Is Your Site Copy Hurting Your Conversion Rate?

Making money from the internet; piece of cake, innit? You’ve seen The Social Network. You’ve bought a book about it from the Kindle Store which 100% isn’t a spammy ebook consisting of articles cut from elsewhere (probably…). Those websites that now have flashy telly ads after only starting up three years ago? Pah! You could do that.

So off you pop to the drawing board, compiling a comprehensive plan of world wide web dominance, coming up with a business model that just cannot fail. You hook up with a great supplier who can get you all the stuff that other big retailers stock for a fraction of the price.

You come to a digital agency such as Fluid for all your web development and design needs.  We advise you on exactly what you need and build you a flashy Magento ecommerce site that runs like a dream – with quick page loads, usability to die for and nifty faceted navigation – and looks pretty damn beautiful too. The products are uploaded, the site is live so all that you need to do is kick back and wait for the money to roll in. Build it and they will come, as it goes.

Then you invest in an SEO and social media campaign, which gets you up to the top page of the SERPs for a range of high value keywords and begins driving transactions and getting you enough money to live. But not as much as you want.

What’s missing? Well, for all the flashy graphics and quick load times, the content of your site – particularly the copy – is massively important and is unfortunately still overlooked by a great deal of retailers. With that in mind, I’ve decided to compile a couple of key copy mistakes that might be hurting your conversion rate.

You Have No Voice

This technically isn’t true as every piece of writing has some semblance of a voice; it’s just that yours might be quite boring or, perhaps more unforgivably, be identical to someone else’s.

Finding your voice in copywriting is something that either develops naturally or, more likely, develops as a result of the wants and desires of your target customer. Draw up an ideal customer profile and think about what they’d like to hear from you. How do they want to be spoken to? What will they respond to? Also important is how you want to represent yourself. What sort of ideals do you want to represent? How do you want to be viewed?

A good example of the power of tone for a brand is that of Innocent Smoothies, with their simpering, twee, ‘oh look at us we’re so bloody lovely and not after your money’ tone. As much as it gets my teeth grinding and my blood boiling, it’s a tone that has worked wonders and has been aped countless times.

Spelling and Grammar

We all make mistakes and spelling or grammatical errors can spill through even the tightest of editorial nets. But that doesn’t excuse them, especially in an ecommerce environment where professionalism and trust is vital. Poor spelling and grammar reflects badly on you as a brand and is a negative factor in building the trust required to encourage a customer into a transaction.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are fairly straightforward but are nonetheless one of the most vital pieces of copy you will write for your website. They’re so important that a lot of companies hire copywriters whose sole purpose is to bash out product description after product description. Mind-numbing, no doubt, but essential.

A good product description will lead with the benefits of a product rather than the features (unless you’re in a particularly specialised niche where highly technical features are desirable). You need to tell your prospective customers how a product will make their life easier/more enjoyable before introducing the features that make these changes possible.

It’s also a good idea to drive your customers desires towards a product rather than trying to form a desire for a product from scratch through informing them how a product will slot into their lifestyle and improve it. Again, an ideal customer profile will be your best friend when deciding how to go about this.

Neglecting The Homepage

The homepage copy of any site is vital as it’s likely to be the page on which most visitors who’ve never looked at your site before will land on. Yet many companies opt for a bells and whistles presentation with little-to-no copy or explanation of what the hell is going on. On the other hand, some companies will offer a comprehensive history of their company, charting every event from the dawn of time up to now.

The best homepage copy will sell a site to a customer in a matter of seconds. You need to sum up the who, what and why of your brand in as few words as possible, while also maintaining a brand tone and keeping things unique. A good question to keep in mind at all times when crafting homepage copy is ‘why should I care?’ – your copy should ultimately answer this question.

There are, of course, many other considerations to make when coming up with persuasive site copy but addressing the issues outlined above should go someway to helping your site make a few more conversions.

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  • Written by on 7th January 2013 at 16:47
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