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Copywriting for Conversion #seocafe

Anastasia Sidko
Copywriting for Conversion #seocafe

The very goal of copywriting is to boost sales by convincing people that a certain product or service will solve their problems. That’s how conversions typically happen; however, sometimes they don’t.

Too often audiences leave sites without buying anything, which increases your bounce rate. When this occurs, we end up blaming either our audience or our content. But when you think about it, it becomes obvious that blaming your audience isn’t the right thing to do. Frustrating, right?

Luckily, in today’s post we’ll share some professional tips on how to write for conversions by Hunter Boyle @hunterboyle, the founder of Optimization Copilot, entrepreneur, international speaker and blogger, as well as other participants of our #seocafe chat.

What Are Key Features of Perfect Content That Converts?

Every content starts with the blank sheet you need to turn into a perfect piece of text that actually sells stuff to your readers. “Great copy meets the buyer/visitor where they are in "their discovery journey,” says Darrell Evans @Darrell_Evans. So, before even starting to work on your copy, you should understand this journey and how you can help the user on their way.

Since the beginning of 2000s, the average customer’s journey begins at the Google search box. Here’s why keyword research should always come first and that’s why a perfect copy should be:

After performing quality keyword research, you’ll most likely know what your audience’s interests are and exactly which terms they use to search for information that satisfies their needs.

A compelling offer written in language, that your audience actually uses, is more likely to grab their attention, thus is converting better. Also, it’s desire, trust and an overall positive attitude that makes people say “Yes, I’m going to buy that!” more often.

This gives us the ultimate formula: the clearer your offering is, the better it will convert! Because we’re so inundated with advertisements these days, we’ve stopped paying attention to them. So we need to find other ways to engage our audience. According to Will Blunt @WillBluntAU, content that converts has: purpose, emotion, stories, proof, and personalization, plus it’s in tune with user intent.

Rachna Parmar @rachnaparmar describes the exact features that will help marketers create good piece of content: a catchy title, good flow, engaging writing and excellent images. And, as a summary, Hunter shared a link to “75 Resources for Writing Copy That Converts.”

What are Some Useful Tips for Writing Killer Headlines?

As we mentioned previously, the headline is the one of the most important aspects of commercial writing. It not only interacts with search crawlers, but with real people whose attention spans are pretty short these days.

It’s not necessary to insert tricky wordplay here – headlines serve just to attract customers to your website. Sometimes it even means sticking to a more conservative style; it all depends on our audience in the end.

PPC techniques are perfect for crafting content. By narrowing down your number of headlines, you can choose the most compelling ones and then…

Your opinion on the quality of your content may not coincide with the opinion of your audience. Testing is the silver bullet for determining what approaches will work with different audiences. Consider split testing the main selling pages first and then working on the less important stuff.

Hunter also kindly shared an explanation of how the @Buffer team performs their A/B tests as an example of a modern approach to headlines and overall content marketing.

Amarjeet Sharma @amarjeetsharmas advises writing for each stage of your buyer’s journey. A great headline is the one that resonates with them at the stage they are currently in.

Hunter has also shared another valuable insight for marketers that are seeking inspiration for creating killer headlines: “30+ Ultimate Headline Formulas for Tweets, Posts, Articles, and Emails” by Buffer.

How to Write Killer Headlines

How Can Marketers Craft the Best Copy For CTAs?

A call to action (or CTA) can really boost your online sales, if crafted properly. Without a direct, intriguing CTA, your content is simply a news piece and will only convey information, not sell products.

A CTA is what you need your reader to do after they’ve finished reading your article (or even before), so plan your CTA copy accordingly.

Hunter has shared CTA formula by @aschottmuller: I’d like to WHAT because I want to WHY.

CTA Formula

Solid CTAs are clear, tell readers exactly what to do next and provide value. As Rachel Howe @R8chel_Marie recommends, you should “speak to a need/desire and provide value that will lead potential buyers to take your desired action.” This tip, along with Will Blunt’s @WillBluntAU advice to use the word “get,” can serve as the ultimate sales driver.

For more details you can also turn to article “17 Best Practices for Crazy-Effective Call-To-Action Buttons” shared by Boise Web Design @boiseweb. And here are some examples of great CTAs shared by Hunter:

  • “Build A High-Converting Landing Page Now” (@unbounce homepage)
  • “Get Grammarly It’s free” (two font sizes) (@grammarly homepage)

Also you can find more examples in the article “11 Kick-Ass Call to Action Examples, and Why They Work.”

What Tools Should Marketers Use to Make Copywriting an Easier, Faster and More Effective Process?

Copywriting and content planning are both time-consuming processes marketers can speed up by using different tools. How can you check spelling and grammar? How can you ensure your topic is relevant to what people are actually searching for on the Web? Below you will find answers to these questions as well as tips on using tools to improve your writing.

Let your audience decide what kind of content is more likely to address their needs, and also collect feedback on existing content to make it more compelling.

Templates are handy when you need to create a piece of text quickly. Also, Darrell Evans @Darrell_Evans suggests watching Amazon reviews and/or reviews of products/services of your competitors, who sell to similar audience.

The list of tools also includes:

  • Google Keyword Planner, the ultimate tool for evaluating trends and average monthly searches.
  • Grammarly, which helps you check spelling, punctuation and grammar (it also has add-on for Google Chrome).
  • Customer emails - technically these are not tools, but they can give you a straightforward insight into a customer’s world and language they speak.

Can Copywriting Affect Conversion Rate Optimization in a Negative Way? If So, How?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) gives marketers the opportunity to fine-tune their copywriting so that it actually sells. It’s important to calculate the cost of each buyer to ensure you’re not paying more than you receive. Mistakes and poor planning can spoil everything. Let’s determine what to avoid when writing epic copy.

Stephan Hovnanian @stephanhov adds that a mismatched headline/subject line and body copy can kill trustworthiness. This point is also clearly illustrated by this case study. According to Hunter’s view, the length, style, tone and flow of a piece has to fit the offer and resonate with the audience.

Although visuals have become more important with the development of social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram, copy is still an important part of the lead conversion.

What's the Most Surprising Thing You've Learned About Copywriting and CRO Correlation?

Сopywriting is a lifetime career — once you’re in it, it’s difficult to quit. At SEMrush, we spend a lot of time writing a lot of different content, and each day we learn something new about the process. Without a doubt the same goes for every person dealing with content. Let’s look at the most spectacular insights our experts shared.

Indeed, the conservative views of executive managers can affect the very process of enterprise development. Concentrating solely on your competitors is as dangerous as it is simplistic.

For Stephan Hovnanian @stephanhov, the most surprising thing is "how finely balanced you need to be to maintain credibility while eliciting action." And Hunter Boyle @hunterboyle also notices how popular the “chipper,” “breathless” style of copy with lots of “!!!s” still is today! So keep your exclamation marks to a reasonable limit and avoid using emojis in your commercial copy to avoid looking unprofessional in your audience’s eyes.

It’s time to wrap up and recap all the information our experts shared with us in this chat and then start creating your own epic copy.

Thank you, everyone, for your expertise and practical tips. Do you have your own life hacks that you’d like to share? Leave your tips in the comments section!

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Anastasia Sidko, Content Manager at SEMrush. I have four years of experience in content creation and public relations. My areas of interest include SEO, digital marketing and content marketing.
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Hi Anastasia,

I am regularly reading a lot of articles on conversions, this article is really helpful to learn some good things about conversion, we have to test and trial everything to know what works best for us, I liked this article a lot keep sharing these type of articles.
Anastasia Sidko
Glad you found the article useful, Siddaiah!
Stephan Hovnanian
This was a great chat, a lot of smart insights on copywriting (and I'm glad you captured Angie's button formula, I was looking for that the other day).

Thanks for including me in the roundup...and I'm excited to be tonight's guest on #SEOcafe!
Anastasia Sidko
Stephan Hovnanian
Thanks for sharing your ideas and being part of the #SEOcafe chat, Stephan! We were happy that you participated as our special guest! :)