So you’re looking for a way to drive up your conversion rates?
Let’s be straight up here. You can do everything right, and it still may not work.
Thankfully, that goes for a lot of things in life. We’re prepared… just in case.
Nowhere is this more true than in the notoriously fatal world of small business. To exist means to risk; to put out more than you get in, in the hope that it’s going to pay off.
The hope is that when opportunity comes along, you’ll have your ducks in a row.
In the wonderful world of search engine optimization, your challenge is your competition. With all of the information available online these days, they have everything they need to adhere to best practice.
So who rises to the top?
The truth is that bigger players tend to get bigger, by virtue of an established client base and visibility. If you’re looking for furniture, you’re going to get IKEA. Rich gets richer.
And new players? Subversion happens as a result of subversive behavior. A business innovates, brings a new sense of value or captures attention in a new way.
All of this is a caveat. You’re an SME, so you get it. In the in-between, you have to do your best, even when no one’s watching. Incrementally, the little things make a huge difference. Then one fine day, when opportunity comes knocking, it’ll pay off.
Here are some of the things you can do to angle the signposts in your direction…
How do you Google?
Let’s get into how the motherboard works.
In basic terms, the search engine crawls websites to gather information which it stores in a big index. This is what it trawls to find the most useful information for its end users.
There are some key things that influence your ranking, like making your website mobile-friendly and fast-loading. However, as we’re focussing on copy, we’ll steer clear of that for now.
Why is influencing your search engine call and response important? Because this is how we find you. This is how they find you. People in your neighbourhood who want your cupcakes, they just don’t know it yet.
Using keywords to leverage your presence is a tactic called SEO, or search engine optimization. The more your keywords match search terms, the more likely they are to be brought to the Googler.
Think about how you tend to phrase search enquiries:
Did Frodo get the ring to Mordor?
Frodo ring in Mordor?
Mordor ring destruction true or false
Look, you probably aren’t going to be writing sentences just like this on your webpage. But ‘experts’ aside, taking time to brainstorm what your prospects may be typing up can help you review your web copy and incorporate mirroring phrases. Don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time.
My best advice is to write whatever you like, take a day, then come back and review it. That way, you can find opportunities to include keywords, to up your SEO. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time to get something right.
Don’t saturate your page
Guess what? Just to throw a spanner in the works, in case you’re planning on repeating the same likely search term over and over again… Google’s hip to this. If your site is seen to play this game, not only will it not help your case, it will harm it. You’ll be driven down in ranking for results.
Think about it; if you’ve got recurring terms without substance, the bounce rate on your page will be huge. People aren’t going to stick around when all they have to consume is fluff or something irrelevant. Would you? No. Most likely, you’ll feel frustrated, then look elsewhere. Search engines like to recommend sites they know people will spend time on.
The way to make it work with you is by making sure you’re intentional with those terms. Bring those who might consume your content to useful information.
Simple is not stupid
The biggest, most annoying thing is when you have to read a website that not only uses hyperbole, useless information, messy sentences and repetition, is reading a website that has sentences that go on for way too long, are hard to decipher and therefore truly self-serving.
See what I did there?
In fact, by including this mega sentence, I may lower this blog’s ranking. Because search engines rank that sort of copy lower.
Make your titles concise and informative. Marie Kondo your navigator. Clean up your sentences so that they’re slick. Brief is better. Simple is not stupid.
Provide useful content
For an idea so evident, it’s often snubbed.
If you’re providing helpful information, fun content or fresh perspectives, audiences are more likely to stick around. Engines are more likely to rank you. Think about what you or your business bring, what you can shed light on, from your own unique experience.
And don’t pad out your content with anything less than useful.
The right kind of contact
You may have heard that shopping cart abandonment is high. Here’s the common reasoning as to why people leave*:
- Unexpected service or shipping fees
- Requiring sign up, rather than allowing guest sales
- Complicated check-out flow
What do these things have in common? They aren’t about you, as a business, providing value to your client. They’re about you asking your client to provide value to you.
That’s a turn-off.
Bringing this back to copywriting, strive to preserve flow and ease wherever possible. We’re living in an age where televisions aren’t luxury items, they’re baseline. Convenience is ranked as the most important aspect of customer experience by consumers. Fast and easy is the name of the game.
If you have a contact form, just ask for the basics. If it’s lengthy, they won’t fill it out.
Make your own contact details readily available.
And if you have a quote generator, for goodness sake don’t require them to give you their contact details in order to give them a quote.
All of these choices inform consumer behavior on your site, and therefore how you’ll up your landing page conversions.
*My own personal theory is that shopping cart abandonment is high because filling an online cart is the new form of window shopping.
Think about the value you can provide, in the simplest way possible. Be direct and clear. Don’t put the onus on your customer to do the work.
Even the ‘experts’ can’t guarantee you results. For the most part, the work they do can be done by you, with a little self-education and of course, some nifty Googling. Your small actions can lead to aggregated results, over time. Best of luck!