Onsite Copy – What You Need to Know for SEO, Users & Conversions

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Last week was on site copy hell here at Adam Riemer Marketing.  We cranked out more copy than any previous week ever!  It was amazing, fun (ok not really) and awesome to see how creative everyone working on the projects really are.  It also got me to dig out a lot of things I haven’t had to think about in a while so I could help the writers know what was expected.

The onsite copy was written for everything from blog posts to ecommerce sites (category, product and homepage), we created landing pages and long form copy and even posts for Affiliates with the following instructions.  This post is all inclusive for the majority of onsite copy you will need to write so it is good for everyone across the board.

This post is being written to make it easier to train someone to write onsite copy for SEO, User Experience and Conversion Rate optimization.  It has a good amount of information for everything from Ecommerce Sites, Product Pages, Blog Posts, Articles, Link Bait and General Website Copy, so consider it a gift from us that will hopefully be able to help you as well.  You’ll find a lot of the things (but not all) that we use when training to write onsite copy for SEO, User Experience and Conversion Rate Optimization and will be able t apply it to your own websites and marketing strategies to help create a better user experience, help your site rank better and help to increase conversions on your site for Affiliates, lead gen companies and ecommerce stores.  

I’ve already written about word counts, keyword density, properly tagging things, etc… a million times so please read posts like learn to blog for free for that information.  Below is for your actual copy after you have the on site SEO and conversion funnels in place.

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How to write copy to convert more sales, grow SEO and provide a great user experience.

To make this post easy to navigate, Each of the bullet points are different sections to help teach you how to write copy to convert more sales, increase your SEO and to help provide a great or at least better user experience.  If you’d like to add to the list, please add your own thoughts in the comments section below.  You can also ask questions if something in the post isn’t clear.

  • Don’t be a pig and go “We We We” all the way home
  • Make sure not to use materials, product names or colors and styles
  • Address the shoppers fears and worries
  • Use the right adjectives for the goal of the products or services on the page
  • Write for the person shopping, and then the person that will use the product
  • Tell the person what to do with calls to actions
  • Make sure the person reading knows the benefits about shopping with you vs. another store
  • The most important one  – Make sure you talk about how your products will benefit the shopper in addition to the end user

Don’t be a pig and go We We We all the way home

This is the first and biggest mistake almost every site makes.  Read your copy and look to see if it says, We, Our, URL’s, etc…?  If it does then you are talking about yourself and not talking about your customer or relating to them.  By saying you, your, his and her you can better relate to the person shopping and help to make them connect by creating a bond with your site.  Here is a progression from We copy into You copy.

  1. Our clothes are amazing and we carry a huge selection that everyone loves at URL
  2. Our gowns are amazing and we carry a huge selection that you’ll love at URL
  3. URL carries a huge selection of women’s gowns perfect for you
  4. You’ll love our huge selection of dresses for women
  5. Look below and discover the perfect party dresses that will help to make mouths drop
  6. You’ll feel amazing while impressing (insert person) in your new luxurious gown.  Think about twirling on the dance floor and being the bell of the ball while getting a spirited chuckle as you tell a joke in your new comfy but elegant gown.
  7. Feel amazing as you impress the party in your gown.  Your new gown looks stunning and luxurious while still comfortable and you can dance the night away while making small talk and never miss a move in your gorgeous new gown.

Make sure not to use materials, product names or colors and styles.

That sounds weird right?  You don’t want to talk about specific product specs.  On a product page that is fine, as long as the product doesn’t change, however for category pages and general pages this can be tricky.  If you write that everything has copper and the manufacturer changes to steel.  You need to change your copy and now your page is different for the search engines which can cause a small and sometimes large penalty with them.

The next problem is that if you are ranking for the version of the product with copper in it and you don’t have any, you create a bad user experience.  Even if you have them in again later on, if the person keeps finding you without having it, they may start skipping over your site the next time they shop.   Try to keep category or non-product specific pages more general without product specs, materials and sizes.  You can always create a sub-category page about that specific material or version of the product.
Address fears and worries

It is important to address fears and worries.  If your service is there for speedy shipping, make sure you let the visitor know that you have quick shipping, but that it is also insured shipping, talk about the processes that help to reduce damage and that you have a high success rate with perfect and on time delivery.  If it is a perishable good, talk about the packaging that keeps it fresh, the steps you take like test orders, test shipments, etc… to make sure everything delivers on time so that it can be enjoyed and at the exact time it will be ripe or need to be used by the end user.  Think about the worries and fears (your customer service team or whoever answers the phone will be able to tell you the most common ones so you can add it to your copy).  By doing this you can help to build trust and possibly reduce some of the phone calls coming in which lowers your overhead and payroll costs.

Use the right adjectives

A lot of times people will use an adjective because it sounds great, but may not be the right one for that page, product, etc…  When picking out adjectives to create imagery inside the person’s head, think about an adjective that actually helps benefit the product.  Crisp, juicy apples, fresh fruit, stunning/dazzling and sparkling jewelry, etc…  Although something may look elegant, if it is a lamp and not clothing you could try something else that makes sense for home decor.  You also have adjectives that can mean different things to different generations or demographics.

Sophisticated could mean grown up to a young professional going to college or just graduating.   Sophisticated to a 40 or 50 year old or a senior can become something uncomfortable and that you don’t want to wear unless you have too, even though it will be nice looking and proper.  If you’re selling work clothes to a younger business person talk about it being professional, a younger person may respond to sophisticated and having comfy and appropriate instead of sophisticated or comfy and professional can be good for someone that is an executive and not worried about impressing everyone else.  There are also terms like sick which can mean good or cool to a younger audience but mean something completely different to a senior.

Write for the person shopping, and then the person that will use the product or service

Even if your customer base is a teenager or a senior in a home, if the mom or dad or son or daughter is shopping, write for them instead.  The teenager without a credit card or paypal account wants hip, trendy and possibly offensive writing and images.  The senior may want the high end item when cheaper options are available, but they cannot explain why they need the more expensive version and it isn’t on the site.

If everything is written for teenagers and the images are all for them, parents are probably going to be turned off by seeing pictures of kids with piercings, tattoos and a negative outlook on life.  Instead design and write for both.  Don’t say what the kid could be doing (especially if parents would frown on it) like partying, at the (insert event), etc… as it could cost you a sale for amazon or somewhere that is geared towards the general public.  Instead talk about the functionality of the product while tying in the cool stuff the teenager would want as well.

If everything is written for Grandma or Grandpa its important to have larger lettering, etc… so they can read it, but you need the sales copy to speak well to their kids who will be buying the products.  If everything is geared towards aching hips, making mobility in their bathroom when they get up at night or something for the grandparents that the kids don’t see or only hear about or have to feel.  You are not relating to the person that is shopping.  Instead talk to them about how it can make their parents lives easier while addressing the parent’s or kids issues but speaking to the parents.

When you buy blue widgets for mom or dad, you can rest easy knowing that they are comfortable and safe when turning a corner, using the XYZ when you can’t be there to help them.  Our blue widget also helps to alleviate the pain of XYZ… which can reduce the insert benefit of the product or service for the shopper.

Tell the person what to do with calls to action

Don’t forget to add in a call to action.  You can write amazing copy and more people will get the idea to shop.  However, some people need that extra push.  By making sure to include written and friendly calls to action that create a sense of urgency, you can help to guide more people into your sales funnel.  Calls to action that are friendly, direct and useful are an amazing way to tweak your copy and also help get the person visiting to start shopping or to begin going through the process to become a lead.

Make sure they know the benefits about shopping with you

One thing to do is to make sure the person knows the benefits of the product.  If you say it’s blue, fun to wear or that it will look amazing, drive great or look incredible in your home, you forgot something important.  Why should the person should shop with you?  Make sure to include the most important things that make shopping with you a great user experience.  This is important when writing copy that helps websites to convert better.

These can be anything from Free shipping to customer support, a great returns policy, a money back guarantee, 24/7 support, secure website, customer reviews, etc…  All of these can help to build confidence and help turn the person browsing into a shopper if you do it the right way.  You can have the icons and imagery across your site, but having it in the copy reinforces it to help make it stick and make the shopper feel like this is the right place to shop.

Most important one  – Make sure you talk about how your products will benefit the shopper and the end user

Above we talked about the benefits for the end user of the product.  But if it is a Mom shopping for her kids, a Dog owner shopping for his best friend or a Grand Parent shopping for a grand kid, how will the person shopping benefit from the purchase?  This one is actually easy but people forget about it a lot.  Think about why they are buying your product.  Write your copy so that the end user see’s they will receive the benefits if the shopper purchases, but also make sure the shopper knows that it will benefit them as well.

If it is a gift for the grand kids that the grand kids want, talk to them about the big hug, affection they will get and the smiles on their families faces.  These moments and memories are very important to Parents and Grand Parents.  Many parents want quiet time and a break.  If buying the product makes their lives easier, protects their home or their family and pets or gives them quiet time, talk about this while getting the end user excited.

Making sure your copy is both for the end user and the person shopping is one of the most important things to remember.  Know who the person shopping is, who they are shopping for and write for both of them.  It could change depending on products or the time of year which is why it is important to know the demographics of your site and each section.  There are  lots of free tools that can help you do this so that you can adjust or create the appropriate pages for each group at each time of the year.

Writing onsite copy for SEO, user experience and to generate higher conversion rates is easy…well easy once you get the hang of it.  The more you write the quicker and hopefully better you can become at it.  By using the advice above and also knowing the goal of the copy, page and site, you should now have some ideas on how you can tweak your onsite copy for to help get better rankings for SEO, to help create a better user expeirence and to help increase your conversion rates.

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1 thought on “Onsite Copy – What You Need to Know for SEO, Users & Conversions”

  1. Hi Adam
    Writing good content is a daunting task anyway,but with your tips of onsite writing i guess it must be taking massive effort initially at east.However i dont mind doing onsite stuff if it’s getting me results faster.
    Thanks for the tips

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