It’s extremely frustrating when you have what you think is a great website, yet you’re not getting conversions. That is, visitors aren’t staying, they aren’t clicking on your offer, they aren’t buying. Whatever you’re doing to attract and drive visitors to your website is working, but they’re not doing anything once they get there. You’re losing them. Why? Usually it’s bad copywriting.
Sure, your website copy may sound OK to you, but it’s not selling the visitor. And that is the job of the website! It’s your 24/7 sales person! Good copy should take the visitor from the headline, through the content and to the call-to-action (CTA). It should be obvious and easy. Don’t make them work!
The trick is writing for the human reader, but with the search engine in mind. What’s nice is that the search engines — Google especially — is focused on the user.
Thinking Like the Search Engine
It’s hard to think like the search engine when they keep changing their algorithms! Their purpose is to present the searcher with the most relevant, freshest content based on the search term they entered in the search box. Then it tries to think for them as to what other related content could they possibly be interested in. How do they do that?
2 Different Approaches of Search
- EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) – This one’s pretty obvious. Who has the most of these qualities? That goes to building trust and credibility. People buy from whom they know and trust.
- YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) – This sounds like what a mugger might say to you on a dark street, but it’s the type of content that the search engine determines that can directly or indirectly impact a searcher’s happiness, health, finances, and well-being.
The Search Results Page (SERP)
Where and what comes up here is crucial if you want someone to click through to your website. What they see is the headline of a page, then the meta description on what’s on that page. If there is no meta description, the search engine will pull up the first paragraph of text that it finds on the page.
If you’re using WordPress, you can have a free plugin like SEO by Yoast which guides you in optimizing each page and blog post of your website. The meta description and “SEO Title” or headline is part of that.
You can have complete control over this — use it!
Google’s Site Kit free plugin for WordPress will help give you stats on how many times you came up in search and how many people clicked on it.
Discovery or Attention Stage
What I’ve outlined above is part of the discovery or the attention stage of a potential consumer’s buying journey. Consequently, what the potential customer does next is solely up to the website copy.
The Awareness Level of Your Audience
There are 5 levels of consumer awareness. Source: Funding Track
- Unaware — They don’t know they have a problem worth solving
- Problem Aware — They sense they have a problem, but don’t know there’s a solution
- Solution Aware — They know the results they want, but don’t know if your product or service provides it
- Product or Service Aware — They know what you sell, but aren’t sure it’s right for them
- Most Aware — Repeat buyers, referral sources and loyal customers who refer you to their friends, colleagues or customers
This is part of knowing who your target audience is, what their pain points or problems are and how you are going to solve or alleviate them.
You need to have content on your website that answers their questions no matter what awareness stage they are in. Here’s where a blog comes in. In addition, having a search box on your website is beneficial as well an index of major keywords (tags) and categories so a visitor can easily dig deeper. In other words, the longer a visitor stays on your website, the more pages he or she views, the higher the chances that they will do something, ie., convert.
Steps to Good, Effective Copywriting
- It starts with the headline — you have 7 seconds — if that — to catch someone’s attention online. That’s true for websites, search engines and social media. I recommend using Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer to help you come up with headlines that work.
- The first paragraph — next in line is the opening paragraph. Make sure it’s captivating and piques curiosity. Just like your headline should. Moreover, your first paragraph should deliver on what the headline promised. For SEO purposes, your main key phrase should be included in the first paragraph.
- Highlight keywords, sub-headings, use bullet points and lists — People skim over pages. That’s where using bullet points, sub-headings, quotes, and emphasizing major keywords comes in (using bold and italics). They’ll keep reading if they think you’re providing what they need. Using color also works here.
- Write persuasive copy — Use power and action verbs that give direct commands. This is your call to action. What do you want the visitor to do? You have to tell them. For instance, “Visit Website” is a soft suggestion. “Learn More” is a stronger command. Avoid using vague language. Don’t get overly wordy either. Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point.
Remember to stand in your target market’s shoes as you’re composing your copy. They are thinking, “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM). Are you answering that question?
Adapting These Copywriting Strategies to Your Social Media
Your social media pages and profiles should be an extension of your website. Copywriting tips and rules apply here, too! On Facebook and LinkedIn you have a lot of space in the about sections — use it. On Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, your bios are only 160 characters. Think keyword-centric. All except Twitter give you a lot of space in the posts to write good copy. Again, think of the headline first. On Twitter, that headline is crucial to getting people to click through to the article.