from a copywriter with 25 years of experience. . .
7 things anyone can do to increase website conversions — even if you have no web or design skills
If your website is doing just the seven things in this guide, you’ll be in the top 5% of websites in your industry. That means you’ll be doing a better job than 95% of the competition.
(And by the way, that 95% figure is conservative.)
How do we know how few websites are doing these things?
Also, when we’re copywriting websites for clients, we comb their competitors’ websites looking for strengths and weaknesses.
That means we’re studying client and competitor websites all the time. And of all the websites we’ve reviewed, we’ve not seen a single one that did all seven of these things. That’s a massive opportunity for you to use these tactics to stand out and increase your conversions.
Basically, you could position yourself in the top 1% of websites in your industry for conversions by doing these things...
1. Opening with a crystal-clear positioning statement
A clear positioning statement above the fold is our #1 piece of advice because we spend so much time looking at websites and wondering, “But what do you do?”
Your website visitors have Googled; they’ve seen there are a lot of companies to choose from. You’ve got up to three seconds to look like a good answer or that visitor will charge back to Google and click on one of the other results.
So what’s the cheapest, easiest thing you can do to instantly let a prospect know that they’re in the right place?
Spell out what you do. And don’t be cute. Be obvious.
Simple? Try this on the next 10 websites you visit; it doesn’t matter what they’re for:
How many assume you know what they do but don’t bother to tell you?
“Let’s talk,” says the tagline at the top right of this website. But do you have any idea what you might be talking about from reading the vague little paragraph in the red band?
It’s great that they fearlessly make a difference for their clients, their team and even those of us who aren’t clients.
That fearlessness might be precisely the approach we’re looking for from someone who provides their service... if only we knew what that service was.
Could you even make an educated guess what they do?
What you do isn’t information your reader should have to dig for.
Certainly, if you’re Apple, you don’t need to spell out what you do on your homepage. But if you’re not Apple and you’re not positioning yourself clearly above the fold on your website, try this quick fix on your website and you’ll see an immediate difference.
Here’s an example:
Okay, we're biased, but there's no doubt the visitor directed by Google to Taleist knows immediately that they’re on a copywriter’s website. Now they can ease their finger off the back button and read on (assuming it was a copywriter they were looking for).
2. An About Us page that isn’t (really) about you
Your website’s About Us page is likely to be the second most popular page on your site. Why?
Your website visitors are looking for someone to solve their problem. That problem might be a financial plan that will set them up for life or a Bluetooth speaker at the right price. The visitor doesn’t want to waste time on your site if they don’t trust you can solve the problem.
So the job of your About Us page is to give the reader confidence that you’re the company for the job. That means the page is only about you on the surface.
This is the white lie that conversion experts and copywriters use to build trust with the reader. They call the page About Us but they make it about the potential client, more specifically the potential client’s problem.
Your 100-year history is only relevant if your client might think you’re fly- by-night. Your love of free climbing is a perfect thing to mention if you sell ropes; it’s irrelevant if you’re an accountant — unless all your clients are free climbers.
There’s more about this in our guide to writing the perfect About Us page, but here’s a simple test to apply to your About Us page:
Does everything on your About Us page show a potential client that you’re the right company to solve their problem?
Here’s a surefire copywriting secret for writing a persuasive website:
Support every claim you make with proof.
You might be the actual “leading” provider in your industry, but that’s meaningless if every competitor also claims to be the leading brand. Find a way to prove your pre-eminence and your credibility will soar. And with soaring credibility comes a soaring conversion rate.
The most common type of proof you see on websites is social proof — generally, testimonials, reviews and case studies.
Social proof is powerful, but proof comes in dozens of forms, so it’s a shame to lean on only one. We go a through a list of 40 different types of proof in our first workshop with a new client. The list includes things like:
- Test results
- Trust seals
- High-profile clients
- Media mentions
Often the client will say no, no as we work through the list then we’ll hit gold, something that will make them shine but that they’ve never thought to mention before.
"The client is seeing an insane increase in leads/performance..."
— Blake Horton, SEO/AdWords expert, QuantumLinx