How to review your own website copy

Just about every website has them. No matter how well thought out a website is, there are things get missed. Overlooked. Forgotten.

Especially when it comes to copy, it’s so easy to slap some words on the page and be done. You know what you’re talking about. Seems pretty obvious to you and your team what you want people to do on your site.

Isn’t it painfully obvious to everyone else?

 

If only your website visitors were mind readers…

 

The reality is that your website visitors are more than likely:

  • Distracted by the 5 – 10 other windows open on their browser, the phone ringing, kids crying, boss asking them questions, and so on
  • Impatient to find exactly the information that they want compounded by all of the above distractions
  • Ready to move on to greener pastures at a moment’s notice if they don’t get what they need without having to work too hard

That’s why it’s so important to set aside some time to review your own website copy and make sure it’s doing what it needs to do. All you need is a pen and some paper or grab the simple spreadsheet I put together to take notes on what and where copy should be changed.

 

How to pick low hanging fruit and make no brainer copy changes

 

You can call it a review, an audit of sorts, or – if you want to be technical – a heuristic analysis, of your site. Basically, you want to look at the copy (and ideally the usability aspects too) of your site in a structured and methodical way in order to establish how easy you’re making it for your visitors to achieve their goals on your site.

Yes, your customers’ goals are what matter here. Because if they can’t get from Point A to Point B or Z with the least amount of trouble, you run the risk of them not buying your product, opting into your email list, or starting that free trial.

Believe it or not, you can make big gains simply by taking into account 4 key pieces of the conversion copy puzzle.

Let’s break it down so you have an idea of what you should be asking yourself when you look at the main pages of your website.

 

#1: Clarity

 

Being clear is important. In fact, it’s really important. Research has shown that when information is presented in ways that are conceptually, visually, and linguistically less complex, people judge it to be more true.

This means telling your visitors what they need to know in a way that is easy to understand not only improves your odds that they will feel confident that they have landed in the right spot but will believe what you’re saying as well.

Get rid of the technical jargon in your copy whenever possible. Cramming the page full of multi-syllabic words that only a handful of people know the meaning of won’t help you get your message across.

[clickandtweet handle=”jenhavice” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Making your copy simpler to understand isn’t about dumbing it down or never being clever.[/clickandtweet] Tweet this!

It’s about getting your point across and helping your visitors make decisions quickly and easily.

 

Low Hanging Fruit: Do you have a clear headline that expresses your value proposition?

 

One of the biggest culprits in the lack of clarity department is poorly executed headlines. It’s also one of the easiest things to fix that can make a big impact on conversions or simply getting people to stay on the page.

Anytime your visitors land on a page of your website, they should know where they are and what’s in it for them. Let’s take Unbounce’s home page headline as an example.

unbouncehomepage

 

When you read their headline and sub-headline, you know immediately where you’ve landed, who the site is for, and what you’re likely to find there.

Take a look at the copy on your site and ask yourself:

  • Is your value proposition clearly expressed as soon as someone lands on the page?
  • Is your copy full of industry speak or jargon?

#2: Motivations

 

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our websites should be built for our customers – not ourselves. Sure, your website needs to bring in sales and/or leads for you but if it isn’t speaking to what your customers want deep down, that’s not going to happen.

So, your copy must key into what your customers are truly looking for when they pop on your site.

Spoiler alert: If you’re merely writing things like “Saves time” or “Get more cash in your pocket,” you’re not digging deep enough.

 

Low Hanging Fruit: Do your benefits strike a chord with your customers?

 

Why are your customers coming to your site and looking to buy your product or solution? Yeah, they probably do want to save time… but so does everyone. The way I figure out how to get to the heart of what customers want is to keep asking why until there’s no more why’s left.

For instance, let’s say you’re selling a weight loss and exercise program designed specifically for young, college aged women. Why would these women be interested in your program?

They want to lose weight.

Why do they want to lose weight? Because they want to get rid of the Freshman 15 they put on.

Why do they want to get rid of those 15 pounds? Because they can’t fit into their skinny jeans anymore.

Why do they want to get back into their skinny jeans? Because they feel more attractive and look healthier when they can wear what they want to wear.

Why do they want to feel more attractive and look healthier? Because they will be more confident.

Ahh… now we’re getting somewhere. The real benefit from your program isn’t weight loss, it’s confidence boosting.

Take a look at the top of the LinkedInfluence sales page. It’s an online program to help people learn how to use LinkedIn.

 

Linkedinfluence landing page

 

These bullet points immediately tell you as the potential buyer what you’re truly getting from the course. It’s not just about learning how to navigate LinkedIn but how to use it to derive these pretty compelling benefits.

Take a look at your copy and ask yourself:

  • Am I addressing my customers’ why?
  • Does the page have bullet points or sections that highlight what my customers want to get out of my product or solution?

#3: Hesitations and Concerns

 

I’ve talked about friction and ways to reduce it several times on the blog. You can read about it here and here. One of the main ways of reducing friction so that your customers feel more comfortable engaging with your site is by addressing their major concerns.

How do you alleviate someone’s hesitations? One of the best ways is by giving them the right information at the right time during their customer journey process. Think of it this way, it’s tough to make a decision you can feel good about if you don’t have answers to your most important questions.

 

Low Hanging Fruit: Are you telling people where they’re going when you ask them to take action?

 

One of the easiest things you can do to improve conversion rates on a page is by simply letting people know what’s going to happen when they click a button.

Here’s a call to action box at the end of Copyblogger’s posts.

Copyblogger call to action

 

It tells you exactly what you will get and where you will be taken when you click on one of the course options.

Take a look at your copy and ask yourself:

  • Am I giving my customers enough information to make a decision or take action on my site?
  • Does my copy reduce their anxiety or add to it?

#4: Distractions

 

This last item touches upon more than copy. This is where I want you to think about all the things that may be distracting people from understanding what you’re telling them or being able to easily take action.

For instance, highlight the most important messaging and place it in its relative order of importance. Your value proposition generally will be incorporated into your headline and sub-headline. Tucking it into the middle of the page will make it more difficult for your customers to find it.

 

Low Hanging Fruit: Do you have elements on the page that you can’t give a good reason for them being there?

 

This is where I’m going to tell you to ditch the rotating sliders, animation, tiny fonts, and huge blocks of dense text. All of these items make it much harder for people visiting your site to focus on why they came in the first place.

[clickandtweet handle=”jenhavice” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Everything on your site should have a purpose. If it doesn’t, it’s just a distraction.[/clickandtweet]  Tweet This!

Take a look at your copy and ask yourself:

  • Are there elements on the page that are distracting my visitors from either understanding my message or taking action?
  • Does everything on the page serve a purpose?
  • Am I using a font size that you need a magnifying glass to read?

Go forth and get your analysis on

Do you have some low hanging fruit on your site that you can easily pick off? Use this blog post to get you started and this simple spreadsheet I put together for you.

You can add whatever pages from your site you want to evaluate. Take notes and let us know what you find.

 

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