How to write content that converts.
Good content grabs readers; great content turns them into customers. According to Smart Insights, the average conversion rate for ecommerce websites in the UK is 1.88%, leaving a lot to be desired from a business perspective. The ever-growing accessibility of the internet through mobile devices means users browse at an almost-impatient rate, spending only a few seconds on a website before deciding to stay or leave. Here, we reveal how to write engaging, purposeful content that captures users, keeps them on your page, and converts them into customers.
Injecting PACE into your content
With a consistent method, you can ensure your content is working as hard as it can wherever it’s used in your business. Follow the simple acronym – PACE – to steer your content exactly where you want it to go.
Purpose: what do you want your piece of content to achieve?
Different types of content serve different purposes for your business. For example, a monthly newsletter could aim to increase click-through rates, promote a new offering or reinforce your brand, while a luxurious product description may seek to sell the high-end nature of a product and drive sales.
Having a clear purpose when writing content is the first step of making it a success. Writing a thorough brief for writers, or yourself, allows you to plainly list out the purpose, reason and focus of the piece, keeping everyone on the same page and informing the necessary style of writing.
Audience: who do you want to read this content?
Assuming you’ve identified your target audience, you’ll want to ask the question of whether or not your content is relatable. Use keyword research to discover what your audience is searching for, tailoring topics and copy accordingly and attracting the right users. For example, if you were focusing on parents of young children, affable language combined with a positive, development-focused topic could make you stand out over matter-of-fact technical information. Getting into the minds of your customers and discovering how they view your business can be an invaluable exercise for creating high-performing, engaging content.
In the 2018 book, How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market, Harvard-professor Gerald Zaltman uncovered that 95% of purchasing decisions are sub-conscious. This is supported by several psychological studies, in which emotions were found to trump logic in decision making, and calls much of what we know about content into question. It is not enough to describe a product or service clearly and concisely; a greater focus must be placed on the real-life benefits to the customer and their desires. If you can make the reader imagine themselves using and benefiting from your product, they are more likely to make a purchase.
Once you’ve considered the above, it’s finally time to write the content. You should always use a skilled writer familiar with your tone of voice – an internal team member or well-trusted freelancer. Remember, it’s important that the content’s purpose and audience is clearly communicated through a brief, ensuring that the creator knows what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who it’s for. From there, they can put their talents to work in the right direction. If you choose to create the content yourself, there are a few tips that could help you along the way.
Try to use as few words as possible to communicate your message. Bulky blocks of texts can quickly deter a visitor and leave your hard work unread. If you’re not the most confident writer, software like Grammarly and the Hemmingway App can help sharpen your content, highlighting mistakes, jargon and unnecessary language. Bear in mind, these programs may suggest removing language that’s integral to your brand. For example, a jewellery retailer might benefit from adorning its product descriptions with inspirational adjectives. While this is not generally considered top-quality writing, it serves a purpose by speaking to the target audience and selling the dream.
Evaluation: is your content as good as it could be?
Having created the content, the process of editing and evaluating can begin. Ask several people within your organisation to read and proof the writing, eliminating any glitching errors or off-brand phrases, before thinking back to the intended purpose and audience. Each line should serve a role in delivering the message in the best way possible. For example, subject lines and calls-to-action should be sweated over as they are proven to increase email engagement and conversions. Read over your calls-to-action and make them as succinct and well-written as possible, using inspirational, informative and incentivising language. Ultimately, this is what customers will click to convert so be sure to spend time asking yourself; would I click on this?
Want to learn more about content writing? Read our guide on creating engaging social media content for your business.