Copywriting goes far beyond crafting killer product descriptions.
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With great copywriting you can capture the reader’s attention and convince them to make purchases now and in the future. It can even convince readers to become an advocate for your business.
Here are 11 copywriting tips you can use to bring in website traffic and boost sales.
#1 Research Your Audience
Conducting qualitative research on your audience is a key part of creating successful sales copy. Through interviews, competitor research and surveys you will be aiming to find the answers to a predetermined set of questions. For example, you will want to find out the obstacles that stop consumers from making a purchase and what makes you unique as a brand.
#2 Segment Your Audience
You will want to segment your audience into several groups and then target your writing to correspond to each segment’s ‘needs’. For instance, you may choose to group customers who have abandoned their shopping carts and come up with a strategy to get them back. Similarly, you would want to channel some of your copywriting efforts into gaining new customers who have never heard of you before. Not all of your marketing messages are applicable to all people, so make sure you know which messages are targeting which groups and why.
#3 Keyword Research
Using a subscription service or free tools like Google Keyword Planner will help you find the key terms people might use to find a site like yours. Including these popular phrases in your marketing copy (sparingly) will help you ensure that you are ‘speaking your audience’s language’ and encouraging maximum search engine exposure.
A word of caution in using keywords, listing many keyword terms in your product descriptions and titles may harm your copy’s effectiveness. This is known as a Black Hat SEO technique called Keyword Stuffing and may result in you receiving a penalty. The key to getting the balance right is to concentrate on making your copy read like natural prose.
#4 Proof Reading
Proofreading should never be overlooked as part of the copywriting process. Not only will it pick up on errors in your writing, proper proofreading also adds ‘polish’ to your words. Edit your work to read as simple sentences. Think about how the flow of information can be structured to intrigue the reader to read to the end. Getting someone else to proofread for you will also help you pinpoint areas where improvements can be made.
#5 Eliminate Distraction
Writing is no easy task, even for the professionals. Eliminating distractions and ‘getting into the zone’ will really help you in creating your own sales copywriting. By doing things like dedicated daily writing practice, you can separate yourself from your normal day-to-day duties and exclusively work and research the art of creating compelling copy. As little as half an hour a day can help you gather and test different ideas before implementing them.
#6 Start a Conversation
Take advantage of your audience’s ideas and inspirations and ask for their participation in order to help you create some compelling marketing content for your brand. Whether you ask your social networking followers to send in pictures of them using your products, or create a hashtag to target them with a question, there are a wealth of ways to present and use this information to boost your sales. Remember, people trust people when it comes to making a purchasing decision, so make sure you start an interesting conversation.
#7 Tell a Story
Further to the idea that people trust people when it comes to buying online, doing your best to convey your own business story in your copy will help you build trust and brand loyalty. Now more than ever, internet users are looking for a genuine face and emotional connection with the businesses they buy from online.
So, if you have learned some worthwhile lessons along the way, consider sharing them in a blog post or on your About page of your website. Doing this will add another dimension to your sales copy, as you will be offering your best advice and information, completely free of charge. This will also help you appear as unique in comparison to your competitors, who will, of course, have their own creation stories.
#8 Features and Benefits
Learning the difference between a feature and a benefit will make a dramatic difference to your online sales copy. A feature of your service may include five alternative headlines per news story. A benefit describes how a service might make a customer’s life better, for example, five alternative headlines allows you to test and find the most effective for drawing in website views.
In all aspects of sales copy, emphasising the benefits of the product’s features will have more of an impact on consumers.
#9 Keep it Simple
Good copywriting is clear and concise. In sales copy especially readers are turned off when they see long paragraphs of unbroken text. Think in terms of bullet points and short sentences. How can you put across your sales messages in the simplest terms? This may seem obvious, but breaking all of your text down requires careful editing and logical thinking, to strike the balance between ‘just enough’ copy to inspire an informed buying decision.
#10 Test and Alter: Build Your Own Site
In all of your copywriting efforts, you will need to test its effectiveness under different headlines, writing styles and informational structures — and the best way to test sales copy is live on the website or store in question. Take control of your own destiny and get familiar with the ins and out of content management by managing your own sites and copy projects.
Pushed for time and need a functioning website, stat? Consider investing in off-the-shelf content management systems and products. Instapage is a great drag and drop landing page builder that’s ideal for sales copywriters. Another easy one to use is Shopify, which allows for an easy ecommerce setup. Once you create your own store, sync it with Google Analytics in order to examine content engagement. If you use a subscription-based website build and maintenance service, you can alter your website easily to incorporate your data-driven copy insights.
#11 Think Visually
Images attract your reader’s’ eye in the first instance, so with your copywriting you must also think of how your words will look on screen, or in print, with your accompanying images, fonts, and photos. Thinking visually can also provide you with a method for recycling old content and turning it into something new and more visually appealing. If you can present your sales copy as an infographic, for example, you can make your sales copy sharable on social networking sites like Pinterest.
Good copywriting requires a lot of research and development in order to boil-down your key sales messages into clear and concise copy. Practice and dedication will help you improve your writing, but don’t forget to enlist the help of a second pair of eyes, who can help you ensure that your marketing messages really hit-home with your customers.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketer & Writer.
I’m an ecommerce marketer by trade, and I run a blog in my spare time. Growing a brand’s reach by cooking up a long-term content & engagement strategy is my forté. In my time away from the keyboard, I enjoy travelling and playing the guitar.