3 Things You Need to Know to Create Content that Converts
Whether it’s for your landing page, blog post, or sales page, you need content that inspires your audience to take action. You need to create content that drives conversions.
But, as you know, this is much more challenging than it sounds. In this post, you’ll discover what you can do to overcome those challenges and come up with high-converting content.
#1: Optimize Your Headlines
The headline of your content is one of the first things people will notice. If it’s persuasive enough, it could attract your audience and compel them to read the rest of your content. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 visitors will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will continue reading the rest of the content. This applies to both web content and how you frame that content on social.
This means that you want to make sure your headline immediately catches the attention of your visitors and intrigues them to continue reading. This applies to your landing pages, blog posts, sales copy, and social posts. OkDork conducted a study on almost a million headlines. Based on their analysis, let’s find out what the most engaging headlines are all about:
- Numbers – List posts were the most popular among highly-shared headlines. Try using numbers in your headlines if it’s applicable.
- You/Your – Your headline should focus on the reader. Using “you” and “your” in your headlines could better engage the readers.
- Free/Giveaway – The third most popular words/phrases in the most highly-shared headlines were words like “free” and “giveaway.” These are promising words that could perform well to convert your audience.
Other popular words/phrases in the study were “How to,” “DIY,” “Easy,” “Why,” “Ways,” etc. Ideally, your headline should focus on value for the reader. For example, in “3 Easy Ways to Make More Sales” or “How to Promote Your Business for Free,” the headline focuses on the audience and promises benefits.
To further enhance your effectiveness, write several headline drafts and then analyze them using the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer or the Headline Analyzer Tool from Advanced Marketing Institute. The CoSchedule will analyze your headline, identify the positive and negative elements, and then give you suggestions for improving the headline. The AMI tool will evaluate the overall emotional marketing value of your headline to see how effectively it would impact your readers.
If you’re still unsure how headlines can impact your conversion rate, you can find proof in the Cybergenica case study of eMove. The self storage and moving marketplace changed their ad headline from “Looking for Reliable Movers?” to “Compare 3 FREE Mover Quotes!” This change resulted in a 67.8% increase in conversion rate.
#2: Focus on the Reader, Not the Product
Your content is created to sell your products or service. But that doesn’t mean your content should only be about the product or service you’re selling. If you content focuses entirely on the product or service, you’ll end up sounding too pitchy and over-concerned with sales. People won’t respond to being “sold on” something like a used car salesman would.
Instead, you need to make sure your content helps people realize how the product can be of value to them. For example, your landing page shouldn’t just list all the features of your service; it should talk about how each of those features can help your audience.
Let’s say one of the features of your product helps users monitor competitor performance. Instead of simply writing “competitor monitoring,” you could write something like, “Keep an eye on your competitors” or “Understand what the competition is up to.” You can test different variations of your copy to see which works best on your audience.
An excellent example is the copy on the Sumo.com homepage. The headline follows the tip given in the first point and uses the magic word “free.” It also talks about what people can do with the free tools – automating their site growth.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the rest of the copy highlights what the tool can do for the user, such as increasing traffic, tracking success, etc. It also talks about how easy it is to use the tools and repeats the fact that the toolkits are free to use. You can see how the copy is focused on the audience and how the Sumo tools can benefit them.
The same rule applies even when you’re writing blog posts. You should choose topics related to your industry. But instead of writing a piece that blatantly promotes your product or service, provide content that would be of value to the reader.
For example, a PR firm could create blog posts providing tips to avoid PR disasters or tips to gain a better reputation. The idea is to create content that will showcase your knowledge and expertise so you’re indirectly promoting yourself without the audience even realizing it.
#3: Write Compelling CTAs
Your Call To Action (CTA) is where you get readers to take a certain action. They visited your site and were attracted by the headline, so they decided to read through what you have to say. Your compelling copy convinced them that they could really use your product or service. So what’s next?
You have to direct them towards the action you want them to take. Otherwise, they might just end up leaving your site without doing anything other than just looking around. Maybe you want them to download your free eBook, sign up for your newsletter, sign up for a free trial, or share your blog post. Whatever the case may be, make sure you let them know exactly what they need to do.
The most important rule of CTA copy is that it should be action-oriented. In other words, it should be in active voice and straightforward in telling the audience what they should do.
If you want them to share your blog post, for instance, you could end the piece with something like “Found these ideas helpful? Share them with your friends” or “Know a friend who could use these tips? Tell them about this guide.” If you want them to sign up for a free trial, encourage them to “Get free access” or “Access your free trial.”
Scoutsee has two CTA buttons, as they have two types of target audiences: influencers and brands. And they specify which button someone has to click based on who they are and what they’re looking for.
Bonus: Test, Test, and Test
It’s important to run some tests on your copy once you’ve made any changes. This will allow you to see how those changes are making an impact. In fact, try creating several variations of the copy and test each of them. You can then pick the top-performing content (based on the test results) or make necessary tweaks to further enhance your content performance.
As you probably know by now, there’s no tactic that is uniformly effective for every business. While using “my” in your CTA copy may drive more sales for you, the same may not be true for other businesses. So it’s crucial that you thoroughly run tests on every change that you make to see what’s working and what isn’t.
You should now have a clear idea about the most important elements for creating content that converts. Remember to focus on the audience in every aspect – right from the headline and the body to the CTA copy. It’s also important to highlight the value of the product or service for the audience instead of simply rambling on about what the product can do. Got any questions about these tips? Let me know in the comments below.
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Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant. He specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.