How many people land on your home page and go away? The ultimate goal is to create a home page that pushes conversions, but it’s impossible to do if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t. You have to learn how to handle conversion rate optimization. The unfortunate truth is that most of us only realize what doesn’t work through trial and error — a tried and true method that although effective costs us conversion in the interim. Luckily, the people at Copyblogger decided to take some of the mystery out of what doesn’t work.
Real Life Example by Copyblogger
Copyblogger did a real-life study with Spectafy, a real-time photo-sharing app that allows the user to choose a location and request an image from that location. The content marketing strategy focused on the BENEFIT instead of the FEATURE and changed the home page line to a simple, broader sentence — and increased conversion by 184 percent.
The copywriting world has been chatting about focusing on the benefits of a product or service over the features for some time. The shift boils down to a simple fact: the customer wants to know what’s in it for them. They can read a bullet list of features any old time. Right out of the gate, as they research to choose the best product or service to meet their needs, they want to know the benefits of your product.
Copyblogger discovered that spending time trying to explain Spectafy (the features) was a huge mistake. It turned into a battle of cramming too much information into a limited word count. The audience didn’t have time (or patience) to see if the writer won. Therefore, in a shift to focus on the benefits, the headline changed to a simple, to the point statement, “See what’s happening right now.”
The simplistic change of focusing on benefits and showing those benefits increased conversion rates by 184.92 percent within 30 days. This proves a simple yet bold point: Copy doesn’t have to be longwinded and technical to drive conversion; it simply needs to show what’s important.
Six Conversion Killers
The real life example by Copyblogger also gave us a glimpse at some common conversion killers. The fact is, each of these are tactics any of us might logically think would increase our conversion, but in actuality they’re killers.
- Visuals aren’t as vital as copy. False! Copy is no doubt a powerful tool, but it needs adequate visuals to generate success. Copy and visuals go together like bread and butter. Don’t skimp on visual aids. Choose images that assist in comprehension. Couple them with strong copy, and you’re wielding a conversion-boosting combo.
- Focus on your audience. It’s true; you do need to focus on your audience. But sometimes you have to zero in on a portion of them versus the whole crowd. Focusing on a small audience gives you the opportunity to hit a big market of like-minded people who share a specific mentality within an engaged community. This is where local-targeted content comes in. Yes, your website is potentially seen by the world. It’s definitely seen on a local level because you’re a part of the local community. Focus on this niche, cater to it with relevant blogs and pointed content, and watch your conversion rate rise.
- Popular social sites guarantee increased conversion. Just because you have an account on every social media site known to man doesn’t mean you’ll generate traffic that actually converts. For example, according to Copyblogger’s study with Spectafy, StumbleUpon and Reddit didn’t produce genuine engagement and, therefore, upon evaluation, were poor traffic sources. At the end of the day, they weren’t worth the time because although people poured onto the homepage from these media channels, conversion wasn’t produced.
- Any audience will do. Focusing on your audience is good, but it’s vital to focus on theright audience — the one that converts. As you market, you need to ensure you’re identifying and focusing on engaged networks that are primed to convert. Don’t focus solely on traffic. Focus on conversions. Less traffic and strong conversions is more desirable than high traffic and minimal conversions.
- Syndication is a waste of time. It’s been said that syndication is a waste of time and a no-no in the SEO community. But Copyblogger’s study says otherwise. Syndicating quality content on Medium remains one the highest converting sources of traffic for Spectafy. The trick to success seems to revolve around ensuring the content you syndicate is high quality and highly relevant.
- Sometimes you need to be tricky. Fact: nobody likes the bait and switch. In fact, Copyblogger found out that people don’t even like it as a lighthearted joke. In an effort to be comical and drive sign-ups, they had the idea to make satirical landing pages focusing on a fad — in this case, kittens and Game of Thrones. They linked the pages and promoted them within a blog post, thinking they would bait people into a laugh and a sign up. No such luck! People saw the bait and switch as betrayal, and forgot the comedy in favor of a bounce versus a sign up. A ton of traffic ensued, but there wasn’t so much as one conversion. Don’t try to trick people into conversion. No matter how lighthearted it is, all they’ll see is betrayal.
Writing copy for better home page conversions comes down to some easy to handle common sense: give the people what they want. If you focus on benefits over features, keep your audience in crystal clear focus (right down to the sub-communities), and show versus tell, you’re setting yourself up for an overall boost in conversion. Remember, numbers are not all powerful when it comes to conversion. Just because you’ve discovered how to drive droves of people to your landing page, doesn’t mean you’ve singlehandedly skyrocketed your conversion, which is themost important number.
Julia Spence-McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers, an online copywriting agency that began in 2011 with thousands of web content pages written to date and more than 50 talented writers on the team. Her passion is copywriting and all that pertains, including the ever-changing game of Google algorithm updates.