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Friday, May. 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process

By Bryan Eisenberg
May 22nd, 2009

“Talk to the dog in the language of the dog about what matters to the dog.” Roy H Williams

This past month, I shared my 10 step process for optimizing copy for websites or landing pages on my Market Motive training call. I was able to convince my friends at Market Motive to let me share the full presentation video with you (normally they only share the first few chapters unless you are a paid member). Unfortunately, it will only be available to be viewed on the blog until June 3rd.

If you don’t know what Market Motive is; Market Motive was started by my good friends John Marshall, Michael Stebbins and Avinash Kaushik. They provide online training and certification in Internet Marketing. There are over 300 videos like this one already in their archives. This is especially critical now that travel and training budgets have been slashed. It features some great instructors who present monthly trainings, answering questions from audience members, as well as a great online forum where you can ask additional questions afterwords.  Market Motive Instructors include:

Enjoy the presentation (it will take less than 20 minutes to watch)! I’ve also included the 10 steps with additional references below.



(If you are having problems displaying the video in your browser
click here to Play Now.)

The 10 Steps to Optimizing Copy

When evaluating and improving copy I work through these 10 steps one at a time.

1. Headlines

Why are headlines first?  They are the critical attention-getters that allow your visitor to determine if the page is relevant to his or her need in just a few seconds. Readers of your pages use headlines and sub headlines (headers and subheaders) to grok the content on a page and decide if they want to read more of your copy. Headlines aid in the visual task of scanning and skimming, which helps your visitors organize the information you present.  Worded appropriately, they encourage your visitors to go deeper into your persuasive copy.

2. First Mental Image

This is usually a combination of your headline and how it ties into your first few sentences of copy along with your first picture (if you have one in the paragraph).  We’ve written several post that illustrate the power of a good first mental image.  You may remember the post about how to convert a visitor in under 8 seconds. A strong mental image is achieved by choosing the best copy perspective for your message.  Did you miss the copy perspective series by copywriter and copywriting instructor extraordinaire Jeff Sexton?

3. WIIFM

Click MeEverybody’s favorite radio station – what’s in it for me. Are you speaking to the reader about what matters to them?  And are you speaking their language?  Different personality preferences have different ways of engaging with your content and making decisions.  This is where (and why) using personas to decide your content strategy can be so valuable in improving your conversion rate.

4. Check for We-We

If you use your own name or “we” too many times in your copy you’ll end up sounding self-centered rather than customer focused.  Face it: you’re not Denny Crane.  So use our we-we or customer focus calculator to see how self-centered vs. customer-focused your copy is.  You can also read our post to better understand how to measure your we-we.  I’ve had many people tell me that they boosted their conversion rate by improving their we we score and creating more customer-focused copy.

5. Remove the Black Words

Eliminate the black words. Avoid words that do not contribute toward a more vivid or colorful mental image.

6. Reformatting for Readability

Your online copy must be formatted to make it easy to digest online. You want to maximize skimming and scanning just the way Amazon reformatted their page.

7. Improve Your Verbs

Your copy can always be improved by pumping up your verbs and writing in active not passive voice. You can change a couple of setting in Microsoft Word to check for passive voice for you.

8. Wording in Links and Calls to Action

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen recently wrote about his research about the importance of keywords in your hyperlinks. Jeff Sexton shares how to write more persuasive hyperlinks and calls to action so you don’t sound like a “more-on“.

9. Words Exist in Other Places Than Just Your Copy

Don’t forget to evaluate and test the wording in your images, flash, video and audio content. One client changed the words on the Flash banner on his homepage and reduced abandonment by more than 28%.

10. When All Else Fails – Use the Sucking Wind Checklist

1. Do you offer a clear message and value?
2. Have you established Trust & Credibility?
3. Have you answered all the main objections?
4. Have you addressed the emotional “ownership” of the sale?
5. Have you substantiated your claims?
6. Have you made the next steps clear?
7. Could you have said the same thing in a 1/3 of the words?

Improving your copywriting is just one of the many efforts you need to continually improve your results and keep your goals on target.

P S If you enjoyed this post please consider Tweeting it please.

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Comments (37)

  1. [...] Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process (via grokdotcom.com) – This has a video presentation on it and it is only viewable until June 3rd. The article also lists the 10 step process. It is a good process to step through when optimizing your eCommerce site landing pages or product pages. [...]

  2. [...] This past month, I shared my 10 step process for optimizing copy for websites or landing pages on my Market Motive training call. I was able to convince my friends at Market Motive to let me share the full presentation video with you (normally they only share the first few chapters unless you are a paid member). Unfortunately, it will only be available to be viewed on the blog until June 3rd. Enjoy the presentation (it will take less than 20 minutes to watch)! I’ve also included the 10 steps with additional references below……[read entire article] [...]

  3. A handy working list. Although I’m unsure of what specifically you meant by Black words in point 5. Can you elaborate on that a bit more? Like an example perhaps?

  4. I love the “We-We” part. I cannot stand the “We do this”, “We are that” nature of most companies’ marketing campaigns.

  5. Same here fan. I love the “We-we” check. The Costumer Focus Calculator is amazing! Thank you Bryan for sharing this.

  6. [...] Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process "Talk to the dog in the language of the dog about what matters to the dog." Roy H Williams (tags: marketing conversion usability webdesign) [...]

  7. Brilliant resume of fundamental steps to improve website conversions. Very important is to be relevant, speak your visitors language and state the value of the website from the visitors point of view.

  8. Thanks for sharing.

    I think conversion is the “new SEO”.

  9. Did you say it was free? I couldn’t access it without signing up. What gives, bait and switch here?

  10. In the video you mention testing conversion rates for copy vs. pictures. Can you cite specific references relating to b2c e-commerce? Thanks!

  11. @Doug Please try it again. It appears to be working.

    @Eden you can find the link embedded in step 9 of the post.

  12. Got it to work. My brower doesn’t display anything, so I couldn’t get the video to work. The instructions(If you are having problems displaying the video in your browser
    click here to Play Now.)worked. Didn’t see them there before. Thank you!

  13. Thanks Bryan! I guess I misunderstood – that link compares flash to static pictures. I was looking for something that compared copy (words) to static pictures…

  14. Very nice presentation Bryan. These are some great areas to focus on while working toward increased conversion rates. Thanks for the great information.

  15. [...] Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process (via grokdotcom.com) – This has a video presentation on it and it is only viewable until June 3rd. The article also lists the 10 step process. It is a good process to step through when optimizing your eCommerce site landing pages or product pages. [...]

  16. SEO and WSO (Web Site Optimisation) are two sides of the same coin. Success of a page or site is dependent on both.

    SEO seeks to maximise visitor numbers and WSO seeks to convert these visitors to paying customers.

    SEO is the starting point of the process as the ‘best’ optimised page will never convert if no one visits.

    Good SEO considers WSO from the outset and when visitors start to arrive analyses, monitors behaviour and tests the content and layout for maximum conversion.

    Almost all of the above 10 points should be at the heart of good SEO practice.

  17. [...] la web content strategy ou stratégie de contenu. Le sujet suivant est la traduction d’un article de Bryan Eisenberg traitant de ce thème sur le site de [...]

  18. [...] http://www.grokdotcom.com/2009/05/22/optimizing-website-landing-page-copy/ 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack [...]

  19. If you are interested in web optimization, there is a free site for uploading videos ads for your business,they also have image uploads if you are not yet up to videos. The more sites you can link to the greater your market will be. They have a free link exchange as well.

  20. [...] Optimizing Website and Landing Page Copy [...]

  21. Thanks for all that interesting insights and information. Never though about some of the mentioned ideas.

  22. Landing pages sometimes are over-optimized and the content is over-sold. A landing page should give just enough info for the user to be compelled to read deeper into the website.

  23. [...] Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process [Grokdotcom] [...]

  24. [...] Optimizing Website and Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process, a blog article by Michael Eisenberg, a copywriting veteran who is the co-founder of FutureNow. He [...]

  25. Nice tips.The most important point is ‘Have you established Trust & Credibility?’.This is the key

  26. I think one thing that gets overlooked is the first mental image. alot of copywriters downplay and say its all the words but what if…you improve the design and the mental image..one would suspect increase in conversions. i know alot of times my first impression has a lasting affect

  27. Er, this wewe tool, I entered several phrases, including one nonsense phrase as my company name that doesn’t appear on my site anywhere, and the wewe tool results were the same. Every time. Funny, that. Is it just a psychological thing to make you think more about what you write?

    BB

  28. Landing pages are too much important and do need more atention. I´ve set up nice calls action buttons in my landing pages and it works perfectly! My conversion rates are much higher.

  29. These are some great tips, I will definitely need to use this on my site

  30. this is really a good article
    and the above advice is useful.
    In my opinion,establishing Trust and Credibility are the key point!

  31. I think this is a spot on article. You so often see people talking about how good they are and what they have achieved when you should be explaining what you are going to be doing for your readers, visitors clients etc.

    thanks

  32. [...] Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process Having poor copy and calls to action on your website is one of the biggest causes of low conversion [...]

  33. nice for share. thanks.

  34. Great post, I was recently trying to adjust my landing page and now I see I am doing it all wrong. So now I am not going to adjust it, I am going to redo it.

  35. I walked through the list applying each of the listed things to my sites and what im doing/ not doing. was helpful, but i have work to do.

  36. Ряд сайтов использует в качестве идентификаторов легко запоминаемые пользователями электронные адреса или номера социального страхования. Июль входящие бесплатно скачать смайлы бесплатно старые dos игры русско английский словарь бесплатно скачать чат безбесплатно альбомы музыки бляди барнаулакиски элитные дорогие салоны проститутки – виртуальные рабыни порно ссылки. Бесплатно голосовые мелодий дп детская эротика иракли скачать бесплатно реальная любовь фильм продам детскую эротику порно фотографии красивых девушек девушки каменки бесплатные объявления кошки голые письки девушек проститутки рабыни петербург анна ахметова видео, но видео секс ролики бесплатное порно видео изнасилований скачать телефонную базу москвы бесплатно. – Глупая, надо было написать, что ты просто без ума от них, – укоряют девочки, – что они настоящие жеребцы, дикие мустанги.

  37. Great Article – we web marketers need to treat our craft more like a science than an art to be effective and respected.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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