitions means you’re pushed to improve, to grow faster, and to be better. Copywriting is no different.
As a writer and marketer, I believe that it’s always helpful to see what your competitors are doing, as it keeps your strategy updated.
In order to know how you can stay competitive in your market, you’ll need to first review your direct competitors’. Browse their websites and take note of their copy.
What’s their tone of voice like? How do they present their services/products to consumers? What’s their message positioning? How do they utilize CTAs?
Being aware of these factors will help you understand how they approach copywriting and what’s been working for them. From there, you can step up your copywriting game to get ahead of the curve.
Like I mentioned earlier, the psychology of customers is a factor many copywriters and marketers fail to grasp. It’s unfortunate because understanding psychology processes play a big part in boosting conversions.
There are 6 principles of persuasions marketers can use for their web copy, but for the sake of length, I’ll try to keep it brief.
Remember how I mentioned that this is an important Do when it comes to writing good CTAs? This also applies for your overall website copy, especially if you’re trying to boost sales via your website.
When people see the words, “Only 3 days left”, “The sale ends tonight”, “Last chance”, they often feel driven to acquire it. This temporary offer inspires action because it creates a sense of urgency and makes users think that this is their last chance to get your product/service.
A study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group found that people scan-read web pages in an ‘F’ pattern, which means that they tend to read the third word on a line far less often than the first two. The best way to get ahead of this is to position your most important copy at the start of the line.
The short story is, people tend to ignore and forget the middle.
Therefore, begin by listing your most important or vital information at the beginning and end of your pages. This strategy implements both the primacy and recency effects.
Both these effects are highly effective when it comes to listicle-style blog posts, like this article or our “8 Effective SEO Tips for Google’s Ever-Changing Algorithm” post. While these two articles highlight many important tips, readers are most likely to remember maybe 2 out of the total 8 listed.
Social influence and proof also hinges on human psychology. In order for your lead to convert into your customer, they need to trust your brand. This can be easily built using social proof.
What does social proof consist of? Think of customer testimonials, reviews, Facebook posts, Instagram comments, and more. The more you can showcase, the better.
A word from wise: if you have an overwhelming amount of social proof, then ensure that your site properly displays it in a user-friendly, branded format. Nothing drives off potential customers like a disorganized testimonial section or page.
Social proof not only establishes credibility, but it can also help your leads overcome their own objections. It is better to show rather than tell. Let your converted customers advocate for the story of your brand.
Savvy marketers are always looking for opportunities to improve their marketing strategy. Their websites aren’t exempt from that. While a lot of factors contribute to the overall success of your website copy, the AIDA model can help you accomplish your goals, especially when you’re a little stuck.
AIDA is an acronym that stands for:
A — Attract Attention
I — Trigger Interest
D — Create a Desire
A — Call to Action
If your CTA copy can grab your target audience’s attention and keep them engaged, then you’re on the right track.
During this stage, your potential lead will wonder, “What is this about?”
Once you’ve gotten your target audience’s attention, it’s time to pique their interest. When a user visits your website, your copy is already making a promise to answer their questions. In order to make good on your promise, you’ll need to build a good copy from the beginning.
Remember that people read in an ‘F’ pattern, so you’ll need to present all your vital information in the right places.
Any great web copy is built on the idea of bridging the gap between what your customer wants and the products/services you provide. If you can identify the gap, you’ll be able to personalize your copy, which will develop a strong desire within them. This is how you can drive effective action from their end.
Don’t focus on just selling the product; create a desire and demand for it.
Once you’ve generated enough demand, it’s time to increase it, while simultaneously decreasing the effort it takes for your customer to achieve that desire. Sounds easy enough, right?
While I jest, it is truly possible to easily achieve this with the right strategies in place. All you need to do is to craft a well-thought out buyer journey to make things more streamlined for your customers. Remove as many obstacles as possible, so that they’ll have a stress-free experience.
I know I’ve mentioned CTAs so often that you’re probably visibly chaffing from it. However, it is a necessary factor when it comes to copywriting and to the AIDA model. If you’re looking to increase conversions, then you absolutely need to effectively persuade customers to take action.
Great web copywriting can increase your site’s traffic and boost conversions. While I provided many different kinds of tips, the secret to success comes from understanding which ones to implement first. In short, I discourage you, my fellow marketer, from introducing them all at once. Instead, take some time to test which works best for your company’s goals. Remember that web copywriting is a constant expedition of exploration and experimentation.
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