Once your site is live and your first stream of traffic trickles in (whether it’s from paid ads or organic traffic), several factors start running in the background to determine how successful your site will be.
These factors are on your site but work hand-in-hand with the mind of your web visitor to elicit some response. They decide your bounce rate, number of sign-ups, social shares, purchases, etc.
Some people make the grave mistake of seeing them as secondary elements that drive sales and conversions. Is a 24/7 salesperson on your website a secondary element in your sales effort?
Your web copy is a 24/7 salesperson on your website
Each year, US companies spend over $70 billion training their sales staff. Even though most of them forget about 80% of what they’re taught in three months, this level of importance is placed on salespeople. How about the one on your website?
Your website’s copy or content, when done properly, is always on duty to attract organic traffic to your site, answer a visitor’s questions, and guide them towards taking one action or the other.
Equipping this particular salesperson to be the best at their job translates to a lot of tangible business benefits.
The big issue is that most web copy is not usually enabled to perform and drive high conversion rates. One of the major causes of this is that people visit websites and bounce when 1 or more of the 5 questions we’ll discuss in this article are left unanswered.
Attraction 101 for websites: Tell them what they want to hear
Once you go through each of these questions, it’ll seem like a no-brainer. But many sites ignore these questions or answer them poorly. Also, how these answers are presented is absolutely important.
1. What is the purpose of your site?
To be fair, people attempt to answer this question. The issue is how quickly you answer this question and how easy it is for your web visitor to access this answer and understand it.
A rule of thumb – the easier and faster your visitor understands the purpose of your website, the better.
Donald Miller coined the term “the grunt test” to clarify this idea. Here’s what it means – if a caveman visits your site, will he be able to know what your site offers and how it benefits him within 5 seconds?
Let’s say you’re a hairdresser who makes custom wigs. Will a caveman visit your site and within 5 seconds grunt “Ah, you make wig for my head. I look good in wig. Me call for my own wig.”
The clarity of the message shouldn’t be sacrificed for fancy text. If you can balance a fancy way of saying something with clarity like Squatty Potty does, fine. But always make clarity your top priority.
You can use different content formats to attain clarity without overwhelming your ideal customer. You could use pictures to illustrate or videos.
“The number 1 way to number 2” by SquattyPotty
2. Who is the ideal website visitor?
Without a customer-centric approach to copywriting, you might as well be writing a high school essay. Even a high school essay tries to appeal to the teacher. Call it a teacher-centric approach.
The idea is that what you’re writing is meant for someone, a specific person. This is why the best performing web copy starts with research. You should research your ideal customer. Build a buyer persona from this research.
Your buyer persona should answer important questions about your customer, including the problem that leads them to you and the unique solution they’re looking for. Your web copy should be able to answer, “Who is this site meant for?”
For example, Wix appeals to those looking for freedom, while Squarespace appeals to those looking for ease.
Wix for Freedom
Squarespace for Ease
3. What does this ideal website visitor want more than anything?
A well-built buyer persona serves a purpose here, too. When you spend your time researching who you intend to sell to, it’ll reflect in your web copy. And you’ll make your visitors feel at home. Thoughts like these will go through their mind: “This site really gets me”, “This is exactly what I’m looking for”, “Finally!”
It’s a short leap from there to saying “Yes” to your requests.
Figure out what your ideal website visitor wants and answer that question right on the homepage. You should show that your site is positioned to meet their wants or needs as soon as possible, in a way that’s easy to grasp.
Just the way WPEngine does
4. How can your site help them achieve this?
Your site visitors care more about themselves than they do about you or your business. People exit your site in a heartbeat if they can’t see how your site fits into their personal story.
If you understand your ideal customer’s personal story, do your best to fit your solution into that story. If you don’t understand it, build a research-driven buyer persona first.
Your website cannot afford to skip over this question. Right on the homepage, answer this question. Do they want cheap airline tickets for the Christmas holidays, show them how to get it. Do your visitors want smooth skin with organic health products? Lead them to it.
Don’t beat around the bush here. It gets people pressing the back button way too quickly for you to get a second chance. Patience levels are low globally.
Wordstream gets straight to the point right at the top
5. What is one thing you want this ideal visitor to do?
What’s the next step? What’s the way forward? People need answers to these questions. It might seem like this is not as important as the first four questions, but don’t skip this. This is an opportunity to build an email list, get leads, direct traffic to related content or a landing page, etc.
A site with a plan and structure is much like a well-executed chess move; purposeful and heading for a win.
Work on a great call-to-action (CTA) and people will click on your link. A great way to write your CTA is to put your number one benefit right in the CTA. For example, instead of “Subscribe”, go with “Get access to free weekly tips”.
Neil Patel seems to say “here is where you should go, follow me”
How these all tie together to boost your site’s conversion rate
Believe it or not, your website copy is like a movie. And the protagonist is your ideal visitor.
It starts with the conflict and runs through the journey to the solution. Your protagonist hits the climax of the plot when they reach the solution you provide them. You have an opportunity to lead towards a sequel with the right value proposition.
This is an opportunity to build relationships and grow your business. And it all starts with answering these 5 vital questions in the right manner.