Website Conversion and SEO Copywriting

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October 30, 2009

First, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Christina Keffer, and I’m the newest addition to the team at LunaMetrics. I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to write my first blog post here about a topic that is quite near and dear to my heart: Copywriting.

You have to be a really colossal word nerd to get all hot and bothered by the thought of dissecting web copy in order to find out what sells and why. Lucky for you, dear readers, I am that word nerd, and I’ve come up with a brief tutorial about writing for the web with one eye on user experience and the other on the needs of the search engines.

Most of the time, you can see straight because the user’s needs and those of the search engines are so closely related. Occasionally, however, you’ll become dizzy while trying to keep an eye on diverging necessities. Now before I trip and fall over my own metaphors, here goes nothing.

How can I Use Copy Writing to Increase Conversion?

Wouldn’t you like to know! Actually, all snottiness aside, asking a question that you KNOW your audience will want the answer to is one of the best ways to draw and keep their interest.

On one hand, it’s catchy and brings in a focused audience of webmasters who want to convert traffic to sales. On the other hand, it has the focal keyword “conversion” in it.  Do you see that word anywhere else? Cast your eyes to the page title! There it is again.

This is a primary example of how web copy writing can take the users and the search engines into consideration simultaneously.

  • By providing a catchy hook, I’ve roped you in and you’re still (hopefully) reading.
  • By using a focal keyword in the title and header, I’ve raised the relevance of the page a few notches so that when someone searches for "conversion" the search engines will have a better chance of realizing that this page would be a great addition to their top five results.
  • By including the word “conversion” in the body copy, I’m continuing to raise the relevance of the page for that search term.

Am I cheating a little by sprinkling the word conversion around more liberally than sugar in my coffee? You bet.  However, as long as my usage doesn’t compromise the user’s experience, cheating a little is OK. Just don’t go overboard with the keyword to content ratio or else you run the risk of getting the site penalized.

The golden rule for using keywords to raise the relevance of your page is including them in the following places:

  • Title Tag
  • Headers
  • Body Copy
  • URL

How do I Convert Users Once They Arrive?

Using copy intelligently to increase the relevancy (and rankings) of your site is all well and good. However, once you are ranking highly and traffic starts streaming in, how do you encourage those users to buy your product or fill out your survey or whatever whatever your particular form of conversion is? After all, you know you only have a few seconds (if that ) to catch the user’s attention and draw them in deeper.  Here are a few copy writing tricks that will help you.

  • Don’t Make Them Think! I can’t stress enough how little patience online users actually have. Keep pages short and simple with the form/ checkout button, etc. very accessible. Use language that is easy to understand and in most cases, avoid technical jargon or corporate-speak
  • Be Yourself: Except in specific cases, formal writing comes off extremely stuffy and boring online. Don’t be afraid to insert a bit of your personality into your copy. You’re trying to establish a rapport with your user, and that’s hard enough to do online without raising all manner of linguistic barriers.
  • Break Up the Text: In the event that you find yourself forced to include a huge chunk of text for any reason, try to break it up as much as possible. Adding a bullet-pointed list, or a numbered list where you would otherwise have a paragraph is an effective method. Lists draw the eye down the page. Using pictures or graphics is another way to break up text. Using Headers liberally helps as well.
  • Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to creating dynamic text that will help your users on their way to conversion. Good luck and happy writing!

Christina is a former LunaMetrician and contributor to our blog.

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