How to optimize copywriting for SEO and increased sales

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eCommerce copywriting is an artform in itself since it not only needs to tell a story, but within that narrative, it needs to try to sell a product or service. A challenge for sure, but there are steps and best practices you can follow if you want to optimize copywriting for SEO and increased sales.

What is ecommerce copywriting?

Unlike a traditional blog, ecommerce copywriting focuses on giving visitors information and guidance towards one final goal: make a purchase. The fundamental basics of good copywriting for SEO still apply to this niche, but the process is not as clear-cut. 

For example, you don't get a chance to have an introduction, body, and conclusion as you do when writing an article. It's instead a more concise, creative way of explaining why customers should buy a particular item using bullet points, headlines, and images. 

The customer journey

When writing for ecommerce, it's crucial that you understand your customer's journey or thinking when they're on your site. They will want to know whether the site is relevant to what they're looking for and if it will satisfy their visitor intention.

The copy must convince them that it's the best site of its type, and they don't need to consider other options, online or offline. With the information presented, they should easily find what they're looking for and understand which products are best for them. 

Once their attention is captured, they need to believe that your products are what they want and that the website is trustworthy enough to purchase from. Granular information on the page must effectively overcome specific objections that the visitor may have. 

When they make the purchase, the customer will evaluate whether or not the experience was pleasant enough that they would do it again.  Your copy is what takes them through this mental journey by using specific triggers in your text and graphic presentation.

Benefits of well-done ecommerce copywriting

There are numerous benefits to fine-tuning your ecommerce copy, the most important of which is defining your image. Customers don't only shop for the physical product; they like to understand what makes the company tick and why they should invest their emotional and mental efforts in your brand. 

Another benefit of a good ecommerce copy is that you are taking the customer through their Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS) process. 

  1. Evoke the problem a potential customer has – When was the last time you had a decent night's sleep?
  2. Agitate on the issue – A bad night's sleep can leave you exhausted and drained.
  3. Solve it – If this is you, then you need to know about our new, Posturepedic, easy-sleep mattress. You won't simply be sleeping; you'll be on cloud nine, and awake feeling energized.

Online shopping isn't simply a means to an end but an experience you influence using copy to inform visitors of who you are and what you do. Good copy also improves your site's SEO, which in turn means more eyes on your store, and potentially more sales. 

Which pages need copywriting

optimize copywriting for SEO and increased sales

Your ecommerce store needs good content on the product, category, and about us pages. If you do publish a market-related blog, then, of course, these pages will also need to be optimized. 

However, a blog on an ecommerce site is more of a support for the products you sell. 

So steer your attention to the product and category pages, as those are your bread and butter.

Essential elements of an effective page

eCommerce is a virtual salesman for your product; it needs to speak in your voice and convince potential customers that your brand is worth their time and money. Pay attention to specific details of the page to improve conversions for increased sales

Headline

The first thing that people notice is the page headline or main product title. It draws visitors' attention and needs to capture their interest so that they will read further. Therefore, it's usually more prominent than the rest of the text and bolded.  

Make your headline enticing and start with a sentence that speaks to your audience. Consider using the inverted pyramid principle, where you begin with a lot of information that filters down and becomes more granular as they read. Use bullet points to highlight the main benefits and point towards a clear next step.

Image

The graphics displayed on the page must match the site and your target audience. Product images should be crisp and clear. Avoid poor-quality pixelated pics that dissuade buyers. Ideally, you should have a product main image and several others showing various angles or uses of the item. 

Keep in mind that images are what sells your product, unlike in a brick and mortar store, your online content is the only interaction your potential customers have with your brand. They can’t touch or pick up the items so the description together with the pics are what needs to convince them to buy.

Main content

Once you've captured your visitors' attention, you need to make every word count to keep them interested. Use sub-headings to announce or sell each section, and measure each subsection against the mental list that your customer goes through. This is where you would put your long form product information. Item description, benefit, and best uses of the product is what needs to appear on this page.   

If you make any claims, make sure to support them with evidence in the form of documentation or other proof. Also, don't forget to make the font large and clear enough for easier reading. 

CTA

Your ‘call to action’ (CTA) is the second most important thing on your page. It should summarize your product's or service's benefits, present the offer and justify the price. Risk reduction and incentives for action are two strategies for your CTA. Customers want to know there is little to no risk when buying your products. 

Show money-back guarantees or warranty information where it's easy to spot. To entice them to purchase, you can create instant checkout coupons that are only active if they buy at that very moment. The questions you want to answer for your customer at this stage include:- Why should they take action right now? Will I lose out if I don't buy today (scarcity)?

Common mistakes in ecommerce copywriting

People make several mistakes when writing copy for ecommerce websites. A rule of thumb is don't touch the keyboard until you know everything about the product and understand why people buy. Ideally, you should have bought and used the product personally and are confident that you could sell it to a friend or yourself. 

Again, put yourself in the customer's shoes and identify the objections, plan great counter-objections, and gather any support you need for your claims. 

Some other common mistakes include:

  • Writing above your audience – remember that you're selling to people, so write like a human, not a pompous AI.
  • Too short or too long-winded – You'll want to use as many words as you do when selling your product face-to-face, but you also want to keep the copy concise. 
  • Overuse of adjectives – everyone enjoys a descriptive word here or there, but using them constantly is overkill and will most likely irritate your customers.
  • Lack of color and creativity – ecommerce copy doesn't need to be bland. You can write creatively to excite other people about your products. Let your passion for your brand shine through when you pen information for your target audience.
  • Thinking it's a quick job – Experienced copywriters may be able to generate some decent copy in shorter periods than others. Still, a good composition takes time and several rewrites before it's good enough to display. Take the time and do it properly.
  • Too much fluff – When there isn't a lot of creativity, writers tend to use redundant words. The idea is to fill as much space as possible or to reach a specific word count target. Unfortunately, customers can see right through that and don't take kindly to unnecessary information. 
  • Too much focus on the product may sound counterproductive, but you want to focus on benefits instead of on the product itself. Customers know things such as the color and material from your features list. In your description, they want to know how it will solve their problem or enhance their lives.   
  • Inconsistent tone – This problem arises when businesses swap between writers or creative directors, each with a unique style. Ensure that your writers know what voice they must use throughout your site.

5 Tips to increase your profits

With so many things to remember when writing ecommerce copy for SEO, it isn't easy to pinpoint which ones you should focus on. However, the following five aspects should be on your priority list to increase profits.

Keep testing and improving your ecommerce copy

There's no use going through the laborious process of creating fantastic copy if you're not going to test if it works. 

Use software such as Qualaroo or Hotjar to understand what's working. These systems can help you learn where people click by showing heatmaps and tracking patterns. 

If something isn't going the way you planned, tweak it accordingly, and test again. Resolve yourself in the fact that your website is never truly finished. You'll optimize your content constantly for improved conversions and increased sales. 

optimize copy for improved SEO

Marketing angle

Take the time to explore and develop a marketing angle that will set you apart from your competitors. For example, try focusing on educating your customers or uniquely communicating the same message. Selling online isn't just about the product features; there are ways to twist the benefits into a creative story that will capture your audience's attention.

Focus on focal points

Pay attention to the most prominent areas on your pages. Information situated above the fold is what gets the most views. Optimize headlines and images in these areas to improve the customer journey and increase click-through rates.

Use the correct words

Copywriters tend to stick to a set of words that are cliched by now. Terms such as “Limited time offer” are no longer relevant as the customers don’t believe them to be true. Try words such as to create a sense of urgency: 

  • Now
  • Hurry
  • Fast
  • Discover
  • Today
  • New 
  • Announcement
  • Recommend

Some words also evoke emotion, which helps your customers feel more connected to your brand. These include:

  • Cheap
  • Money
  • Health
  • Save
  • Win
  • Love
  • Children
  • Enjoy
  • Improve
  • Buzz

Proof and Credibility

To strengthen the trust between your brand and your customers, you need credible proof to back up any claims you make. It could include customer testimonials, media mentions, celebrity endorsements, and anything else that shows your business and brand are growing.

Create a folder on your computer and place any relevant information you have in that folder. Having everything in one place makes it much easier to access when needed.

Focus on your customer

Getting caught up in all the advice and techniques for perfect ecommerce copywriting for SEO is easy. However, never lose sight of the actual goal, which is to excite your customers to the point that they want to buy your products. 

Remember to write as though you're selling face-to-face and use language your target market understands. Combine that with a great product page that has all the benefits listed, and you'll have a winning combination that will increase sales.

Mr Sam Baldwin

Mr Sam Baldwin

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