You want your copy to convert.

But right now, while you’re reading this, people are clicking those scary red “X” buttons, closing your page, and moving on to something else.

It’s a marketer’s worst nightmare: visitors who don’t give a damn about your content.

With 2-5% considered a good conversion rate, you feel like the Lord of the Marketers when you’re able to reach it. But you know what?

It’s bulls**t!

raise conversion rates

You know the popular conversion killers by sight. You know a picture is worth a thousand words.

(In fact, it’s worth 500 billion, but whatever.)

You’ve hit a brick wall in your efforts to design your copy. You promote it like crazy to get traffic with a hope to boost your conversions.

You do everything right.

The only question remains:

What words do you use in your copy?

Marketers often underestimate the role of words, despite the popularity of content marketing.

What would they say if someone told them one wrong word could kill all their conversion efforts and turn potential leads away?

Writing striking copy is not an easy task.

So save your copy from conversion killers, do your best to present it in a clear and appealing way.

“Write it smart.”

Here’s how.

1. Make your message consistent

Straight off the bat:

Does your copy have a strong information scent?

People are in a hurry. They don’t come to read tons of text, but find the information they want and be done. If your copy doesn’t give any visual or informational clues to follow right away and find what they need, they’ll leave your page.

Its information scent is faint.

How to keep it strong? Make your message consistent.

a) Don’t overload it

What is wrong with this page?

busy landing page

I’ll help you figure it out:

  • It has too many calls to action.
  • They all offer completely different options.

The more actions your copy offers visitors to take, the less focused and more confusing it is. Make the priorities on your page clear by highlighting the most important thing on it (if you have several calls to action) or have one possible action per page.

The latter variant would be ideal.

b) Make it easy to read

Regardless of the awesomeness of your copy, no one will respond to it if it’s hard to read.

Moreover, no one will give it a try!

“What do you mean by that?” you might ask.

  • The text of your copy should be pleasant to read. Make sure its color contrasts with your page’s background well.
  • When using a background image, make sure it provides enough contrast with your text.

2. Personalize images and text in them

The only thing worse than no images in your copy is having too many.

Taking into consideration the fact most people are visual learners, marketers try hard to communicate messages with images as much as possible. They believe this trick will help appeal to visitors: if they don’t like one pic, maybe they’ll like the other?

Since you can’t use image sliders (we know they kill conversion rates), the decision is obvious: use a static image.The trick is to make it – and its text – personal.

Here’s how it works for Bid4Papers:

smart landing page copy

Make it short and straightforward to communicate the idea and elicit a response in your visitor.

And try to avoid stock photos, as they can hurt your credibility – everyone can spot a stock photo nowadays. Though using pictures with people’s faces plays the game of a marketer, make sure you use them right.

Here’s how Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to be Rich uses a really personalized image and text in his copy:

ramit sethi landing page

Forget about generalized stock photos and replace them with “real” faces.

3. Speak your customer’s language

Your perfect copy works best when it’s:

  • Smooth, and
  • Speaking the same language as your audience.

You may be as good at writing as Thomas Wolfe or Leo Tolstoy, but that doesn’t mean you can write copy that converts. Simplicity rules here, as well as words your target audience uses and understands.

By speaking their language, your copy starts a conversation they’ll want to take part in..

What are the tricks to use here?

  1. Be clear.
  2. Use short words.
  3. Use words your audience speaks.
  4. Keep sentences short.
  5. Avoid cliché marketing tag lines.

4. Make your testimonials trustworthy

Testimonials are aimed to build trust, right?

Yes but no.

When sketchy or poorly chosen, customer testimonials do nothing but hurt your copy and conversion rates.

People need to know you’re not a cheater and want to hear from the people you’ve helped. Make sure to use trust symbols for your testimonials to look trustworthy.

At a minimum, you can include a picture of a customer to the testimonial. Don’t underestimate the power of photos, as they can boost your conversion rates by 102.5%!

Get true-life customer feedback from trusted websites and use them on your testimonials page. Chances are, people leave comments or reviews of your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels. Collect them and use them to communicate trustworthiness.

5. Write superb headlines

The bare fact is people don’t read your copy once they see it on the web. They scan and skim it to decide whether they want to keep on reading.

This fact should give you an idea of what to focus on while writing your copy. Short paragraphs, images, subheadings, bullet points, and calls-to-action are last, though not least, factors to pay attention to.

The first and foremost is his majesty headline.

Eight out of 10 people will read it, while only two out of 10 will read what comes after it.

Do your best to make it short, solid, and clear. Use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to check the structure, grammar, and readability of your headline.

This is what I get when checking the headline of the post you’re reading now:

coschedule headline analyzer

Green light! Whoa!

Those 10-15 words of your headline are the most important part of your copy. Focus on it, nail it, help visitors get interested in it, and make them read it.

What to remember when writing a headline:

  • Make it useful. Readers should know what benefits they will get.
  • Make it clear. Readers should understand what your point is.
  • Make it urgent. Readers should have a feeling they need to keep reading right here and now, or they’ll miss out on something.

Your headline explains the value of your copy. It should the reader asking, “what’s in it for me?”

Tools such as the Online Headline Generator and Emotional Headline Analyzer will help you come up with a perfect headline for your copy.

6. Avoid words overloading

You have only five seconds to convince a visitor to stay on your page. To make them convert, don’t force them to read your long sheets of content.

They won’t do that.

Or, they will.

Make your content look lip-smacking, too good to pass over: short sentences, one-to-two sentence paragraphs, bolded words, bullet points, images, and a resplendent subheading – they all do wonders in holding attention.

7. Write like a human

I don’t know why, but many content marketers ignore the easiest and most logical trick of writing smart:

Write like a human.

Do they believe people want to connect with robots? I have bad news for those copywriters: no one will convert from copy that sounds strained and robotic.

How do you make your writing sound more human and personal?

  • Write the way you speak.
  • Don’t be afraid of being funny, where appropriate.
  • Short sentences are your best friends.
  • Use words people use daily. I don’t mean slang or swears, but why use “scrumptious” when you can say “yummy?”
  • Break grammar rules if it makes the text sound more natural.
  • Use “I” where appropriate.

i hate bad writing

8. Use power words

You write copy to influence the reader somehow, right?

Yes, you want to share the information. But don’t you want the reader to feel a certain way about it?

To impress people, to encourage them, to make them want to spread your message…to make them click and buy, after all!

Words are a powerful weapon to influence people. When used correctly, they can help you make your copy compelling and persuasive.

But you need to use power words.

The most common of them are:

  • You – it appeals to our selfishness and desire to be treated as individuals.
  • Easy – it appeals to our laziness and desire to solve problems with least resistance.
  • Save – it appeals to our greed and desire to spend as little as possible.
  • Results – it appeals to our pragmatism and desire to spend time and money only on something that works.
  • Guarantee – it appeals to our skepticism and fear to lose something, whether it’s our time or money.

Need more?

Jon Morrow from Smart Blogger has shareda list of 317 power words for writers to create better content. To make a long story short…

This list rocks!

9. Ditch these words once and for all

Here’s the deal:

Avoid plague words in your marketing content.

They waste time. They confuse readers. They make readers bleurgh.

Compare:

wordy writing

Fewer words for the same message. Brevity’s the soul of wit, indeed.

Also, forget these words when writing your marketing copy. Copy like “maybe” and “submit” is weak, and can make readers question you.

Let’s write smart?

Despite a huge number of conversion killers all marketers know and try to avoid, they often forget about the most obvious one. Words.

Text matters, as it’s the instrument making our campaigns persuasive and, thus, converting. To defeat this powerful conversion killer, one should choose and use words carefully for them to yield the desired outcome.

Do you write smart? What are your textual tricks to influence a conversion rate of your copy?

Mike Hanski wrote this post. He read A LOT from Copyblogger and Unbounce to learn about conversions and now use the knowledge to help various businesses turn visitors into clients. Feel free to check his latest tweets here.

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