There is copywriting… and then there is conversion copywriting.
The ultimate goal of conversion rate optimization (CRO) is to boost conversions rather than drive more traffic, as with SEO and content marketing.
In any business, CRO is necessary to truly monetize your web traffic. And yet, so many companies do it all wrong.
So what do we need to know about CRO to do it right—and reap the benefits?
1. Forget SEO. Let the keywords flow naturally.
Yes, SEO is important.
But you’re not writing for the search engines. You are speaking to human readers in a natural and conversational tone. Google likes that these days anyway.
In CRO, your words must sound natural, as if you’re helping your sweet grandma sign up for that awesome email newsletter.
Most search engines are already smart enough to work out what your landing page really is about, so you don’t need to worry about this any more than getting your visitors to act.
2. Conversion copywriting is different from regular copywriting.
If you’re used to regular copywriting, writing conversion-focused copy is an entirely different animal.
As opposed to long-form sales copy, conversion-focused copy is very concise, impactful, conversational. It always includes a powerful call to action.
With a much narrower focus, conversion copywriting has only one specific purpose:
To elicit a single action.
- Clicking a button
- Sharing content on their social media
- Adding an item to their shopping cart
- Signing up to an email list
While images and colors can help make your words stand out more, it is the words you choose that ultimately get your visitors to act.
Conversion copywriting combines the best of old-school direct response copywriting, understanding human psychological triggers, and user experience.
3. Don’t get cute with buzzwords. Use your prospect’s language.
It is tempting for many copywriters to get too cute with their words. But for CRO, your goal is not to show off your clever wordsmithing.
It is to elicit a single action!
Nothing more, nothing less.
So the first thing to do is forget about using flowery buzzwords, tired clichés, and such nonsense.
The second thing to do is to listen to your target market, observe how they talk, and then absorb their language into your psyche.
Go to where they are and where they communicate. Social media, Amazon reviews, community forums. When reading their comments and complaints on Facebook or Twitter, observe how they talk and their word choice.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when doing “recon” on your target market:
- What are their problems?
- What are their desires?
- What do they want, but don’t have access to?
- How do they benefit by making their biggest problem go away?
- Any wording or language that particularly stands out?
And when they get vocal in their complaints, pay attention! It’s a great opportunity to learn their pain points. Conversely, when they positively rave about something, you’ll see what benefits they really want, and that will answer a lot of your questions.
4. Eliminate all distractions. One page, one goal.
The goal of conversion copy is to—you guessed it—to elicit a single action.
So your page needs to be focused only on that goal, with zero distractions. Not even internal links to other pages on your site. Internal linking is great for SEO, but not so much for CRO. Your images also need to be aligned with that goal—and if not, don’t use them.
Imagine a visitor midway through your page. Just as he was getting ready to act, he sees a link to a different page, wonders what he might find there instead, and clicks away. Even a minor distraction like that simple link just cost you a conversion!
Eliminate all distractions. Watch your conversion rate pop.
5. Experiment. A lot.
To maximize your conversions, you need to test and experiment with slightly different variations of your landing page.
This is where most people fail with CRO.
They write the copy (or hire a freelancer to do it), stick it on their website, and call it a day.
But what they don’t realize is that this is only the beginning!
It is time to experiment, tweak, and test the copy to see what works and what doesn’t. This is a lengthy and iterative process, but well worth it.
Start with changing the wording of CTAs and headlines to see what happens. Take out bits and pieces of the page to see if it affects your results. Using controlled experiments helps. Set the original landing page as “the control” and A/B test your modified landing pages against that.
No matter how insignificant some changes may seem, the results might surprise you. Even if the new page doesn’t have the keywords you want, or doesn’t sound quite right to you personally, it may actually outperform the control.
Never assume anything. Always test your hypotheses.
It Never Ends
The goal with conversion copywriting is to get people to take ACTION, and the work of a conversion copywriter is never finished.
Their job is to constantly tweak the copy, test, compare results, revise, test again, compare—rinse and repeat.
Sounds like a lot of painstaking work, doesn’t it? Yes, you’d be right. It is.
The good news, however, is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are A/B split testing and CRO services available to help you zero in on the best possible results.
While others pat themselves on the back after publishing copy they edited only once or twice, you may very double, triple, or even quadruple your conversion rates through this iterative process.
Nabeel Keblawi is a professional copywriter who writes persuasive copy and high-quality content to help companies grow and scale in the software, energy, real estate, and finance industries. Not only does he break down technical concepts into easily understandable language, but he also writes powerful copy that converts.