Higher conversion rate on your website? Here’s how to get started.

Higher conversion rate on your website? Here’s how to get started.

How do you ensure that your online visitors actually become customers and clients? That’s what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about. It’s a specialty that includes complex techniques and psychological concepts. But many companies haven’t even picked the low hanging fruit! That’s why you’ll read here about some simple steps that will help you increase conversions on your website in the upcoming quarter.

User-friendliness and great content as a solid foundation

Conversion optimization is closely connected to your website’s user experience (UX) and the added value of your content (SEO). If you have those two areas under control, you’ll already notice more visitors arriving from Google. High time to convert them into customers or leads.

Reading tips:

Writing understandable content for a large audience

Keep creating engaging content

5 reasons why User Experience (UX) is important for SEO

What should I do? (call-to-action)

A surprising number of companies forgets to add a clear call-to-action on the pages of their website. What do you want your visitors to do?

For example:

  • Try your service for free for 30 days
  • Download a whitepaper (including a free subscription to your newsletter)
  • Get a quote
  • Ask a question through the live chat

Experimenting is the best way to determine the ideal call-to-action for your specific product or service. Of course, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Create an attractive button

You can add a call-to-action to your text as a link, but creating a visually attractive button is another way to incorporate your message. That way, any visitor just scanning your website will see clearly at a glance what they should do.

Think like your visitors

Keep your visitors in mind when deciding which wording to use for your clickable button. What is the benefit you are offering them?

So not:

Newsletter sign-up

Request quote

Create trial account

But rather:

Free ****** tips in your inbox every month

How much will I save using ****** to do ******?

Try ****** free for 30 days

Experiment with placement and color

Conversions can really depend on where you place your actionable button and what it looks like. A distinctive color is definitely a must and consider including additional calls-to-action along the way in any longer articles (1000+ words).

A ‘softer’ alternative

Not every visitor wants to buy something right at this very moment. But it would be a shame just to let them click away. For those visitors, it’s a great idea to build in an alternative call-to-action when they decide not to click on that purchase button. Perhaps a discount code when they leave the website.

Why should I do it? (social proof, scarcity, ease)

Convincing people is an art. In many cases, it helps to have a clear outline of your unique selling points, but your visitors will often need an extra little push. Here are three well-known techniques:

Social proof

KFC is “Finger Lickin’ Good.” But why would anyone just take their word for it? For most brands, customer recommendations are key.

Showcasing reviews or testimonials on your website is a definite recommendation. It’s important that reviews are verifiable (full name, plus preferably a photo and contact information) and that they clearly convey how your product or service was helpful to them.

Scarcity

Have you ever browsed for hotel rooms on Booking.com? The company (that originated in The Netherlands) is very adept at suggesting scarcity. “In high demand – only 1 room left!” – “You missed it! We ran out of rooms at this property.” – “Just booked!”

You can try these same tactics (within reason) on your own website. Do keep in mind not to make far-fetched claims.

Ease

Finally, it’s always worth making things as easy as possible for your visitors. Is it strictly necessary to create an account in order to process an order? Does that form need to be quite so long?

Focus on those pages with the highest visitor count

Conversion rate optimization is a specialty that you can expand on indefinitely, but it’s unlikely that you have that much time to invest in it. That’s why it’s smart to focus on your website’s most important pages.

  1. Use Google Analytics to identify your key landing pages.
  2. Which pages have high traffic, but low conversion rates?
  3. At what point are you losing your visitors?
  4. How does your call-to-action tie into your keywords?

Next, experiment with the above tips to generate a higher click-through rate (CTR).

In conclusion: the first steps towards conversion optimization

With conversion optimization (CRO) you ensure that more visitors become customers or take the action you want them to take.

The basis for CRO lies in a user-friendly website with convincing and well-written content.

Tip: At webtexttool, you can use the Text Conversion Optimizer. This tool automatically measures the readability and credibility of your text.

A clear, enticing, and eye-catching call-to-action will help you convert visitors into clients or leads.

Three great tactics to employ are scarcity, ease, and social proof.

To get started, focus your conversion optimization on pages with a high visitor count, but a low number of leads.

Google Core Algorithm Update released

Google Core Algorithm Update released

The Google algorithm changes daily. Most of these are smaller updates, but once in a while there is a bigger update that could bring one or more changes to search results. This month a bigger update was released; a Google Core Algorithm update. This is the type of update that occurs several times per year.

Does this update affect your website?

A Google Core Algorithm update is an adjustment to the ‘main system’ of Google. That means that it could be anything from changes focuses on specific improvements, to broad changes affecting all search results. From this point of view, this update definitely affect your website!
Websites may see drops or gains in rankings as a result of the changes that occurred, which Google says is normal:

”There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.”

Webtexttool always adapts the newest SEO rules

We could imagine that you don’t know exactly what to do about this new Google Core Algorithm update. But that’s why webtexttool is here! We’ll make sure that the editor is up-to-date. Webtexttool therefore always adapts to the newest SEO rules. Keep in mind: check your content every once in a while to make sure that it’s ready for all the changes that Google does!

Longer meta description in Google. Here’s what you need to know.

Longer meta description in Google. Here’s what you need to know.

You may have noticed in search results: at times you will see a longer meta description listed below a link. As a writer or online store owner, it is good to know why that happens. In this article, you will get a short explanation of meta tags, the change in their maximum length, and what they can do for you.

What is a meta description tag?

The black section of descriptive text below the URL in search results. You get to suggest what should appear there in the so-called “meta description tag”. Generally, Google picks up your suggested description, but not every time! For example, when your meta text is too long, Google cuts it down to a certain length.

Until recently, the golden rule was: a maximum of 160 characters.

But that has changed. Google is now showing descriptions up to 320 characters.

What makes a meta description so important?

We’ll go deeper into that change in maximum length, but first this: why are meta descriptions so important?

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

It helps searchers choose between multiple search results. That makes it important to clearly indicate in your meta text what your page is about, but do not forget to add a certain element of mystery or curiosity. That can boost your number of click-throughs.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

According to Google, building a keyword into your meta text does not factor into your search result ranking. Most experts would still recommend doing so, but maximum one time.

Which limit should I hold myself for my meta tags?

Should you be changing all your existing meta descriptions to a 320 character length? Probably not. Especially for any pages that are already performing well, it would be a shame to change those. 160 characters will often do the trick. There is also no guarantee that Google will show the longer descriptions every time.

For any pages with lower click-through-rates, it could not hurt to play around with the meta text. Certain categories are more suited to that approach than others:

Recipes are a great example of when a bit of additional information would encourage a Google user to click through.

Should I constantly stay on top of changes like this one?

Google’s algorithms are changing all the time. That can have a significant impact on your ranking in search results and the number of visitors clicking through to your website. If you keep a close eye on marketing blogs, you will pick up on these changes as you go.

 With webtexttool, there is no need to worry about any of it. We build every important SEO-update directly into our editing tool. That way you will get live tips as you write to make your content as attractive as possible for Google and your site visitors!

Write a catchy blog title; avoid nasty clickbait [step-by-step plan]

Write a catchy blog title; avoid nasty clickbait [step-by-step plan]

Coming up with a captivating title for your blog is harder than it seems. It is also super important: most people won’t decide to read your piece until after they have seen the title. So it makes sense that most writers want to make the headline as catchy as possible. Full of promises, UNBELIEVABLE superlatives, and you’ll never guess what happened next…

People got tired of clickbait.

Viral website Upworthy – once the “fastest growing medium of all time” – saw its site traffic drop by 75% in virtually no time. Competitor Buzzfeed also got hit with dwindling website traffic in 2017.

Unfortunately, many articles about blog titles are still based on the heyday of the clickbait model. They definitely provide some good tips, but lots of information in them has become irrelevant. This article describes how to write a compelling blog title, even in 2018.

The basics of a good title for your blog post

Writing headlines is a true craft. Newspapers and magazines often have someone on staff whose sole responsibility it is to create titles. He or she will read an article with fresh eyes and then capture its essence in a few words. But, while print media can still get away with a vague or mysterious title (the reader has already purchased the paper, after all), blog titles need to fight for attention with other Google search results. Anything that is unclear will be punished for its vagueness.

The trick is to find a balance between a headline that, on the one hand, clearly describes what the article is about, and, on the other hand, stands out from the crowd and piques readers’ interest in the blog’s content.

Wondering how to achieve this? Ok, here goes.

Step-by-step plan for a catchy title

1. Start off with a working title

A title sits at the top of an article, but that does not mean you have to finalise it before you get started. In fact, it is better if you don’t. Start with a working title, then start writing your post. Let any ideas for a definitive title simmer for a while. In any case, your working title should describe what the article is about. This piece initially had the working title ‘Tips for writing a good title for your blog’.

2. Do some keyword research

There are definitely tons of people wanting to know how to write a great blog title. But knowing is better than assuming. That is why I use webtexttool’s keyword analysis.

Only a few people seem to be searching for “good title”. It’s a good thing the tool offers a few possible alternatives.

The keywords “catchy title” show a much higher search volume. I decided to change my title based on that information: ‘Tips for writing a catchy title”.

3. Describe the length or format

The title above is clear, but not clear enough. It doesn’t tell you anything about the length or format of the article. Lists are a popular way to make that clear. Research actually shows that people have a bit of a preference for uneven numbers: “7 tips for writing a catchy title”.

That list formula still works, but be cautious not to overuse it. Another way to disclose a bit more about a blog’s content is by adding the blog format in brackets at the end of the title: “A catchy title for your blog [step-by-step plan]”.

Research done by marketing platform Hubspot shows that that kind of titles receives 38% more clicks. Especially when you incorporate a [podcast] or [infographic] in your blog, this method comes in handy.

4. Make a promise, but don’t exaggerate

It is time to make the title catchy. Adding a promise can convince searchers to click on your title. This is what a clickbait site would do: “Here’s how to write an irresistible blog title that EVERYONE will click on!”

The problem is that you cannot follow through on that promise. Many readers will be disappointed and disengage. That style is too much hyperbole for the target audience. Be careful with words like irresistible, perfect, very best, etc. (Unless you work for a gossip magazine, that is).

Authority is a great way to follow through on a promise. You can refer to the article’s author, who you interviewed for the piece, or which authoritative source provided the numbers. Also aim to quantify the authority, for example by referring to the years of experience or number of followers: “Write a catchy title? This blogger (250k followers) has tips for you.”

Aside from bringing attainability and authority to your promise, originality is also a factor. When your competitors are making the same promise, chances are lower that a visitor will click on your website. Google your working title to see how closely it resembles existing blogs. Consider what makes your blog different/better and emphasise that difference: “Avoid clickbait, but still write a catchy title for your blog [step-by-step plan]”.

That is how I found out that many blogs about catchy titles still proudly refer to sites like Upworthy, while super exaggerated titles actually stopped generating clicks a long time ago.

5. Place the keyword up front

Google grants higher search rankings to titles with the keyword right up front. Try to adjust your headline accordingly, but do not wade into illogical grammatical territory. One easy trick is to place the keyword up front as a question or followed by a colon.

“Come up with a catchy title? …”

“Catchy title: …”

In this case I went with a contrast: “Write a catchy title for your blog, but avoid annoying nasty clickbait that will bum out your visitors [step-by-step plan]”.

It’s cool to add a bit of emotion in the title (“annoying” and “bum out”). As long as you don’t overdo it (“despicable” and “enrage”).

6. Make your title the right length

I’m sure you noticed the title above is a bit on the long side. In the Google search results, that title would get cut off. Use fewer than 65 characters in order to show the full title.

Webtexttool will give you an automatic warning when your title is too long or too short. And so I adjusted my headline to read: “Write a catchy blog title; avoid nasty clickbait [step-by-step plan]”.

7. Test what works

In closing: coming up with a great title is still a tricky job. It can be hard to predict what will catch on with your specific target audience. So measure the performance of your titles. Don’t just keep an eye on click-through rates (CTR), but also measure how much time people spend on your page (a misleading title will have them clicking away more quickly). Ideally, you will try out multiple titles at once for your most important articles.

Writing understandable content for a large audience. Here’s how to do it.

Writing understandable content for a large audience. Here’s how to do it.

When you’re writing, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Are they scientists or experts? In that case, it’s fine to use complicated wording and technical jargon. For the average person, though, it’s better to keep things straightforward. But simplicity in writing can be harder than you think. In this article, you’ll discover some handy tips for writing uncomplicated content.

Writing at a grade 8 level

What makes writing understandable? That is subjective, of course. The “average” American reads at a grade 8 level, but so many websites and blogs don’t take that into consideration. Especially government departments and services are experts at making their web content hard to read.

Unless you’re purposely targeting people with a higher education level, it’s better to write your articles at a grade 8 level. The more people are able to understand your website content, the better your chances are of selling them your product or service.

How can you make sure your writing is easy to understand?

The best way to test the difficulty of your content is to present it to your target audience. Do they understand the message you’re trying to convey?

Of course, it’s impossible to run each piece of content by a test panel. That’s where online tools like webtexttool come in.

Is your writing too complicated? This tool can measure that for you!

What is the current level of your writing?

Software is getting better and better at measuring the reading level of written content. The Text Conversion Optimizer makes it easy to check your own writing.

This text should be easy to understand for anyone with at least a grade 8 education. It doesn’t have too many complex words and phrases.

How do you discover words that are easy to understand?

Is your writing too complicated? Try searching Google for alternatives to complex words and phrases.

White space and bullet points make your text easier to read

Are you using enough bullet points and white space?

Equally important for a comprehensible text: make sure you give it some structure. Bullet points can definitely help with that. While you type, the Text Conversion Optimizer will measure in real time whether you’re using enough bullet points and white space.

Don’t go overboard with adjectives

‘Buy this fantastic wonderful super amazing product’

Adjectives can help make a piece of content easier to read. But using too many adjectives can actually complicate things. More importantly, your readers might consider you less trustworthy if you go overboard with adjectives. Thankfully, the Text Conversion Optimizer will warn you of an excessive use of adjectives while you’re writing.

What kinds of words are my customers using?

It can be hard to gauge how complicated your own reading or writing is. That’s because you work with your product and within your area of expertise every day. You might call it an ‘operational lease,’ while your customers just say ‘company car.’ webtexttool’s keyword analysis lets you pinpoint those differences. Choose a topic you want to score high on in Google search and webtexttool provides you with the frequently used search terms.

Don’t oversimplify

Nobody enjoys being treated like a fool. If you go too far with simplified text, your clients might feel like you’re being condescending. Make sure you’re not using overly simple language on your website. Read your content out loud and consider how it sounds. You could even try it out on a few other people.

A clear structure

We’ve covered which words to use and which ones to avoid. But just as important, or even more so, is the way you structure your text. Can someone know what your article is about in the blink of an eye? Are you using an easy-to-read font?

In the blog post Checklist for Easy to Read (Web) Text we dive deeper into some guidelines for writing a well-structured article.

A few of the most important conclusions:

  • Write an intro that explains what the article is about.
  • Use a subtitle for each new topic.
  • Write short paragraphs of 3-5 sentences.
  • Use lists and bullet points when they add value.
  • Avoid passive voice (should/would/could).
  • Avoid weak language (maybe/a little).
  • Alternate short and long sentences.
  • Choose easy-to-read letter type, font size, and line spacing.

Make sure Google ‘gets’ you (SEO)

When you write clear content, that benefits your customers first and foremost. But it’s a great bonus when Google understands what you’re talking about, too! That way they’re more likely to refer people to your website.

Start by using the tips listed above when creating your written content. Google really appreciates it when you write clearly.

Even better is to bring in webtexttool. While you write, the tool offers you tips to optimize your content for Google. At the same time, the Text Conversion Optimizer checks the quality and readability of your text. No prior knowledge of SEO needed. And the best part… you can sign up for a free 30-day webtexttool trial!