When other business owners ask me about how to improve their business writing, I often reel off three or four ways they can make simple changes that would make a difference to their copywriting but sometimes people want a bit more, so here are my top ten simple copywriting tips for beginners that anyone can try to increase their conversion rates.
1. Use ‘You’ at least twice as much as you use ‘I/we’
Your client doesn’t really care what you’ve done or even how you did it. They care about whether you can solve their problem or help them meet their goal. By turning your copy around to talk about your client more than you talk about yourself, your client will see you as a business that cares about getting the right result for them.
2. Your home page
This is your shop front and it has to work hard and quickly to attract and retain your reader. Online attention spans are notoriously short, around 3 seconds, so you must ensure that your readers identify themselves as your potential client as fast as possible, otherwise they are likely to bounce off your page. Call out your potential client early on your home page so they know they’ve landed in the right place.
3. About page
So this is where you tell your clients about you, right?
Well, yes and no.
Your about page is your opportunity to explain why you personally are the right provider to work with the client. This is where you highlight your unique selling point and talk about your ethos and values – the HOW of what you do. When you are competing for clients in a crowded marketplace, sometimes the only differentiator is you and how you interact, so you need to be clear about the experience you can deliver.
4. Always have a call to action (CTA)
Even if you are writing content that is designed to educate or entertain, rather than sell, you need to be telling your reader what you want them to do next. If you don’t lead them to the next step in the journey with you, you are wasting an opportunity to deepen the relationship. Soft calls to action include asking people to tell you about their experiences, asking a question, and offering some additional related content such as another blog or article. As your client gets to know you better, you can begin to use more sales-based calls to action such as asking them to call for a no-obligation, free discussion which can lead to your sale.
5. Use a headline that makes people want to read on
Writing a great blog, article or webpage is wonderful but if you aren’t selling the benefits of investing time to read it, then all your writing efforts could be in vain. 80% of readers will read the headline and only 20% will read the rest of the page or article. Increase your chances of your reader clicking through to your website by creating a compelling headline. A formula that works very well is a number, an emotive word, and the benefit. I’ve used ‘10 Simple Copywriting Tips For Beginners.’ This headline tells the reader what to expect from reading on.
6. Deliver value immediately
Make sure you give value early on in your blog or article. If you don’t get to the point and give the reader a solid reason to keep reading, you will lose them. Don’t leave your best point to the end of the article; lead with it. You can always come back to it again at the end to reinforce the point.
7. Everyone loves a story
We are all engaged by stories. Understand the traditional story arc and you will be much more likely to captivate your audience. It takes practice to make your copy engaging but think of the message you want to convey as the scene in a film. How does it play out?
Make your customer the hero of your story. They are on a quest to solve their problem or fulfill their dream. But they don’t have all the tools or information to be successful on the journey, so they need help; that’s where you come in. You are the guide and your products or services are the resolutions to the problem.
8. Keep it simple, stupid
Write your copy so that the average 12-year-old can understand it. If you use overly complex sentences or technical language, unless your client is a PhD-qualified professional, there’s a high chance you will lose them. Remove unnecessary jargon, long words, and sentences. Keep your paragraphs to 3-4 sentences to remove as many barriers to clarity as possible.
9. Active voice vs. Passive voice
The active voice brings energy and enthusiasm to your writing whereas the passive voice slows things down, making the copy formal and corporate sounding. Spot the passive voice in your copy when you see the word ‘by’.
E.g. Our top-selling widget was invented by our lead product designer Karl.(passive)
Karl, our lead product designer invented our top-selling widget (active)
10. The rule of three
Our brains are pattern-seeking machines and the smallest number needed to perceive a pattern is three. Groups of three are memorable.
Location, location, location.
Hands, face, space.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Copywriting tips for beginners work for all businesses
Writing for your business can be time-consuming especially if it’s not your thing. If you like to get great blog posts, web copy or LinkedIn content, get in touch for a no-obligation chat to see if we are a good fit to work together.
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