Did you know that copywriting is a powerful tool in conversion rate optimization?
Read our interview with Micah Lambert, an expert copywriter. We’ll be discussing the intersection between copywriting and conversion rate optimization, so we can rethink our copy to increase revenue.
What is your background and experience with copywriting? What led you to start your business?
I’ve been drawn to writing in any format since I could hold a pencil. As a homeschooled kid, I spent most of my days reading and writing because my mom wasn’t a big fan of math and science! My obsession grew, and I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in writing. Friends were constantly asking me to edit their papers, write their resumes, and spruce up their LinkedIn bios. I realized my skills met a need in the world: helping people solve actual problems through writing. After school I worked in digital marketing, social media management, and eventually landed on copywriting. Copywriting speaks to me because I believe it fills an important and often overlooked need: finding the right words to sell the product or service you deeply believe in. So many entrepreneurs and business leaders believe the cliché that if you simply follow your heart, the money will follow. But pure creativity doesn’t mean you can ignore economics or human behavior. That’s why I marry the art of writing with the science of writing. I focus a little less on fanciful prose, and a little more on defining, matching, and positioning your brand voice for success.
What are some common mistakes you see businesses make when choosing the words on their websites?
Business owners often sacrifice clarity for the sake of cleverness. They get attached to their clever phrase or title, and don’t realize that the reader has no idea what it means! For instance, I see business owners calling themselves “holistic empowerment guides” when what they really are is a health coach. Keep it simple, folks!
Another common mistake I see businesses make on their website is focusing solely on features and neglecting to explain the benefits. A feature is an aspect of a service or product, while a benefit is the value it adds to your life. Don’t stop at, “My video course for virtual assistants has 14 modules and 7 worksheets.” Dig deeper and say, “Learn the skills and tools you need to build a flexible and profitable career.”
Hear the difference? Don’t forget to add both benefits and features to your site!
What are some misconceptions that people have about copywriting?
Many people confuse copywriting with content writing. Content writing may be what typically comes to mind when you hear the word “writing.” It finds its roots in journalism and is writing intended to educate, inform, inspire, or entertain. Think books, scripts, newspaper articles, etc. Copywriting, on the other hand, finds its roots in advertising. Think ad copy, sales pages, and marketing emails.
Sometimes people even think I am a lawyer who does copyright law!
How can copywriting help teams increase their conversion rates? Where should they start?
Start by auditing your site yourself, or asking someone in your target audience to audit it and give you feedback. Is the language confusing in any way? Is there too much industry-specific jargon?
Then focus on the menu navigation. Make sure the different pages have standard page names. I usually recommend sticking to About, Services, Contact, and maybe one or two others.
Your website should be a roadmap leading to a giant PURCHASE or CONTACT button. At the end of each section of copy, tell the reader where you want them to go next with clear language and buttons. Don’t let them get to the end of the page and leave your site because they think there’s nothing more to do or see. Laying out your website as a roadmap will greatly decrease the bounce rate.
How can copywriting be used to improve A/B test hypotheses? When should you add copy vs. remove it?
Copy is so much easier to switch out than, say, design elements, so it’s an easier starting place for running A/B tests (sometimes called split tests) to see what works better for your business. Play around with the wording, and don’t get too attached to any one version. Trust the data, because numbers don’t lie!
Lastly, you should use exactly how many words you need to get your point across and then no more. Don’t be verbose just for the sake of it, or to take up space. Choose less words that pack a greater punch.
What copy on a business’s landing page should be A/B tested?
The main areas to start testing are the headline and subheadline in the hero image area, the call to action buttons, and the questions on your contact form. For instance, does a form with 3 or 6 intake questions result in more leads? If you want to apply A/B testing to marketing emails, switch out the email headlines and snippets (the preview copy you see in your inbox before opening).
Are there different approaches to copywriting for B2B or B2C?
Many of the same principles apply, but there are a few things to keep in mind when writing for B2B. First of all, people mistakenly think casual writing automatically equals unprofessional writing. But that’s not always true! In fact, it’s better to be clear and relatable than confusing and stuffy. Identify your audience (are they CEOs or factory floor workers?) and write like they speak. Try not to use too much industry-specific jargon unless it’s absolutely necessary, and appeal to the logical and emotional sides of buyers.
How important is it to write your copy with a particular audience in mind? How does the audience influence the copywriting strategy?
Knowing your audience is crucial for strong copywriting. Always follow the “rule of 1”, that is, write with 1 specific reader in mind. What are her dreams? What are her pain points? How can my product or service alleviate her frustrations or aid her in her life journey?
If you have more than one audience, consider having separate sections or pages that speak to their specific needs. Remember that you’re not for everyone and not everyone is for you– and it’s better that way!
What are a few simple things businesses can do today to improve their website copy?
Here are a few simple, tangible things you can start doing today to improve website conversion:
- On your About Page, start by addressing the reader’s pain points, assuring them they’re in the right place, and then introducing yourself as the solution about one-third to two-thirds of the way down the page.
- Ask specific questions when you ask your clients for testimonials.
- Don’t say “Updates” on your newsletter subscribe button. Focus instead on the benefits to the subscriber.
- Keep menu navigation words simple.
- Break up sections with headers, subheads, bullet points, bold, italics, and different fonts.
- Left align larger chunks of body copy. The human brain can read left aligned copy ten times easier than center aligned.
- Keep purchase page copy simple and straight-forward.
- Write a more detailed Contact form, ask specific questions that force them to think about their needs.
Thanks for joining us in this informative Q&A, Micah! These are some great tips for how to integrate copywriting into your testing program, so you can increase revenue.