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Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement (Even When Your Business Has Been Put on Hold) in 7 Simple Steps

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted businesses all over the world. I talk to at least 5 business owners a day that have either had to put their business on hold, are overwhelmed with growth, or are somewhere in between. If you’re one of the companies in limbo, this blog is for YOU. Downtime can be discouraging. But, it’s so important to stay positive and keep the ball rolling! One way to do just that is by investing in your marketing. That’s why we put together this guide on updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement (even when your business has been put on hold). 

What’s Website Copy? 

So, what’s website copy? Website copy is all the words on your site. But more than that, it’s what communicates to your audience what their need or problem is (if they didn’t know already), your solution, and why you’re the right decision for them. What does your customer need to hear to make a buying decision?

Now more than ever, a majority of the interactions clients have with your business will be through your website. Well-written website copy ensures your site is helpful for existing clients and makes a great first impression with new ones.

Why Update Your Website Copy?

A website should be 100% organic – that means it should change, evolve, and be updated as time goes on. A hard-coded website or one that is difficult to change in a moment’s notice is going to lock you into something that’s not working for you. 

So why update your website copy? 

We see lots of companies who put up a website home page and then never invest in their marketing again. After 10 years, it’s still the same home page. Their business has changed over that decade, but their website copy doesn’t reflect the changes. 

It’s stagnant. 

Keeping your website organic will encourage your clients to engage with your business more, and help convert those engagements into successful transactions.

How Website Copy Impacts Engagement & Conversion

How can updating your website copy impact engagement and conversion? Here are a couple of examples…

It Conveys Reliability

Suppose you used to offer a service that you no longer do. You’ll want to reflect those changes on your website. If clients who visit your site discover the information isn’t up-to-date, they’ll get the impression that your company is unreliable and engage with it less in the future. To encourage engagement, offer updated website copy.

It Makes It Easy For Clients To Find What The Need

Has your business started to offer new products or services since your last website update? As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. Your clients can’t buy your new services or products if they don’t know you’re offering them! Conversion rates will grow if you make it as easy as possible for your audience to find what they’re looking for and convince them your solution is the best.

If your business has had to slow down in the past month, take advantage of the downtime to rebuild engagement and increase conversion by updating your website copy. 

Determine If You’re Doing Minor Changes or A Massive Overhaul

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. You can make minor changes or get creative with a massive overhaul. 

Minor Changes

Even minor changes to your website copy can go a long way! 

Refine Your Headline Keywords

Are the keywords on your website specific enough to help your clients find what they need? Something as simple as re-phrasing your headlines to target your audience can help increase traffic – and eventually engagement and conversion rates.  

Make Small, Regular Updates

Are you keeping your clients in the loop about how current events impact their access to your business (especially in the midst of COVID-19)? Adding regular updates to your site will keep clients informed about how to continue to use your services or buy your products – in times of a pandemic or otherwise!

Massive Overhaul

When business is busy, marketing often slips by the wayside. If you haven’t had the chance to update your website copy, it’s not too late to get started on a massive overhaul! 

Does your website reflect your company’s values and brand? Does the copy highlight your current products and services? Can clients request them online? Is your website optimized for mobile viewing with easy-to-use navigation?

These are all places to look for opportunities to improve engagement and conversion. 

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement in 6 Simple Steps

Whether you’re gearing up for major or minor updates to your website copy, it’s important to keep in mind both what to improve and how to improve it. Here are 6 simples steps to start updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement.

1. Build a Brand Voice Guide 

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be time-consuming and you don’t have to be a gifted writer either! When you build a Brand Voice Guide, you’ll be able to let someone else do the heavy lifting for you. In your Brand Voice Guide, you’ll outline which emotions and tones writers should use to update and edit your website copy. That way, you can rest assured that everything on your website is aligned with your company’s brand. 

Creating a Brand Voice Guide streamlines the copywriting process and fosters familiarity with your brand to improve conversion and engagement. You’ll get more growth with less effort. Check out our blog for more on why having a brand voice is critical to business growth

2. Record Your Baseline Metrics

After building a brand voice guide to expedite the copywriting process, where do you start making improvements to your existing copy? You can evaluate where changes should be made by taking down your metrics. 

Are You Reaching Your Audience?

Your engagement metrics tell you how good your website is at reaching your audience. This includes how many visitors your website typically gets per month, how many of these are new visitors, and how long each visitor spends on each page. 

Do you have many visitors to your homepage but not nearly as many for your services page? This doesn’t necessarily mean that visitors don’t want to engage with your services – they might just have a hard time finding them! 

Take note of which pages of your website have low engagement metrics so you can create a strategy to improve them. 

How Often Are People Taking Action (Buying, Subscribing, or Enrolling)?

Your conversion metrics tell you how often a client takes an action that you recommend to them. How often are clients buying your products or services, scheduling a consultation, or signing up for your newsletter? You’ll know that your copy needs improvement if your website has a lot of visitors, but few are following through with these actions. 

Don’t worry – low conversion metrics don’t necessarily mean clients aren’t interested in what you’re offering. A lot of the time, it simply means you need to update your copy to better communicate to clients how they’ll benefit from your offers.

3. Save Existing Copy Into A Blank Document

Storage is cheap, but your time isn’t! Before you dive into making any changes to your website, be sure to save the existing copy into a blank document. While some of your content might be new, a lot of it can be updated from what was already there before. It’ll also show you where you’ve been and where you don’t want to go again.

4. Write Emotionally With Benefits Taking The Lead

Your company offers valuable services and goods. But how can you express this value to your clients? Keep your audience at the forefront by writing emotionally with benefits to your client taking the lead. 

If you ask Harvard Business Review, people find the most value in products and services that serve their functional and emotional needs. Companies that address these in their writing have greater customer loyalty and growth. 

What does your client need practically and emotionally when they seek out your business? Address these needs, and offer a solution in your copy.

5. Review It Thoroughly

Next, you need to review the copy thoroughly for grammar, syntax, flow, and clarity. At FocusCopy, we always have at least 2 sets of eyes on each piece of copy we send out. Usually, we have 3 sets of eyes – 2 sets that haven’t worked on the development side. 

Check out our proofreading tips that we use to review every single piece of copy.

6. Update the Live Page

Before you update the live page with your newly written and thoroughly reviewed copy, take a before photo. You can add extensions to your browser that take a full screen capture – taking a photo of the entire page without you having to merge multiple screenshots of it.

Once you have the before photo, reveal your fresh look to the world. If your remodeling included major changes, send out an email to existing customers to highlight what your exciting new site features make easier for them! 

7. Test & Continue to Refine Copy

Remember, great website copy is truly organic. Continue to take down your metrics, compare them with old metrics, and refine your copy accordingly. You can also take advantage of split testing of headlines or landing pages to see which keywords and images resonate the most with your audience. 

Your company may be experiencing downtime, but there’s always a place to move forward and grow with your online marketing.

Looking for some help getting started? We write copy that communicates how you (the company) transforms your customer’s lives. When a customer feels heard, they are much more likely to engage with your brand and ultimately convert. Learn more about FocusCopy’s copywriting services here.

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

During the holiday season, we are bombarded with advertisements, sales, and deals. It can be overwhelming and just plain annoying. This year, I received a staggering 238 emails about Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone. 

As a copywriter, I usually read every email to see what other companies are doing; however, this influx of emails beat me.  

All that being said, there’s a lot of noise. And you have to do something different if you want to stand out from the crowd. Cue today’s topic… You need to start building a unique selling proposition. 

First, what is a unique selling proposition?

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? 

A unique selling proposition or USP is a statement of what makes your business unique and ultimately valuable to your prospective customer or target audience. Essentially, it answers the questions… How are you better than your competition? Or Why should the customer choose you over your competition? 

This is the secret weapon that a lot of marketing strategies forget about or don’t spend enough time on. 

Think of building a unique selling proposition as laying the foundation for your entire business.

Unique Selling Proposition vs Value Proposition

Before we go any further, let’s clear up a few things when it comes to the difference between a unique selling proposition vs value proposition. 

A value proposition describes what your company is offering, to whom you are offering it to, and how it solves your customer’s problem. For example, you can use the following framework to build your value proposition.

We sell [your product or service] to [your customer] to solve [their problem]. We solve this problem by [your solution with the big differentiators].

In comparison, a unique selling proposition is a statement that explains how your product or service uniquely solves your customer’s needs. It is a specific statement that can vary slightly between landing pages, offers, and promotions. It is meant to “move the masses” because it is uniquely better than the competition. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. 

Components of a Unique Selling Proposition

Take your target audience, figure out their big problem, explain how you solve their problem, highlight the big benefits of your solution, and finally define your promise. You’ll want to combine all of that, rework it, and turn it into an easy-to-digest proposition.

You can use the following framework to build your USP. 

Our [company / product / service] is the only one that helps [your customer] solve [their specific problem] by [unique promise or benefit].

Where To Use Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you start building a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s important to know where and when you can use the USP. Copywriters use USPs on each advertisement, promotion, or sales letter. In short, your USP is the reason why the customer needs to buy the product or service for a very specific benefit. It helps the copywriter keep focused on that benefit as they are writing the copy. 

Although the USP isn’t necessarily “copy”, we do use it as a framework to base our copy around. As a result, you will see a lot of USPs in the headlines or at least the first few lines of copy.

Examples of Well-Executed USPs

Here are a couple examples of well-executed USPs. 

TOMS Roasting Co. 

You thought they only sold shoes! TOMS has been a long standing, philanthropic company that believes in One for One®. Their roasting company is no exception. Their USP is that in return for your coffee purchase, they provide safe water. Can you name another company that is doing that? It’s unique and admirable. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Away Travel 

Away luggage creates suitcases and other travel products. This USP doesn’t directly talk about what they do in addition to creating these products – “building peace in areas of conflict around the world”. But they are unique in that they see travel as something greater.

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

ClickUp

“One app to replace them all.” It’s unique. It’s a huge selling point because if you’re anything like me, you are trying to simplify how you work – and consequently, the number of apps you use. 

Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Steps to Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Building a unique selling proposition (USP) may not be easy. It needs to be strong enough to influence a large number of people, but specific enough to be consumed in one bite. It’s the framework for an entire piece of copy. In this blog, we’ve broken down the steps to help you get started. 

1. Who Is Your Target Audience?

This is always always always our number 1 question… Who is the customer or your target audience? If you don’t know that, then you need to figure it out. 

Remember, there is no business without a customer. It’s imperative that you do not skip this step. 

For a wellness coach, it could be a college student that is experiencing new pain and wants to find a solution. 

For a corporate event planner, it could be a real estate broker that sells luxury condos and wants to woo his clients. 

Whoever it is, know who that person is. It will not be everyone, and that’s totally okay. You can scale later. 

2. What Is Their Problem? 

Now that you know who they are, it’s time to assess what their big problem is. What is the one thing that they are missing or gripe about?

For example, a real estate brokerage firm targets first time homeowners. New home buyer’s big pain points are that they have no home buying experience and fear they may invest in a bad property. That fear is crippling, so they don’t buy at the right time or at all.

3. How Does Your Product / Service Solve Their Problem? 

Next, assess how your product or service solves that problem. In the same example above, a real estate brokerage firm could have a program specifically tailored to educating first time home buyers. 

What features and benefits help you solve that problem? 

4. How Are You Unique?

The key of a USP is the unique aspect. Your competition must not offer the same benefits as you because you’re… Unique! Why are you different? How are you special? These questions are helpful when defining your uniqueness.

5. Combine Those Answers In An Easy-To-Digest Sentence

You may be thinking… How am I going to combine all of this into one sentence? You’re killing me, Lauren. Okay, I get it. I said that too when I developed my first USP. But the big reason why you need an easy-to-digest sentence is because you want anyone in your company to immediately recite it without tripping over words. 

Employees Need to Memorize the USP

You also want your customers and prospective customers to buy-in quickly and even memorize it themselves. 

Customers Need to Memorize the USP

Think about it this way… Your customer isn’t that valuable to you unless they’ve bought from you two, three, four, or more times. Right? The more they buy from you, the more valuable they are to you because your customer acquisition costs are decreasing. 

The relationship goal all companies want to reach is when your customers are advocating for you and eventually promoting your product or service. This is GOLD. Your customer, when they reach this stage, are your free promoters. PLUS their network are more likely to buy from your company because they trust that person. 

That’s why it has to be digestible and memorable.

Conclusion Building a Unique Selling Proposition

Every company has a unique selling proposition – whether they have defined it yet or not. If you need help building your unique selling proposition, we just released a 1-hour Brainstorm Session that includes an entire action plan based on our conversation. And it’s completely customizable. Take advantage of this offer here.

Improve Every Web Page

10 Ways to Improve Every Web Page

Your website is your best sales page. It’s what gets people to click to another page, even purchase something directly from your site. People either do one of two things to find what they’re looking for – get referrals or go to Google. If you do not answer their question when they find you through search engines (or social media, advertising, etc.), then they have millions of other results to go to. Our goal is for your prospect to never leave and to take the next step in the customer value journey.

Before we get into 10 ways to improve every web page, I do want to put this little caveat here… If you are just starting your website, the most important thing for you right now is to get the website up and running so it informs your prospective customers. It will not be perfect; if you make it perfect, it’d never get published. Take these tips and know it’s going to be an ever-evolving process of improvement. Get that mud up on the wall.

If you already have a website and want to improve it to result in higher conversions, you’re in the right place.

10 Ways to Improve Every Web Page

As you go through your website, here are 10 ways to improve every web page:

  1. Make it easy to understand (readability)
  2. Write clear and captivating headlines
  3. Have effective call to actions (CTAs)
  4. Include images and videos
  5. Make site mobile responsive
  6. Make it skimmable
  7. Benefit, Benefits, Benefits
  8. Center your site on the customer
  9. Check your readability (passive vs active)
  10. Use the right keywords

So let’s get into how to put these 10 items into action.

1. Make The Copy Easy to Understand 

There’s a reason why our mission is to bring clarity and focus to all business communications. Frequently, writers and companies alike get wrapped up in pretty language that looks and sounds good, but it isn’t always clear and to the point. The copy is full of verbose language that may paint the picture clearer, but the picture was clear without all those words. 

The goal here is to make the copy easy to understand in as few words as possible. In other words, get to the point.

Now for those that are raising their hands… What about SEO? They want you to have a certain number of words on each page. You’re exactly right. Include additional sections to the page; however, don’t just add words for the sake of adding words. Each word must have a purpose.

2. Write Clear and Captivating Headlines

In addition to making the copy easy to understand, check to make sure your headlines are both clear and captivating. Some good questions to ask yourself when assessing headlines include:

  • Can I identify the problem immediately from the headline?
  • Does it make me want to read more about that section?
  • Could to be clearer or more captivating?
  • Does the headline set expectations of what that section will include?

3. Use Effective Call to Actions

Another thing to look at is if your site has effective call to actions (CTAs). For example, you want people to inquire your services through your contact page – simple right. When your customer gets to that page, it’s a blank canvas. If they are anything like me, they probably don’t even know what to put in the message. Help them out. 

Instead of saying “Contact Us” on the button, you can spice it up by providing an action or something unique:

  • Send Us Your Availability
  • What’s your biggest question about ______?
  • Ask Your Big Question
  • We’re Waiting
  • Invest in Yourself

One of the great things about CTAs is that you can test them over and over and over again. Here a few tips if you want to take a stab at it yourself: 

  • Convey value
  • Keep it short (the description above is where the detail is)
  • Command, don’t demand
  • Urgency 
  • Specificity (they want to know exactly what’s going to happen)

Examples of Call to Actions

Here’s an example of how we used the first example on our own site. Speaking of this CTA, I want to connect with you and grab coffee if you’re in Houston or enjoy a cup of coffee virtually. Send us your availability to talk and if you’re in Houston, TX.

Ways to Improve Every Web Page

Your call to actions need to fit your voice and brand. Dare to be a little adventurous. It does not hurt to be a little different; in fact, a little attention may do you some good. Here are some of my favorite CTAs that I’ve seen recently.

Ways to Improve Every Web Page
Hannah Brencher Creative

“Pour the Coffee” – love it! It’s completely different from the usual “buy” or “get started”. It’s a command to take action, hinting at scarcity as coffee gets cold, and it’s short.

“Ask Your Question” is a great variation for “submit” or “contact”. In addition, it is paired with their FAQs. Short and to the point. Plus, there’s a promise of value because what comes after a question? An answer.

Can you say benefits? Who doesn’t want to save time and grow? A call to action is a great place to put another benefit, especially if the prior copy is feature focused.

In this call to action, DigitalMarketer gives the problem (“suck at marketing“) then provides the solution (“Become an Insider for FREE”). For someone who sucks at marketing and wants to get better, this is going to be a no-brainer to click and at least learn more.

American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) is obviously great at writing effective call to actions – they invented copywriting. Both call to actions on this one section are different and also generate a little curiosity. My eyes immediately went to the CTAs. “You’ll love this.” Well, what’s “this”? So I went back and read about how the writer’s life just got easier.

Hey! Are you in our Insider’s List? I send a weekly email with our latest blog, copywriting tips, and things happening in the digital space… And it’s completely free to join! Click here to get on the inside.

4. Add Images & Videos

Always tie in images and/or video that connect the copy to a visual aid. Although you can get away with zero images, video, or even color when you have incredible copy, most companies need the visual aids to add to the copy. It can add depth and variety to your website copy.

Don’t be afraid of color, photos of people, or even animation.

5. Mobile Responsive

If you’re reading this on your phone or tablet, then you’re part of the 45% of my traffic that uses mobile devices. Depending on your business, it may be less or more. However, if you assume that 50% of your traffic is mobile, that means your site needs to be mobile responsive. Have you ever navigated a site that wasn’t responsive? It’s a nightmare.

Take a look at the two screenshots below of how different our homepage looks on tablet and phone. While we’ve worked hard to ensure that all pages are mobile responsive, some page builders do not make it obvious or easy to manipulate. Work with your web developer to make sure it looks good on desktop, tablet, and mobile.

6. Is It Skimmable?

Time is the one valuable asset people have that they will never get back. There’s no re-earning time – unless you’re a time traveller. If so, do share! As a result, we’ve become master skimmers. 

Read through each page on your website and try to skim it. If you have issues skimming and understanding what’s going on, then it’s most likely not skimmable. Add is headlines, break up long paragraphs into smaller sections, and change up the typography (size, alignment, font, and color). A reader should should be able to get the gist by just reading the headlines.

7. Benefit, Benefits, Benefits

While people do use logic (i.e. features) to back their decision, people want to know how working with your company is going to benefit them. It’s all about benefits, benefits, benefits. Surround the features with benefits or turn them into a mixture of benefits and features.

Take a look at Apple’s learn more page for the new MacBook Pro. You see the features of the storage, core processor size, memory, sound system, etc. You also see “power through intensive workloads” and “dramatic sound and super clean recordings”. If you work in graphics, video, or audio, these are HUGE benefits. 

If you’re having problems finding the benefits, we ask the question “so what?”.

For example, take a look at the new iPhone 11 Pro with their triple camera system… So what about that camera system? They could say to a parent or grandparent that they can use the iPhone 11 Pro to capture every family moment just as you saw it and treasure those moments forever. Instant benefit that doesn’t talk about the camera system and it’s emotional.

8. Customer Centricity

Another thing to check on is if your site is customer centered. I once had a conversation with a company that wanted to redo their website to position it for investors to invest. Because their goal was focused on the investment not the customer, they lost sight of this one fact… By changing the copy to be investor centric, they risked losing all their customers. 

I might add they were an e-commerce business. Yikes. 

If your company’s website is directed to anyone other than your customer, then it’s not a working asset. No customers = no sales = no company.

9. Passivity vs Active Language

This has been a hot topic in the FocusCopy team this week especially. Why? Because people continue to write passively. Remember those boring textbooks in college? Yep. The author almost exclusively wrote in a passive voice because it’s supposed to be informational. 

I’d like to argue that anything can be both informational and active. It’s also a lot easier to read. Get me? Read this blog if you want to check more readability tests you can use to measure passive vs active language.

10. Right Keywords

Finally, you need to think about your website’s SEO. As a former SEO specialist, I totally understand the need to have long-tail keywords (i.e. best lawyer for trial in houston tx). BUT when we are talking about your main pages (home, about, services, etc.), you need to select the right keywords that do not sound so stuffy and unnatural. 

People can sniff that out so easily now. Remember… People do business with people they like, know and trust. Sound like a human while adhering to SEO guidelines.

Improve Your Website’s Copy With FocusCopy

If you need help improving your website’s copy, we are standing by to convert your prospects into your buyers and to build your company’s brand. The first step… Fill out this form and be sure to send us your availability so we can schedule a call to discuss your specific needs. 

Any other suggestions? Comment below.