How to Quickly and Easily Tune Up Your Web Content to A Writing Style that Converts More Readers Into Paying Customers
- Do you want people to buy more from your website?
- Are you looking to make money from your blog posts and web pages?
- Do you wish your emails persuaded more readers to become customers?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, I offer here some hints and tips that when applied will keep more visitors on your page, encourage them to return and buy.
These tips were presented at recent presentations to networking groups and I hope you find them useful.
Understanding Your Prospective Customers
Imagine you are at a networking event and meet someone for the first time – a potential new customer.
When she goes to your website to find out more about you, what impression will she leave with?
- Knowing all about your areas of expertise and how you can help?
- Or wondering what exactly it is that you do?
People cannot buy from you unless they understand what you can do for them. Nor can they refer you to others.
Here is some helpful advice about writing with clarity and relevance – writing web content that sells.
If you are thinking about improving your website, where should you start?
Before calling your web developer, sit down and think about your customers – and your prospects. What will it take to grab their appeal – and keep them interested?
- Who do you wish to attract to your website? And why?
- What do you want them to do there?
- Why should they prefer you to a competitor?
Start writing some notes and use them to thoroughly research your topic.
Never lose sight of what they need.
Get Noticed in 8 Seconds or Less
We have, at the most, 8 seconds to capture the attention of our website visitors.
Not only that, we have to keep their attention all the way from the headline through to the call to action. Why? So that we can convert our leads into opportunities and our prospects into customers.
And to keep their attention, our content must be relevant and it must be written with clarity.
Conversion Rate – Why This Figure Is Important
Before making any changes on your website, question the value of them:
- What results will your changes bring?
By results I mean conversion rate.
Conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that will convert into customers.
Conversion rate is: the percentage of people carry out the action (‘call to action’) that you intend them to when they visit your web page.
We must make sure people can understand the words we have written.
Our content must be relevant.
We must make our content an easy read.
Everyone has a short attention span.
One thing is certain, your website visitors are busy, distracted, time-starved.
Even people who are just browsing are doing so with intent. Perhaps they are saving or printing your page to discuss with their friends or family later.
Remember: people cannot buy from you unless they understand you. Nor can they refer you to others. So write with clarity and people will respond in the way you want them to.
How to Prepare a Better Web Page
Here is a quick but effective planning exercise.
- What is the purpose of the page?
- Who do you want to attract and why?
- What do you want people to do on the page?
You now have the makings of a content plan.
Use this for every page because the purpose of each page will vary by will the action you wish people to take.
Next, what should you write about?
Think about your offering. How much better will the lives of your readers be when they use your product or receive your service?
For example, they could become:
- More successful
- Make more profit
- Have more time off
- Free themselves from stress
- Healthier, fitter
- Free from money worries
- Free from risk
Write down every benefit and use the most important one (from their perspective) in the headline.
If people don’t read the headline, they don’t read anything else, so invest your time wisely in writing a compelling headline.
What makes a good headline? The top 3 converters are headlines (and headings) that:
- Promise a benefit
- Arouse curiosity
- Announce news
Why a Benefit Driven Headline?
Motivate your reader into what your product or service can do for them and they’re hooked.
Your headline is there to get people reading (and if they don’t read they won’t buy). It needs to be relevant, informative, meaningful, helpful and persuasive.
How to Write a Headline – a Formula
If you get stuck, here is an easy formula you can use to get started. Write this sentence:
“My product/service helps my customers because it…” (eg: saves them money on their fuel bills).
Then add: How to or Now, an easy way to [save money on your fuel bills] and you have a top converting headline.
Other Headline Ideas
- A quote from the testimonial of a delighted customer (and see more on testimonials later).
- If you use a testimonial, put quotation marks around the words and add the name of the person and their business.
- Ask a question – it suggests you are about to provide a solution to a problem and people love to feel they are being helped so they’ll read on.
- For example:
- Would you like to reduce your energy bill by as much as 40%? Would you like to start a franchise but don’t know where to begin?
- Another example:
- Address a specific group of people – To Car Owners Who Want to Cut Fuel Bills
- Headlines that start with “How to” or “How”, “Now” “Free” “Introducing” – convert well.
There will be several benefits from buying your product or service. For your heading, choose the one that will have most appeal.
And after the headline, what next? Write the most interesting and relevant message first.
What You Should Write About
Describe what you are selling (of course). And write the most relevant message first. Here are some topics you can write about:
- What do your customers and prospects need from you?
- What problems are you solving?
- What makes them unhappy?
- Why should they come to you over a competitor?
- How will your product or service make them feel?
- How much better is their life going to be? (Describe this and they’re hooked).
Testimonials – a ‘Must Have’
Why? People want to know who else thinks you’re awesome. If there’s no evidence, they may not want to risk finding out.
Not only that: when you write your content with extracts from testimonials within the text, it adds greater persuasion to the messages you’re conveying.
Write 1 or 2 sentences describing how your service helps customers, then add a relevant sentence from a testimonial. It is the best form of proof you can offer online that you can be trusted.
What Not to Write
- We are excited to announce ….
- We are passionate about our new product …
- We believe ….
No-one cares what you’re excited about or why you are so passionate.
They want to know how you can solve their problem and how quickly, whether your product or service is what they want. You know your ideal customer – give them good reason to buy from you.
Conversational Style Is Best
If you take away only one tip, let it be this one.
Me to You – Write in the Second Person
When people arrive at your website (open your email etc) they are thinking about themselves and their needs.
So, write for them, help them.
Test yourself. Do an audit. Take one of your web pages and count how many times it contains ‘’we’ ‘I’ and ‘our’ and how many times it contains ‘you’ and ‘your’.
There should be two thirds ‘you’ and one third ‘we/I/our’. This one tip will instantly make your content more readable.
Spelling and Punctuation: make no mistakes. If you can’t be certain your content is error-free, have it proof read.
People scan text, looking for words that are relevant to them. Having found what interests them, they may concentrate, but only if it is relevant to their needs and wants at that particular moment.
Write in sentences of less than 16 words. Eight-word sentences are easier to read.
Plenty Of White Space
Contrary to what we were taught in school, a one sentence paragraph is OK.
Because the human eye needs plenty of white space around the words on a screen in order to be able absorb the information.
Use Active Verbs:
Active verbs are easier to read than passive verbs (and use fewer words). What’s the difference? Here’s an example.
- Active: Sue loves 8 Out Of 10 Cats
- Passive: 8 out of 10 Cats is loved by Sue
Because short term memory is weak, the more people have to remember the less they’ll convert so make your messages clear and concise.
We don’t struggle, especially on screen, we give up, so make it easy to understand what you’ve written.
If people don’t immediately see the value they leave. In seconds.
It’s harder to read text on a screen and the smaller the screen the harder it becomes. Make it easier for your readers and you’ll keep them on your site longer.
Test yourself for clarity – here are some ideas.
- Read out loud what you have written. Imagine you are talking to your prospect across a table. Is that the way in which you would talk to them?
- Flesch Readability Score. This handy readability checking service is available to everyone who uses Microsoft Word. Open Review, choose Spelling and Grammar and at the end of your check, a box will appear called: Readability Statistics.
- The score for this file I have written for you is 76.8% which means it is very easy to read. The higher the score, the easier your content is to read. Achieve a score of 50% or more and you know your content is written with clarity.
- Can your gran understand it? Find someone who is new to your subject and ask if it is clear to them.
Call To Action
Looking back to our plan and what we want people to do on our website, let’s think about what we want people to do next. What action do we want people to take
Should they phone you, sign up for your blog, submit their email address to receive your newsletters, subscribe to your service?
They need to know so give them a task to complete, a task that takes them nearer to a sale because they are waiting to be told what to do next.
Make the call to action stand out so that it is unmissable when people are scanning across the screen.
Some examples of calls to action, or action words, are:
- Get in touch
- Complete My Subscription.
Your call to action should tie in with the objective for your web page. If you want to capture email addresses, convince them by promising something they really want. And offer an incentive, something Free converts well. Be specific about the benefits they’ll get.
‘About us’ and ‘Testimonials’ pages are lead generation pages so write them with care. Have a call to action on those pages. Make sure your phone number and email address are unmissable on every page – in several places if you can. Your landing (or squeeze) page needs a call to action button at regular intervals within the flow of the content.
You don’t need to be a professional writer in order to write well.
You do need to write to sell.
Writing to sell means being relevant, persuasive, informative and helpful. Do this and you will help your prospect make the right choice – to become your customer.
When Can You Apply These Tips
These tips work on web page, landing pages, in direct mails, sales letters, your LinkedIn profile and your case studies.
See your conversion rate improve. Measure your results and keep in touch to let me know how you get on.