Most website owners have horrible conversion rates. I see discussions that are variations of:
"I received thousands of views on my Facebook ad, but not one sale."
"My website has 100,000 monthly readers but I have yet to make any money."
"I have an e-mail list of 5,000 people but no one has hired me yet."
All of these scenarios are a problem. A conversion problem. A copywriting problem.
There's no doubt those numbers are impressive, but you could have one billion viewers and it wouldn't matter if you can't make a dime from them. (However, those are impressive numbers to convince a company to run an ad on your website... but we'll get into that in another article.)
If your website is just a hobby, that's fantastic. However, if you actually want to start making money from it, you need to care about your copywriting.
This is not a post about SEO. I know very little about SEO/website/technical stuff. (If you need an expert, hop over to Queen City Media. Jeseph over there has personally saved my websites from hundreds of issues in minutes. No joke.)
For context, this site you're looking at right now doesn't hit anywhere near 1,000 readers daily or any other fancy statistics, but it does convert well enough to be my full-time work.
This website is proof you don't need traffic as bad as you need to convert. You can have high traffic and zero conversions. You can have low traffic and high conversion. Of course, the ideal is to have high traffic and high conversions, but making money is the first goal.
If you want to take your conversion rate seriously, these are some of my first tips that apply to at least 90% of the people I see online.
Put in the work. Reap the benefits. Make your website a converting machine.
Let's get to it.
Landing Page / Home Page
1. Get rid of the jargon and say what you actually DO and WHO you help.
If you use any meaningless buzzwords like "solutions", "ROI", "empower", "cutting edge", or any of those other completely useless words, you are telling people how average you are.
You have ideal clients, TELL them what you do for them. People should figure out in less than 10 SECONDS what you do for them. DO NOT USE AVERAGE LANGUAGE.
You know where this is really obvious? In the dating world. Dating and copywriting are ridiculously similar (article to come on this). After enough dates, you know the pattern of boring I'm talking about. Then, you go on a date that is unlike any other. The boring topics aren't discussed, you click on all kinds of levels, and you just know it's different.
That's what you need to make your customer feel when they're on your site.
2. Immediate call to action.
Don't dance around what you want them to do, just tell them, then show them what they receive in return.
You can feel the hesitation when someone is afraid to ask you for something.
When they land on your site, you should immediately say "Here's why we're a great match*, if this sounds like something you need, you should read my blog/sign up/buy."
*OR show why you're NOT a great match. Never be afraid to turn people away. It's GOOD to turn people away who would be a horrible match.
3. Quickly glance over why they should trust you.
What are your credentials? Why are you passionate about this topic?
If you want to build any kind of trust, you need to be clear on who you or your team are. Not enough websites ever show the owner or the team, and 9 out of 10 times, that's a bad thing.
Would you buy from someone in a store with a bag over their head? Probably not.
4. Speak to your target market.
You need a target market. Your target market is not everyone and just because you're in a hot niche doesn't mean you have a worldwide brand yet. Just pick a narrow group and speak ONLY to them.
5. Do not simply talk about yourself or the company.
You need to clearly show how you and your customer have a similar vision or background. You need to tell stories. You need to clearly explain why you got into the business you are in, the learning process along the way, and how you kick ass now.
Most business pages are something like, "After being founded in 1997, BoringCompany focuses on innovative website design." Did you feel your eyes roll through your head while reading that?
GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO CARE.
An "About" page is a good way to build your case for why you are the best and most passionate person in your industry. It gives you a chance to demonstrate your vision.
A boring About page means you're probably boring to work with.
6. BENEFITS > FEATURES.
There are a lot of problems with sales pages, but the worst offender is focusing on features instead of benefits.
Features talk about all the specific details of a product or service: the word count, the page count, the color, the size, the shape, how many, etc.
Benefits talk about how this product will help you become more attractive, make boatloads of money, get abs, be more productive, get the press to cover your business... Basically how this product or service will help their lives.
If you were selling an old-school muscle car, a feature is that the car is blue, a benefit is that your chances of getting laid increase by 900%*.
*Is this how cars work?
(P.S. the benefits that sell the most revolve around three things: getting in shape, making money, and getting laid. It might not be altruistic, but it is a fact.)
7. 99% of all e-mail opt-in forms have a really sad pitch
"Receive my musings on marketing."
"Sign up for FREE stuff!"
Inboxes are becoming an increasing precious place. If you don't give them a good reason to sign up, they won't.
Examples of potential e-mail opt-in pitches: e-book, discounts, insider secrets, or DIY guides.
8. Follow through on what you promised in the opt-in
Most of the e-mail newsletters I signed up for had little follow-through. The people that follow through on what they say are the most successful.
9. Provide value of some kind
If your topic is fitness, stay on fitness topics. Talk about what your customer cares about. Provide solutions to problems they currently have.
Nothing is worse than signing up for a newsletter and receiving nothing but affiliate and sales e-mails. GTFO.
10. Always be direct
The biggest takeaway is to be direct.
Don't tiptoe around what you mean or what you want.
Tell them exactly who you are and what you want them to do.
That is how you take your website from average to a converting machine.