When was the last time you read a web page word for word? Can’t remember? Neither can I. Most of the time I scan a web page to see if there’s anything worth reading about and I normally won’t get much farther than halfway down the page if there’s nothing grabbing my attention. Whether people are arriving at your site looking to buy a product or learn about your industry, they want to know from the minute they land on your page that you have the information they’re seeking.
This is why the writing style on your website is so important. The correct writing style can lead to higher conversion rates and happier customers. To increase the odds that your visitors will convert, consider improving these areas of your writing.
- Use the “inverted pyramid” style. This structure lists the most important information first and can be used in paragraph or bulleted list formats. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things you can do for your readers. Let them know immediately what your page is about and you have a better chance of hooking them from the start.
- Clear and prominent page titles. Easily understood page titles explain to a reader why the page is important for them to read. In addition, since not everyone will arrive at your page from the same source, clear titles remind visitors why they wanted to get to this page.
- Each paragraph should have one main idea. Too many ideas in each paragraph can create a situation in which your message is lost.
- Keep pages short. Shorter pages help visitors retain information. If you have supplemental information, create support pages and link to those for visitors who want to dive in deeper.
- Write in short sentences. People like “scannable text,” and shorter sentences enable readers to scan your page with ease.
- Highlight important words. Stick to highlighting two or three word phrases; not whole sentences.
- Use ordinary language and avoid industry jargon if possible.
- Use active voice.
- Use bullet lists instead of paragraphs where applicable.
- Write descriptive anchor text.
- Avoid marketing hype. Most people can spot marketing speak immediately and are turned off by it. Keep adjectives to a minimum, provide only objective information and focus on the needs of your audience to avoid marketing hype.
- Be factual, task-oriented and concise.
These are just a few tips for improving the content on your website, but there are many more ways you can increase conversion rates on your site. Learn other content optimization tricks to improve conversion rates.
Image provided by Baddog on Flickr