Writing Content That Converts

How To Write Copy That Converts Website Visitors Into Customers

By definition, conversion is the process of changing something from one form to another. In the context of online marketing, website conversion is generally about changing visitors into customers, donors, subscribers, or members.

The bad news is that, on average, only 2.35% of people who visit a website actually convert. That said, this is just an average. And a lot of websites are truly BAD at the converting game.

The good news is that your website conversion rate isn’t carved in concrete. You can improve it!

So what’s the secret?

Conversion is about persuading someone to take action. So the secret is to be persuasive, not pushy.

Have you ever tried to make a toddler eat something new or different? If you come straight at them with a forkful of peas, they’re going to turn their head. Even if you manage to shovel it into their mouth, those peas are definitely coming back out. You’ve got to convince them that they WANT the peas and let them feel autonomous about choosing to eat them. That’s persuasion!

The website equivalent of “spitting out the peas” is clicking to another website. If you’re aggressive and move too fast to convert visitors, they leave. Period. End of story.

So you need to get persuasive with your words. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you write persuasive copy that converts:

Stop rambling on about features.

The toddler can see that the peas are green and round. And they don’t give a crap.

FYI: Describing those peas as emerald, shamrock-hued, or “the colour of nature itself” isn’t better, it’s just more versions of babble.

You only have a few seconds to get a website visitor interested in that page before they click away. Don’t waste those seconds stating the obvious or the benign.

Hit them with feelings, not features. Identify the need or want that brought them to that particular page and make it clear that they came to the right place.

Hungry? Bored with carrots? You’ll love peas!

Note: I’m not telling you that it’s bad, or wrong, to explain features and benefits. Learning more about the product/service is an important part of the customer journey. I’m just saying that it shouldn’t be the first step in the journey. Because it’s boring.

Sprinkle social proof EVERYWHERE. Like confetti.

Who are YOU to tell ME that I’m going to love peas?!? Bugger off.

Filling a page with empty promises and unsupported claims is a turn-off. That’s where social proof comes in. It shows readers that you’re not full of hot air.

Want to prove those peas are the BOMB?!? Use social proof, like:

  • Testimonials from folks who rave about how amazing your peas are
  • A celebrity endorsement from someone famous who adores your peas
  • Statistics about how peas are gaining in popularity
  • Study findings on the amazing health benefits of peas (from a respected source)
  • A badge showing that you won an award for “best peas on earth” or some such thing

If you want to go deeper into this, check out Hubspot’s 20 Examples of Social Proof in Action.

Make it clear what you want folks to do. And make it easy to do it.

The opposite of the aggressive website page, is the passive, pointless page. And these are more common than you might imagine.

Someone visits the page, reads whatever information is one it, and then leaves. The end.

It’s like playing the airplane game with that forkful of peas but not giving any “open your mouth and eat them” clues. The toddler may be entertained but they don’t end up with a belly full of peas.

EVERY website page needs at least one clear call-to-action:

  • Buy Now
  • Subscribe
  • Join
  • Contact Us
  • Read more
  • Download
  • Etc.

Your call-to-action should be the logical next-step in the visitor’s journey towards your BIG goal of converting them into a customer, member, or whatever. Make it super clear and easy for them to move forward.

Remember that words are not carved in concrete.

Words are easy to change. You don’t need to re-invent an entire website just to swap out a few sentences and alter the text on a call-to-action button.

The most fun part of writing copy that converts is experimenting and playing with the words. Check your analytics regularly. Figure out what pages are driving the most traffic and build on that success.

And visit your website frequently. Move around the pages as though you are there for the first time. Be the toddler instead of the purveyor of peas.

If something feels awkward, smooth it out. If the language on a page is flat, fluff it up! Here’s a post on how to warm up your content and make it more engaging.

If you have no analytics, or can’t change a word without spending a fortune and creating a hullabaloo, you’ve got bigger problems than content. Your website is a dinosaur and your internal processes aren’t agile enough for 21st century marketing. Fix these issues asap.

Conclusion: Writing copy that converts is about focusing on connecting with REAL people.

The internet is over-flowing with deep, detailed articles on writing copy that converts. Some of them go down technology rabbit holes. Some obsess about sales funnels. But at the end of the day, there is one constant, solid, undeniable truth:

To convert a website visitor into a customer, donor, subscriber, or member, you MUST make a meaningful connection with them. So…

  • Be persuasive, not pushy.
  • Build trust with social proof.
  • Help them move forward with clear calls to action.
  • And remember that words are changeable.

🤓You’ve got this!

Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is a content strategist, writer, and author of Making Words Work: A Practical Guide to Writing Powerful Content. She has 20+ years of experience working with respected organizations across Canada and abroad and her content appears on more than 400 corporate and nonprofit websites. Kim is also a keynote speaker, mom, and butler to several demanding pets.

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