Knowing what to say and how to say it is fundamental in the science of persuasion.
You’ve probably heard the Jordan Belfort (Wolf of Wall Street protagonist turned sales training guru) story where he puts a pen down in front of a nervous salesperson and asks them to sell it.
In this scenario, most people start talking about the pen and its features but in Belfort’s view this is the wrong approach. He explains that, unless you know something about your prospect, you can’t sell them the pen.
The same is true of writing copy for a website. Without a deep understanding of users through extensive user research, it’s impossible to know what to prioritise when writing copy for your website.
In the same way that people who can drive well can’t jump in a grand prix car and win a race, most people who can write well, still cannot create compelling, persuasive copy without first going through the user research process.
Copywriting for conversion optimisation
In order to create copy which will help move users through their buying journey, we start by examining the findings from our user research. We want to know:
- Who our users are
- How they think
- How they behave when they are considering our product or service
- How they behave on the current website
- What they think is important to them when buying your product or service (of course, we’ll find out what’s really important to them by A/B testing our copy).
We then start by addressing copy issues related to clarity and unanswered questions, since these things are easy to remedy and will often prevent someone who is ready to buy from progressing.
Next we look at the core value proposition and the copy users are exposed to throughout the website journey. We consider its relevance and uniqueness, how it compares to the competition, how well it’s aligned to customer drivers and thought processes, if it helps move people through the buying journey, and if it encourages decision-making.
It should be noted, we rarely consider copy improvements in isolation. Even on a PPC landing page, we tend to look at all the elements of the page and the conversion journey and make changes designed to improve:
- Trust and credibility
- Distraction and relevance
- Urgency and decision-making