Last month Davide & I went to Conversion Hotel. That’s a seminar in The Netherlands where CRO specialists from all over the world came to talk about the newest insights on conversion rate optimisation.
One of the speakers was Amy Harrison, copywriting specialist and almost a standup comedian. In a funny way she explained us how to avoid, what she calls, ‘umbrella terms’ in the texts of your website.
In this blogpost you’ll discover how she impressed us with tasks you can turn into action right away. Enjoy!
Why the copy on your website doesn’t convert visitors into leads or clients in the first place
A lot of websites, and maybe yours as well, suffer from a disease. It’s called copywriting, with the emphasis on ‘copy’. You can recognize it by looking at one website while comparing it to similar ones in the sector. If you notice on those websites that multiple terms and expressions keep coming back again and again, you know you’ve spotted it. The copy says everything, but at the same time they also don’t. What’s even worse is that they don’t get your visitors interest.
You found the disease on your own website? Congratulations for that, now let’s look at the cure Amy Harrison introduced to us during Conversion Hotel 2016. It consist of three steps:
- Write your own content
- Get rid of copied terms
- Align your copy with your visitors thoughts
1. Write your own copy
Surprising eh? Not. Don’t worry, the next two tips will be more interesting, but this is where it all starts. Let us therefore agree that you won’t copy text from other websites again. Yes, it saves you time, I realise that.
Even more, and this a more implicit message the readers get, it shows that you don’t understand their needs. A pity, cause they came to your website to fulfill those needs. Missed opportunity.
2. Get rid of copied terms
Our next step is to get rid of the copied terms we were talking about. Start with making a list of the terms you recognise directly. We’ll add even more terms to this list later on.
The copied terms you’ll be putting on your list are mostly vague and can therefore be used for any other company website. You took them from one as well and they fitted too. Always keep that in mind (think of terms like ‘the best solution’, ‘practical’, ‘the best service’, ‘innovative’ etc.).
For now, start looking at what could be terms belonging to the copied ones. Look for words that explain what is it that you do or sell. Make the explenation as to the point is it could get. Ask yourself why the term u used before suited. Explain that and you’ll be getting close. It might sound simplistic, but try simply to write down what it is that you do. Avoid that you hide that explenation behind vague words. If a word needs extra information, just give that information than.
Here’s an extra example of how you can get started.
On a website of a workshop I subscribed for, the courses were described as ‘practical’. That could mean a lot so it wasn’t clear to me what to expect from it. In the image below, you see what It meant to me after the courses. The organisers could have attracted more people to the lessons if they gave that information before.
3. Align your copy with your users thoughts
Is anyone visiting your site able to understand what you are selling or offering? Be aware of the fact that people don’t have the same knowledge as you do. What’s common knowledge for you, isn’t always the case for your reader. Additionally try to explain what your product does and put it on a real life situation. That makes it more recognisable.
Here is how Amy Harrison explains it herself in one of her Amy TV shows on YouTube. Hilarious but really interesting at the same time. Take a look 😉
Ready with our tips and willing to get to an even more experienced level of writing copy for your website? Read our blogpost about ‘tone of voices’. You’ll learn how to write copy that will make people recognise it directly as copy from your company. You’ll get an introduction into writing styles and how to add recognisable elements to them.
Still questions about copywriting? Or do you have an interesting opinion about our tips? Feel free to mail, tweet or maybe call us. We’d love to hear from you.