- Spell Check - Spelling errors kill credibility. They are so easy to avoid; the only explanation for spelling errors is not paying attention.
- Proof Read - Reread what you write. Leave it and come back to it. Read it aloud (or at least mumble it if co-workers are around). Reading aloud supposedly engages a different part of your brain and you're more likely to catch errors. I don't know the science behind this, but it works for me.
- Get Another Person to Proof Read - Four eyes are better than two. There's a reason why copy writer and copy editor are separate jobs. It's hard to catch your own mistakes.
- Be Clear - A copy editor once told me, "Use short sentences. They work." He's right. They do.
- Use a Strong Call to Action - Tell your customers what you want them to do. It's OK. If they are confused it's your fault; and you'll be the one who misses the sale.
- Use Short Paragraphs - Two or three sentence maximum. If you use more than that, your copy will start looking like a Russian novel.
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition - The old maxim "Tell them what you're going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them" holds true. Leave no doubts about why they should buy your product.
- Be Value Oriented - Use real world examples and they will increase conversions 10%. I actually don't know if that's true, but a real world example of value sure made you pay attention didn't it?
- Use Lists - Like #6 above, lists help break up complex information into easy to understand bits.
- Write for People, Not Google - Your on-page copy is your only opportunity to convince your customers to purchase. Let Google have the metadata, keep your on-page copy focused for human consumption.
10 Steps to Effective Site Copy
Focus your site copy on your customers, and Google will notice too. Many of our clients are concerned with SEO and hire us to help. We work hard to make sure their metadata is perfect. We analyze their keyword conversion rates. We compare search volumes and competition to find the perfect keywords for them. Then we get cracking on the metadata. Title tags, keywords, descriptions, image names and alt-tags. Traffic will go up, which is great. But, sometimes I'll notice bottle necks and notice customers are abandoning the path to sale. I'll check the page and it's got problems. It's poorly written, has a couple of crucial spelling errors, or doesn't tell the customers exactly what to do. All of these problems are easy to fix, and even easier to avoid. Here are 10 simple rules I follow to ensure my copy is effective: