Your ads, landing pages and website are tools that enable you to sell online. But what really entices your target audience to engage with your platform is your content and choice of words. Copywriting drives profitable results by communicating your value proposition using words that incite action.
Content marketing is focused on creating high-quality content that attracts leads organically and adds value to your site and to the reader. You supercharge your content strategy with search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that propel your content to the top of search results and drive traffic to your site.
This blog is the second of a two-part series. In part one, we tackled how to write content to generate leads from an SEO perspective. We offered specific tips on writing content that ranks high on search results and attracting leads through high-quality content.
Here, we discuss how your target audience goes from passively browsing your content to converting or taking the next step that benefits your business. How does your website traffic turn into new leads and customers for your business?
One way is through conversion copywriting — a proactive approach to writing copy that motivates your target audience to engage with you. The main ingredient in writing content that converts is a loud and clear call-to-action (CTA) on ads, landing pages and web pages.
Copywriters also write for traditional marketing formats such as print ads and product labels, but you cannot quantify the results of these offline strategies. The data analytics and conversion tracking capabilities of today’s digital landscape are unparalleled.
In this blog, we give you everything you need to know about conversions and writing data-driven content that bolsters your sales. We discuss:
• SEO content writing vs. copywriting
• What is conversion copywriting?
• Why is conversion tracking important?
• What is a good conversion rate?
• How to write content that converts
• Crafting a sales-focused marketing strategy
SEO Content Writing vs. Copywriting
SEO content writing is focused on getting your website to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving traffic to your site. SEO content types are mostly educational and suited to what your audience naturally searches for (organic traffic): blogs, articles, eBooks and whitepapers.
The main goal of SEO content writing is to produce value-adding web content that ranks by:
✓ Using keywords or your target audience’s search terms in your blogs
✓ Mastering Google’s guidelines on writing high-quality content
✓ Structuring your blog optimally to be indexed or added to the collection of pages online
Copywriting is using words and phrases to drive the desired action (conversion) that you want your audience to take. Copywriting is what convinces your audience to engage with you by using proven techniques that get more interactions and conversions.
The main goal of copywriting is to write the headlines and body copy for sales-focused strategies, commonly:
✓ Products and services pages
✓ Ad headlines and descriptions
✓ Landing page content
In a nutshell, SEO content draws in your target audience to your website, while web copy is crafted to sell to your online audience. SEO content writing involves written forms of web content such as blogs, while copywriters write web copy such as ad headlines.
Now, you might have encountered the term “SEO copywriting” and wondered how it’s different from SEO content writing. The answer is that there isn’t a clear comparison because “SEO copywriting” is ambiguous.
Experts have said that the term is a product of people confusing “content writing” and “copywriting.” It is also being used online (even by SEO professionals) because it’s a high-traffic keyword and a widely-used search query.
We want to be clear — content writing and copywriting are not the same, so SEO content writing and SEO copywriting are not interchangeable.
While it’s not ideal to use the two terms interchangeably, it’s not to say the idea behind “SEO copywriting” doesn’t exist — you can write sales-focused copy and still optimize it to rank high on SERPs.
For example, website copy is the text you find on your homepage, “About Us” page and products and services pages. You do need to optimize these pages for search, but your primary goal with these pages is to sell your brand. That’s what makes it website copywriting.
You hire an SEO content writer to improve your page rankings and you hire a copywriter to drive more sales — but we can say these are two sides of the same coin, and it boils down to the main goal of what you’re writing. What’s common between the two is they both aim to drive profitable results.
What Is Conversion Copywriting?
To learn how to write content that converts, you need to understand conversions fully.
A conversion is when you successfully incite your desired action from your target audience. Conversions happen when your target audience completes a step that achieves or brings you closer to your ultimate goal — a sale for a retail brand, or a new lead for a business-to-business (B2B) company.
Some of the most common conversion goals include:
✓ Completing an online purchase
✓ Submitting a contact form
✓ Scheduling a consultation
Here are five examples of digital copywriting projects that elicit a direct response from your target audience:
1. Social media and pay-per-click (PPC) ads
2. Landing pages (your most conversion-driven pages)
3. Website copywriting (products and services pages)
4. Titles and descriptions for eCommerce product listings
5. Email campaigns and newsletters
If copywriting is about persuasive copy, conversion copywriting is about taking an intentional and data-driven method to improve your copy to drive more conversions. This means that you wouldn’t stop at writing compelling copy for your landing pages — you would continuously find ways to generate the most profitable results.
Your basis on how to improve your results is data and insights. Here’s the most important thing you need to know about conversion copywriting: There are advanced conversion tracking tools unique to the digital realm that collect data and help you identify points for improvement in your content.
Let’s dig deeper into what conversion tracking is and why it’s vital to improve your copy.
Why is Conversion Tracking Important?
We know that conversion tracking tools gather data — and this is precisely the power conversion tracking holds. You use data to understand your audience behavior online and modify your copy according to what suits them best.
When you create a Facebook ad, communicating your value is highly limited because ads are often concise. To give your potential customers a complete picture of what you offer, you would include a CTA button with your desired action (for example, “book an appointment”) and that button should lead to a landing page with the complete information they need.
Through conversion tracking tools, you gather insights or analytics on every step of your target audience’s journey, from finding your Facebook ad to eventually converting on your landing page.
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code or tracking tool embedded in your digital channels that gathers user behavior data. The Facebook pixel enables you to access insights on which ad brought your target audience to your landing page, how long they spent on the landing page and if they converted, among others.
The best way to know how to improve conversions is by analyzing what works best according to accurate and real-time audience data — made possible by conversion tracking. There is a specific metric used to measure your success, called the conversion rate.
What Is a Good Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of users who take your desired action after having interacted with your content — how many people went on to book an appointment out of everyone who saw your ad.
You want the highest possible conversion rate, but the next logical question is, “what is a good conversion rate?” A Google search will return results saying above 10 percent is good, based on an average conversion rate of 2 to 5 percent.
With every business facing different realities, it’s impossible to give a definitive answer to what a good conversion rate is, but industry averages can help benchmark a good conversion rate.
Here are the average eCommerce conversion rates, according to Invesp:
• 2.58 percent globally
• 2.57 percent in the U.S.
• 3.81 percent in the U.K.
Remember that what’s most important is that you measure your own performance to determine what is a good conversion rate for your unique position. Then, outperform yourself and continuously improve your results through conversion rate optimization.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is systematically increasing your conversion rate by auditing and improving your website copywriting and every corner of your content marketing lead generation strategy.
Conversion rate optimization methods include split testing your website copy, finding and removing friction points in your funnel and placing strategic CTA buttons on your site.
5 Tips for Writing Content That Converts
Covering the basics of conversion copywriting helps your business get ahead of the competition. Writing content that converts is a continuous game of persuasion — your approach would vary for different audiences, goals and copywriting formats. But there is a set of go-to techniques that get you on track.
Here are 5 expert tips on writing web copy that turns your passive audience into paying customers:
1. Write Compelling Headlines
Eight out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only two out of 10 will go on to read your content or what more you have to say. With a weak headline, you lose your potential customer even before your content can work its magic.
Emphasizing a clear benefit is one of the best ways to capture your audience’s attention. The best headlines encapsulate the essence of your content, are an average of seven words (or less) and are straight to the point.
2. Have a Crystal Clear Call-to-Action
In writing content that converts, your goal is to generate as many conversions as possible. If you are not explicit about your desired action, you leave your audience wondering what they’re on that page for.
Your CTA should be visible and unmistakable at every touchpoint in your digital marketing strategy — as text and buttons in and around your website copy, ads and landing pages. A good CTA is action-oriented, like “Sign Up For a Free Trial” or “Request a Demo.”
3. Harness the Power of Landing Pages
Because it’s challenging to encapsulate your entire message in an ad, landing pages serve as an extension of your promotional material. Landing pages provide the reader with more context for the ad they clicked on, and give you complete control over what you want your target audience to see and know.
Some best practices in landing page conversion are keeping the important part above the fold (the top part of your content visible before being cut off by the browser window), including a countdown timer to emphasize a limited or exclusive promotion and using no-brainer offers like a free trial.
4. Include Reasons to Believe (RTBs)
Leverage all trust factors in building your brand credibility. Include RTBs such as testimonials from happy customers, key metrics from your past customers and recognitions received in your content to position yourself as an industry leader.
Specific ways to include RTBs in your copy are highlighting quotes or data from expert sources, displaying your positive customer reviews and adding badges to showcase certifications, partnerships and awards your company has received.
5. Conduct A/B Tests on Your Web Copy
A/B testing is the most straightforward method of maximizing your data to predict which version of your copy and content will perform better. The key to running a successful A/B test is to make both versions as similar as possible — except for the element you are testing for.
For example, to do an A/B test for an ad, you would test two different headlines for the same ad to see which resonates better with your potential customers (based on a test segment) and find a “winner.” A smart approach is to create more of your best-performing ads and A/B test your landing page elements continuously for a robust pay-per-click marketing strategy.
Here is an overarching tip for the best way to improve conversions: Utilize tried-and-tested CRO techniques in every corner of your digital strategy. Evaluate your campaign performance and find every possible way to boost your conversion rate through A/B tests on all your marketing campaigns.
Some CRO techniques include checking that your site speed is respectable (slow load times easily turn away customers), your contact forms don’t have unnecessary fields and running a content audit and CRO audit centered on removing all friction in all your customer touchpoints.
Don’t forget — much of the success of your content and conversion copywriting efforts is founded on your perfect understanding of your target audience. With the help of web copy experts and professional website copywriting services, you benefit from years of experience in audience analysis and conversion copywriting expertise.
Crafting a Sales-Focused Marketing Strategy
A sales-focused marketing strategy is audience-centric and data-driven. To drive meaningful results, your approach should be tailored to every stage in your sales funnel. Beyond using convincing words, check that you are effectively communicating your value proposition on all fronts.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is a results-driven company offering a full range of digital marketing services alongside our expert content writing and website copywriting services. We have grown businesses of all sizes since 2005 through our holistic and data-driven approach to increasing conversions.
Schedule a consultation with us to learn how we enable your online presence to become the high-performing sales asset it should be through professional website copywriting services and conversion copywriting expertise.