23 May

10 Copywriting Tips to Tune-up Sales Copy

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Copywriting Tips, Copywriter, Sales Copy, Sales Leads

Photo credit: Gerry Balding / Foter.com / CC

If you’re thinking of making some improvements to your website’s sales copy, here’s a set of 10 do-it-yourself copywriting tips that may help. Thing is, when doing business online, writing your sales pitch can become a daunting task.

It may initially seem easy to write product descriptions or explain your services, but if your conversions are low, you’re probably wondering how effective what you wrote really is. Here’s some rewrite “tinkering” you can try…

Copywriting Tips: Do the Diagnostics

Fact is, a low conversion rate may be a hint that it’s time to consult a professional writing service. If you’re not ready to take that step, don’t be afraid to get “under the hood” of your sales copy.

By implementing a few of the following copywriting tips, you can give your own Web pages a “tuneup.” If you make some of these tweaks to your sales copy, be sure to compare-test the before & after results…

#1: Trim the Home Page

For certain Web pages, having too much text doesn’t go over well. Use your top-level Home page and Category pages wisely. High-level pages should merely interest visitors in your service or product. Consider them teaser pages. Trim them down to hard-hitting blurb copy only. Let visitors click through to the long version of your sales pitch. A side benefit of this: Linking from one page on your site to another page strengthens the  search engine optimization (SEO) of pages you send link juice to.

#2: Check Your Writing Tone

When it comes to copywriting tips, this one seems a no-brainer. Yet, some of us still think it’s powerful to “talk down” to readers. But don’t risk insulting readers with sentences like, “If you don’t know about X, you must be living under a rock.” Don’t make assumptions about what others should already know. Strive for sales copy that strikes a respectful and helpful chord. If you’re unsure if your tone works, ask a copywriter for a free sales copy review.

#3: Keyword Stuffing

The search engines seek out and tally your keywords — so repeat them and place them strategically so they’ll know what your page is about. However, there’s a balance in keyword repetition that must be struck for humans. Re-read your sales copy… Does it flow logically, the way you’d say it in person? If you’ve forced an awkward keyword use, rewrite the sentence. Use a similar term or delete that one altogether. Make sure your copy “sounds” smooth to human “ears.”

#4: Cut the Fluff

This may be the most effective of copywriting tips I can offer: If a sentence(s) doesn’t advance readers toward the sell, zap it. You may feel a certain section of your sales copy is the cleverest. Unfortunately, your readers may not agree. Be concise and get to the point. Don’t go off on tangents. If serving as your own copywriter, remove any paragraphs, sentences or words that don’t strengthen your point. 

#5: Copy Edit for a Split Test

Sometimes your current first paragraph isn’t the best to start the conversation. It often happens that your strongest opening might be your third or very last paragraph. So, scan your sales copy and do a “what if” exercise, rearranging what you have. This may change the rhythm of your pitch, but follow the new direction. If using a Web analytics program, do an A/B split copy test. Compare the metrics of the two sales copy versions. Do people stay longer on the new, test page? Are more people contacting you now?

#6: Say It More Plainly

If your online sales seem . . . mummified, be sure it’s not because your sales copy reads like hieroglyphics. Too much industry jargon and lots of acronyms is tough on readers. Keep your language simple. Does this mean “dumb it down?” Yes it does! If you’re unsure whether you’re writing too high-brow, have a professional copywriter take a look any low-converting Web pages.

#7: Conversational Writing

Here’s one of the best copywriting tips: Write in a lively voice. It differentiates your sales copy. In fact, a conversational style works well on the Web. That means write the way you’d talk to a real person, in a breezy style. Use strong verbs and crisp nouns. Write some short sentences – for emphasis. Avoid writing multiple long sentences. (More than 22 words in a sentence is too long.) And please, use contractions. They warm-up your writing, making it sound less stiff.

#8: Tone Down Superlatives

Do you describe your products or services as the most incredible thing since sliced bread? If so, most Internet users aren’t buying it. Quiet down any over-zealous claims you’re making. Instead, use more testimonials and client reviews. It’s often better to let a third-party say how awesome you are. BTW: Use exclamation points sparingly – that’s if you use them at all.

#9: Subheadings and Bullets

This one’s an essential among all copywriting tips: Rid your sales copy of big chunks of type. Large blocks of text are difficult to read. They’re intimidating  and appear time-consuming. Break up paragraphs that have more than 4 sentences in them. Use sub-headings and bullet-point lists. Also use images such as photos, charts, videos, and/or interactive graphics. Even a different font color or block quote can help. All of this makes your sales copy easier to keep reading.

#10: Call-to-Action Writing

We tend to think we’ve covered every conceivable question in our FAQs or sales copy. But that’s not always the case. There are people who’ll have additional questions. So give them multiple way to contact you. Scatter in various places your “Contact Us” or “Download Now” buttons, phone number, etc. That includes embedding “Contact Us” links in more than one place within your copy.

What Are Your Best Copywriting Tips?

Have you ever tweaked your sales copy and realized a better result, more interest? If you haven’t gone for an improvement before, hopefully these copywriting tips will help.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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