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Five things you can do today to at least double your conversions


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#1 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:20

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Did I just say double your conversions? Damn straight I did, and if you can't find 30 mins to follow these simple steps, you're quite frankly a mug.

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet cos I've got to write, design and build an entire new website today, and I've done nothing towards it so far...

This article is for all you pixel pushers out there who are good with the old corel draw or whatever, less so with the part of your website that actually sells. I'm talkin bout the words, dawg.

So, with no further ado...

 

Why does a hit record's songwriter earn so much more than its singer?

or

Five things you can do today to at least double your conversions!

 

Being a web designer is a little bit like being in a band. In the beginning it's really exciting. Getting all 'creative' is a lot of fun, and putting your work out there for everyone to admire is a thrill.

 

But after a while, you realise that your band sucks, because you never learned to play. Fast forward a few years of bedroom isolation and hairdresser avoidance, and you emerge a fledgling virtuoso. If Eddie Van Halen was a web designer, he'd be shitting his pants right about now.

 

All the local bands suddenly want you to play for them. It feels amazing. But once the excitement levels off, something dawns on you. Although your playing sounds good, your songs are terrible. If you'd spent all that time learning to compose rather than just play, you could be winning over huge audiences right now. Instead of playing to an audience of 7, including your mum and dad for the 3rd time this month.

 

In case you need this lazy metaphor explained to you, the song is your copy, your sales message. The part of your website that earns its keep. And a good song needs a good arrangement, which is where this article comes in.

 

So, here are 5 things you can do right now to massively increase your readership. Depending on its current state, this will easily double (or more) your conversion rate. If your bounce rate is high, expect to see it drop right off afterwards.

 

  1. Stop using tiny text. Just because you're under 25 and can read a number plate at 3000 metres without a telescope doesn't mean the rest of us are, or can. Nothing makes folks click away like not being able to read a site. Set your body text at a minimum of 16px. As screens get smaller and resolutions bigger, you may need to increase this.

  2. Improve your contrast. Did you know that 40% more people will read the same copy set in black on white vs white on black? It doesn't have to be black and white - just a light background and dark text, with lots of contrast will be fine.

  3. Long lines are tiring. This really is one of my pet hates, especially among web designers (no offence). Y'all just love your 24" iMacs too much. A website doesn't need to fill your screen, it needs to communicate effectively. Long lines of text are just plain hard to read. Keep your line lengths to around 75 characters and you'll see a jump in readership.

  4. It's a website, not a novel. So stop using massive blocks of text when you can easily break them up into short, readable paragraphs. The same goes for sentences. If you can average at about 12 words a sentence, your readership will skyrocket.

  5. Use a call to action, dawg! If I had a pound for every website I see without a call to action, I would be in the Carribean right now, and you'd be staring at a 404 error page. Do not be shy about asking readers to take action. They want and expect to be told. And the bigger the better. Use lots of contrast, and include a verb (and ideally a benefit) to really get those clicks flowing. For example "Double your conversions in 5 easy steps today"

 

Told you it was easy.

 

All you need to make it really sing is some top-notch copy. If you need help with that, give me a shout now (or anytime) at anthony [at] vividcopy.co.uk


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

The Brand New Copy Shoppe is now open for business!

 

Bounce rate higher than a kangaroo's trampoline party? Email me at tony [at] copyshoppe.co.uk

 


#2 MikeChipshop

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:38

I can relate to the band analogy. Thing is i just can't hlp but have things come out wordy when i'm trying to keep them shorter and more focused.

 

When i try to be informative, it just all becomes to long. When i'm trying to be friendly it either looks stifled, fake or creepy.


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#3 CraigP

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:48

Great read NB
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#4 Lyndsey

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:08

Very helpful, thanks :)


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#5 Jason Dexter

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:19

ALOT of designers could learn more about CRO. I've had conversations with external designers that basically go along the lines of "It looks good, so we can't change it". I don't give a shit if it looks pretty, it needs to sell stuff. Maybe it's because designers aren't measured on these sorts of KPIs? I don't know. They launch a website, the client loves it, they get paid.

 

But anyway, great work NB! Maybe a designer could could something similar about visuals and a dev could do something about user flow


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#6 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:49

I don't give a shit if it looks pretty, it needs to sell stuff.

This basically sums up my world ;)

 

Thanks for the encouraging feedback folks :)


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

The Brand New Copy Shoppe is now open for business!

 

Bounce rate higher than a kangaroo's trampoline party? Email me at tony [at] copyshoppe.co.uk

 


#7 Paul_likes_the_ocean

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 16:05

Great post !b , especially the part about line lengths and sentences and things I think I might have got what you were saying but I'm not really sure do you think I have maybe you could sort me out what do you think?


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#8 notmrsbanksy

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 16:41

I can relate to the band analogy. Thing is i just can't hlp but have things come out wordy when i'm trying to keep them shorter and more focused.

 

When i try to be informative, it just all becomes to long. When i'm trying to be friendly it either looks stifled, fake or creepy.

Same here! Wordy as. And it's difficult to avoid the stifled, fake and creepy thing too. What ya reckon husband? How do we achieve the friendliness without the creepery? And how do we learn to be less wordy? I'm yer wife and I still don't know. As well you know ;)


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#9 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 14:29

Same here! Wordy as. And it's difficult to avoid the stifled, fake and creepy thing too. What ya reckon husband? How do we achieve the friendliness without the creepery? And how do we learn to be less wordy? I'm yer wife and I still don't know. As well you know ;)

Such modesty! :P

 

Here's a pro tip: don't quickly write a single draft and wonder why it's flabby and unfit for purpose. Planning, thinking, drafting and editing are your friends.

 

Or

 

Good writing is good thinking expressed clearly.


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

The Brand New Copy Shoppe is now open for business!

 

Bounce rate higher than a kangaroo's trampoline party? Email me at tony [at] copyshoppe.co.uk

 


#10 notmrsbanksy

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 15:51

Here's a pro tip: don't quickly write a single draft and wonder why it's flabby and unfit for purpose. Planning, thinking, drafting and editing are your friends.

 

I'm flabby and unfit for purpose :D

 

But on a serious note, what happens when you've written it s l o w l y and the same flab happens?


Edited by notmrsbanksy, 12 June 2014 - 15:53.

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#11 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:21

But on a serious note, what happens when you've written it s l o w l y and the same flab happens?

Imagine this: you need to lose 2 stone to achieve your ideal weight. You go for a run, get on the scales, and notice you've only lost 2lbs (probably due to sweating ;) ). Of course, you wouldn't do that, because everyone knows you have to run regularly to see the benefits.

 

Getting rid of flab in your writing isn't just about doing it slowly. It's about finding the flab, and systematically removing it during editing. It takes time, and can be frustrating. But the end result will be much more effective, and much more readable.


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Git up offa that thang: Copy Clinic #7: Write copy like a sex machine
 

The Brand New Copy Shoppe is now open for business!

 

Bounce rate higher than a kangaroo's trampoline party? Email me at tony [at] copyshoppe.co.uk

 


#12 Inspired

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:48

You've summed up my approach to design very effectively! Excellent post Sir.

 

Tiny text, low contrast and excessive measure are all on my shit list. Why? Because they make it harder to deliver your content to the widest possible audience.

 

I work with a lot of clients whose sites target people whose first language is not English. Using clear, simple language and delivering a message in 10 words instead of 100 is a devastatingly effective tactic in these cases.


Building multi-lingual sites quickly teaches you to keep it simple.


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#13 danners2003

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 18:55

Great article, cheers!


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#14 stenawilsom

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 11:38

I got lot of information from this topic about ,"How to double your conversions". Thanks

 


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#15 Gibson

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 16:02

Great stuff, especially the tiny text bit. A pet peeve of mine.


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#16 jannatul18

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 09:48

First time I am seeing someone is analyzing web design by comparing with a band. Interesting stuff indeed.


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#17 cwvps

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:07

I don't feel very comfortable telling people what to do, so I'm having a problem with a Call to Action. I just ignore it and I know, I know I shouldn't. Thanks for a reminder! Loved the comparison with a band.


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#18 exameste

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 21:09

I’m creating a website and I want to make sure that it is accessible and readable. This gives me some great information on what visitors to my site will respond the best to.


What fonts would you consider to be classic and readable BTW?


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#19 Oranger

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 14:52

Straightforward and true, this is must follow tip everyone! I find many websites have these problems, especially the tiny texts and contrast theme. Seriously, I got to see one with a red background and light yellow text, every time I read I have to highlight the text to make it more legible. I sent feedback to site owner but no point...Shame, I just like their articles a lot.


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#20 JamieConway88

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 09:52

Thanks for sharing!


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