Needless to say that words have long been proven to be the most powerful means of persuasion. Whether you’re trying to convince your partner to go watch a movie with you, or aiming at selling a product worth several grand.
Today companies invest huge money in testing, analyzing the results and getting to know their customers better. Did you know that most users only read about 20 percent of the content on a page? And these 20 % better be really worth reading, so let’s get straight down to business.
1. Do You Really Know Your Target Audience?
Probably, you have already scrutinized all the sources telling you “Always start with choosing and understanding your target audience”. However, are you still not satisfied with the results? The reason is simple: everybody tells you what to do, but few people tell you how to do it. Luckily, in this article, we will shed some light on how to really understand your audience.
First and foremost, you need to create the so-called image of an ideal user. We won’t lie to you, it can be quite a challenge. For one thing, it requires a lot of in-depth research. For another, it’s truly time-consuming. It is essential to step in your ideal user’s shoes: what drives them, what depresses them, how they think and what they’re looking for. The more detailed the image is, the higher chances are that your text will speak directly to them. Even their favourite flavour of ice-cream can make a difference.
That is why, as soon as you grasp the idea, you will be ready to write the text. Otherwise, you’ll end up crafting a piece of writing that may be awesome in terms of language, style and content, but absolutely useless for the user. As a result, you wouldn’t connect with your potential customers, and they will just leave your website.
That is why tip number one is to do extensive research to understand your ideal user and customize your text to this person.
2. It’s All About Scanning
We have already mentioned that an average user reads about 20% only of all the content on a page. However, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s not only about how much content people read, but how they do it. These days, we don’t read every single word (we get bored). We scan the text looking for the most important information. For this reason, tip number two will be about guiding the user through your content to boost their experience.
- Make sure your text is divided into short scannable blocks with subheadings. Users first scan through subheadings looking for areas of interest and then quickly scan the short blocks of information related to the subheading.
- Write short and cut it in half. The less, the better. Always try to shorten the sentence, so that only the essential information is left. For instance, instead of writing "You must log in before you can write a comment", say "Log in to comment". No sweat.
- Avoid inconsistency and ambiguity. In fact, avoid such words like "inconsistency and ambiguity". That is to say, explain your ideas in simple words that are easy to understand.
- Don’t use double negatives, as they may be misleading and difficult to process. And we don’t want our users to get tired.
- Say "no" to strange synonyms. If you want to sound smart, and you get carried away with power thesaurus, just stop it. If people don’t use this word, don’t use it either.
- Say "yes" to numerals. When a user is scanning the text, it’s much easier to spot and stop at the blocks with numerals. So change words to numerals: two - 2.
- To boost engagement begins with the objective. Let what the user is going to achieve go first, then what they should do to reach it. For example, "To like the item, tap twice on it"
3. Customize the Microcopy
There is a new type of writing called Microcopy or UX Writing. The main idea of such a copy is to craft small components of text that will guide the user through the page. The importance is huge, as the figures speak for themselves. For instance, Jeff Gothelf, the author of the ‘Secret Weapon of UX: Copywriting’, claimed that just because he changed the words on the website, he saw “an increase of paid sign-ups of nearly 30%.” Can you imagine such results?
That is why we have arrived at tip number three that is customizing the Microcopy. If you craft your website with templates, there will already be ready-made buttons and staff. However, to see the real results, you need to customize it as much as possible. Whether it’s CTA buttons, menu copy, error messages, or terms and conditions, it should be designed to address your ideal user directly. This is how you can ensure maximum engagement.
As usual, words are going to help us. Let’s compare several examples of good and bad microcopy.
- “Wrong Password” is way better than “Sign-in error”
- “Get Started” may convert better than “Buy now”
- “Post a Job. It’s free” at Upwork is clear, concise (even having 5 words) and calls to action better than “Create an account”
It’s your lucky day, as we have singled out top words to use in Microcopy, so check them out:
- Only X days left
- Limited supply
- Closing soon
- While supplies last
- Today only
- Last chance
- Offer ends on “date”
4. Is Capitalization Still Alive?
Many may argue that capital letters are long considered old-fashioned. We would argue, though. Capitalization still works if used smartly.
To begin with, there are three types of capitalization:
- all caps (all the letters are capital)
- title case (the first letter of each word is capital but for articles and prepositions up to 4 letters)
- sentence case (general grammar rules, the first letter of the first word is capital as well as proper nouns)
When using capitalization as tip number four, keep in mind the following tips and rules. Firstly, the title case works well for CTA, menu items, and page titles. Secondly, to make long copy easy-to-read use sentence case. Tooltips will also work well with sentence case. Finally, be careful with ALL-CAPS, though you can use it in the following situations: brand name, short taglines, and core navigation in website header).
Capitalization still works to improve user experience. However, remember to be consistent and stick to one style through your whole copy. Otherwise, your user can get easily distracted or even irritated.
5. Nothing Speaks Better than Testing
The last tip, as obvious as it may sound, is testing everything you do. No matter how smart we think we are, or no matter how effective copy is supposed to be, sometimes it just doesn’t work. We cannot predict everything. That is why the best decision is to use testing to see what converts better.
The text may be flawless and just a masterpiece in a Word document, but on your website it may turn out to be a disaster, thus failing to appeal to your user.
You can use simple testing, like asking your target audience users to examine your website, and then answer some of your questions like:
- Did you find the price easily?
- Can you summarize the text on a page?
- Was there any unknown and difficult vocabulary?
Another truly effective way is to use A/B testing. The name of this method speaks for itself. You have two versions of something and you examine what works better. For instance, you’ve created two CTA buttons: ‘Download Now’ vs ‘Get Your Free eBook’. By using A/B testing, you can compare the results and see which variant is better and more effective.
Wrapping it Up
To keep up with the times these days you need to plunge into new information every day. We live in a world that is changing every second. For this reason, things that work today may fail tomorrow.
Our list of five tips is truly effective now, so don’t hesitate and try them out this very moment. We hope you can create a truly convincing copy that will make the user experience on your website better. Follow our tips and don’t be scared to make mistakes (as this is the only way to see whether something is working).
Finally, we’ll be honest with you, changing your copy may turn out to be difficult and challenging. But it’s worth it. Words truly matter, so make a difference by using them smart.
About the author:
Rhonda Martinez is a content marketer, education blogger, and reviewer at LegitWritingServices.com — essay writing services review site. Rhonda is passionate about public relations, word-of-mouth marketing, and customer experience. She researched, generated, and published compelling content for over 50 brands in the education industry.
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