The Impact of Copywriting on Conversion Rate
- On November 27, 2023
- copywriting CR
How much commercial value can a small copywriting change bring to a company? The answer may surprise you.
Udemy, one of the world’s largest online learning platforms, once conducted a small test: they changed the landing page copy of a paid course from “Learn Web Development” to “Master Web Development Skills and Get a Higher Salary.”
With this short change, the click-through rate, page views, and average length of stay on the page increased significantly by 27%, 24%, and 48% respectively; what is even more surprising is that the number of users who actually purchased the course increased by 109% !
You know, Udemy has more than 50 million students and 100,000 courses, making it one of the largest online learning platforms in the world. Its executives and operations team are by no means worse than any other company, but they still underestimate the power of copywriting itself. Facts have proven that a small but focused copywriting improvement can bring amazing business results.
Therefore, it makes sense for us to delve into the critical role of copywriting in website and ad conversion rates.
1. Why copywriting optimization is important
In today’s digital era, the first step for a company to attract customers is often its official website or marketing page. However, the conversion rate of most websites is very low, and the vast majority of visitors do not perform the expected behavior (such as subscribing, downloading, purchasing). This requires us to optimize various elements on the page, especially the copywriting.
a. Copywriting directly affects conversion rate
As Ellen Chisa, senior growth product designer at Uber, said: Copywriting is the most important and influential element of a product, but it is often underestimated. In fact, various research data proves the importance of copywriting on conversion rates:
As shown in the figure above, many companies have achieved significant increases in conversion rates after strengthening their copywriting. Data source: SearchEngineLand.com
Based on her own project experience, Ellen Chisa concluded: Through testing, we found that changing the copywriting can often increase the conversion rate by 2-3 times. The influence of other elements such as buttons, pictures, etc. is far less than the copywriting itself.
If the copy is not expressed properly, it will be difficult to increase the conversion rate no matter how good any other elements of the website are.
b. Copywriting directly affects potential customers’ purchasing decisions.
According to a research report jointly conducted by ThinkwithGoogle and ReadyCloud LLC, the conversion rate of mobile phone users to actual purchases in stores is much higher than that of users who only browse without purchasing. In other words, the most important role of copywriting is to push users closer to actual purchases. The report also points out that high-quality copywriting can speed up the purchase decision-making process and increase purchase intention:
- The copy clearly conveys the core value of the product, making the purchasing decision clearer;
- Copywriting uses authentic and credible language, which can accelerate the establishment of user trust;
- The tone and narrative of the copy are more in line with users’ thinking patterns and help reduce users’ pain points.
It can be seen that copywriting plays a crucial role in the customer decision-making process.
2. Why test copywriting is needed
Since copywriting is so important, companies need to use scientific methods when designing and optimizing copywriting, rather than relying solely on subjective judgment. This is exactly what copywriting testing is all about.
According to the analysis of UX website UserTesting, copywriting that does not rely on testing is likely to have the following problems:
- Inadequate understanding of user needs and failure to trigger resonance;
- The language is unclear and the main information points are vague;
- Inappropriate tone, too rigid or too flowery will make it difficult to build user trust.
These problems will have an adverse impact on copywriting and reduce conversion rates, so it is necessary to verify and optimize through system testing.
a. Different visitor groups have different preferences
The potential user group of the same product or service can be very wide, and their cultural background, education level, and language habits may be different, which will affect their response to the copywriting. Therefore, it is necessary to test a variety of copywriting with different tone, word order, and wording to see which one works better for each visitor group.
The educational website Brainscape tested the copywriting in 4 languages for visitors from different countries. It was found that compared to the other 3 types of copywriting, Chinese copywriting brought the highest conversion rate. This proves that different groups of people do have different copywriting preferences and need to be treated differently.
b. Subjective assumptions may not be correct
Many business executives believe that they know enough about users and the market to be able to judge the best copywriting; or they are limited by costs and do not pay enough attention to copywriting testing.
Jonathan Kim, co-founder of the startup Appcues, shared a sharply contrasting case: a company was preparing to launch an online course, and the company’s executives were very confident and believed that they already knew the user needs well. As a result, the initial landing page copy test began a month later, and the page’s performance fell significantly below expectations.
It turns out that the company’s initial assumption that “users know very clearly what courses they need” was wrong. When they added more context and details about the product to the landing page, page views increased by 46.59%, and the “fully verified” version became the new default page. This proves the importance of copywriting testing.
3. The role of copywriting at different stages
User purchase is a step-by-step process. From the initial understanding to the final payment, every step will have an impact on the final conversion. This requires copywriting to be optimized according to different purchase stages.
a. to arouse interest
This is the first step in getting your customers to pay attention. The copywriting content needs to highlight the unique selling points of your product or service, choose topics that interest target users, and use simple and straightforward language to quickly bring out the key pain points that you can solve.
b. Build trust
The mid-term page needs to enhance credibility through data support, user reviews, etc. This kind of third-party recognition and verification information can alleviate users’ concerns about choosing a new brand.
c. Promote action
Finally, before users click the “Buy” or “Free Trial” button, we need to give them a proper reason to take action and then complete the target conversion event.
To sum up, correct copywriting positioning can guide users to complete conversion step by step, while copywriting testing can continuously optimize every detail and maximize influence. Next let’s look at specific testing techniques.
4. How to test copywriting in different positions
For a complete transaction page, the copywriting in each position needs to be carefully tested and optimized.
a. Page title
The page title is the most important copy to attract users to click. It needs to highlight, within a very short number of characters, that this page can meet a core need of the user or solve a key problem.
For title copywriting, the main test points are:
- Differentiation: What is the core value you provide compared to other competing products?
- Simplicity: being able to express key values in the simplest possible language
- Attractiveness: The vision is attractive enough to the target users
As long as you design multiple versions based on the above principles and run exhaustive tests, you can find the copywriting that is most suitable for users.
b. Open the first paragraph
The first paragraph is also crucial. Senior copywriting strategist Sean Kirby suggests that if the first paragraph doesn’t answer “What do we offer and why should users read on?” simply delete it. Because there is no clear description of the value proposition, it is likely to lose a large number of visitors. He gave the following example:
It turns out that the website does not clearly answer the first two questions: What is offered here? Why should I care? So visitors have no incentive to continue scrolling down. After adding a clear commitment to receive the white paper, the click-through rate increased by 14%.
c. Button text
Button text also affects click-through rates. Product designer Ellen Chisa introduced an example: the original button text was “Buy Now”, but after testing, it was found that replacing it with “Get xxxxx Now” had a higher click-through rate. This is mainly because the text content of the latter more directly responds to a user’s question-what can I get.
Additionally, she observed that the more buttons on a page, the lower the conversion rate. Blurred button text can also reduce click-through rates. Therefore, simplicity and clarity are the key to button copywriting.
d. Core points
On detailed descriptions or trust-building pages, we also need to focus on key points that come up again and again. Therefore, when modifying the copywriting of such middle pages, we should pay attention to:
- Which points can best alleviate user pain points?
- What kind of expression is more direct and convincing?
By continuously optimizing the selection and presentation of these key points, the conversion rate of core pages can be continuously improved.
As we analyzed above, there is an inextricable link between copywriting and conversion rates. If an enterprise wants to improve the commercial conversion capabilities of its website or advertisements, it needs to establish a continuous copywriting testing and optimization mechanism and provide focused attention throughout the entire purchase process.
For different visitor groups and behavioral data, we need to design multiple versions and use scientific methods including A/B testing, multivariate testing and other scientific methods to select the copy that resonates the most. This ensures that every detail that comes into contact with users actively drives purchasing decisions.