Many sites struggling with low conversion rates are surprised to learn that out of all the tips, tricks, and advice out there, the real problem might be right in front of them: their copy. Copy is the bones of a website. You can have all the flair of nice images and great colors, but if your copy is weak, your website loses its foundation and can fall apart on you.
Convert sat down recently for a webinar with Liston Witherill, copywriter and Chief Creative at Good Funnel. Witherill went over live examples of sites, analyzing them for the specific ways they could tweak their copy and bring their conversion rates up–which according to him and his experts can increase the bottom line by 19.5 times!
Since not everyone can get lucky enough to have his personal guidance with their site, we can take apart some of his expert tips and the methods he has outlined in previous posts. Following his five main points for expert, engaging, and effective copy, your site can start to see some of these incredible increases to your conversion rates.
You Don’t Matter
This first piece of advice Witherill hits on can be the hardest one for copywriters and site owners to wrap their heads around, but it’s also one of the most important for truly connecting with your customers and driving them to conversion: you don’t matter.
It’s intuitive to start your website copy by talking about what you want. You sit down and start listing to what makes your product great, what makes it better than other similar products, and all the reasons that a potential customer should trust your company. It’s true that this information should be included, but it’s not the place to start. Great copy starts by asking one simple question: How can this be about the client?
One easy way to determine if your copy is to focus on your own needs and not catering to the client is to look at the language used. Take a look at your current copy and
- Do most sentences start with your brand name, “we” or “Our company”?
- Do your testimonials address how great your company is instead of how much your product has helped customers?
- Are your endorsements relatable to your target audience?
Great copy speaks directly to the intended audience, relating to what they need and explaining how “you” can find it on this site. Elements of how great your company is, like social proof, endorsements, and testimonials. These should all be playing into your customer, not your own ego. This idea leads to the second important aspect of your copy- understanding what your customer needs. It’s something Witherill calls “finding the pain”.
Find the Pain
Figuring out your target customer is only half of the battle. The next thing you need to do is to map out what they’re all about and what reasons might have led them to your site. According to Witherill’s blog post:
“Understanding their pain should go far beyond just your product or service, because you’ll often find that things you least expected are the biggest motivators for people to buy from you.”
Witherill suggests a simple exercise: wake up in the morning and pretend to be your target customer. What kinds of things will they be worried about? Is your target customer’s primary concern kids? Money? Time management? Quality products? This primary concern is their pain and your copy should be all about how you can alleviate that pain. If you are selling photo albums, it’s obvious that users are going to want pictures.
But, what might be another of their concerns? Perhaps that they don’t have enough time to get a good-looking photo album together? In that case, you can build copy that talks about how you can save them time while still delivering the photo album that lets them enjoy all of their pictures.
Map the User’s Journey
Continuing a theme of keeping content focused clearly on the user, the next step is creating a simple, easy to follow path for everyone who visits your site. Witherill suggests that the best place to start is with specificity. When a user visits the site, do they know what to do next? Do they know how to start? Every piece of information that you place on a page should be serving a function. Like breadcrumbs, the information your present is leading the user to your end goal whether it’s a sign up sheet or a check out, and everything along the way should follow these points while also being geared to them and their pain.
In his analysis of a site’s content geared towards brides, Witherill points out one easy way to think of a customer’s journey: “the F pattern”. The journey your customer is taking through your site isn’t just a metaphor. Their eyes are literally moving across each page, and as Witherill points out, that journey is almost always the same:
“People tend to view websites in an F pattern….it means about sixty percent of viewers will start in the upper left corner, go to the right then go back, down the page, up and across, back and back up. Basically, you’re gonna want all of your key things on the top and on the left.”
Take a moment to go over your content. Where on the page is your most important information located? If it isn’t in the top left, you might want to consider moving it. Additionally, take a second to make sure that every piece of information, no matter where it’s located is:
- Clear and specific
- Easy to understand
- Relevant to your product and target customer
- Leading users to your call to action.
Your next step is to review the customer’s journey outside of the confines of your site. Start thinking about the times that your ideal customer will be wanting more information about your product. When would they be at a point in time where your excellent copy can effectively reach them?
Build Your Bridge
For Witherill a big part of growing his own site was growing the number of channels he used to reach out to customers. In the beginning, his marketing strategy was based around referrals, web visits, contact forms and calls, and direct sales. These elements all created a funnel to catch people at different stages of their buying journey and bring them to the close of the sale. As Witherill’s site grew, he added email campaigns, newsletters, webinars, teaching events, and three-part nurturing campaigns. It’s important to consider where your client will be looking for the solution to their pain and then make a bridge that leads them directly to you.
Create One Clear Action
Once you have everything in place to bring people in, speak to them on their terms, and lead them to your call to action, it’s important that final aspect is as easy to see as possible. You’ve built a lot of complicated structures to lead customers to your contact form, check-out process, or whatever other call to action your site is after and it would be a shame to lose them right as you’re about to cross the finish line.
In this webinar, Witherill pointed out a lot of basic ideas that could really improve the check-out process or the final call to action on a site. For instance, simplified pricing tables, the elimination of unnecessary information, and good design. If you have lead your customer all the way to the end where they have to choose a plan or a specific product, make sure all the information they need for that final choice is clear and easy to understand.
Feel free to share your thoughts.