10 Commandments of Copywriting That Inspire Conversion

If you want your landing page to convert, you need good copy. Bad copy isn’t going to inspire anyone to purchase your product and can even drive people away from your site. So, if you really want to make sales and get conversions from your landing page, follow these 10 copywriting commandments that are essential for good landing page optimization.

1. Thou Shalt Call Thy Visitors to Action

Image via Flickr by johanna kollmann

Don’t be wishy-washy. Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. One of the most important things about website copy is that your call to action is consistent, strong, and most important, present. Too many website owners don’t want to feel like they are pressuring visitors, so they leave out the Call to Action (CTA). If you do this, your site won’t convert as well.

2. Thou Shalt Show Thy Visitors the Value

Visitors to your website want to know what they get from you. It may sound a little selfish, but let’s be honest — if they’re not getting something, they’re going to leave. Now, it needn’t be a huge promotion. It could be as simple as something interesting to read. However, you need to show them the value of your product or service immediately. Use value statements and wording. If visitors don’t feel that they are getting something that is worth their time, they won’t spend that time on your site.

3. Thou Shalt Write in Second Person

Image via Flickr by Kevin Dooley

Don’t tell your visitors what you’ve done or what you know. Tell them what THEY will know or what THEY can do (re: CTA). This is crucial for your landing page copy. Not only does it help build a connection between you and your visitor, it also lets them see themselves using your product or service. If you use “I” statements, they’ll start to wonder how this will work for them.

4. Thou Shalt Always Break up Thy Copy

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No one wants to read a wall of text. If someone comes to your landing page and sees a ton of text with nothing to break it up,they’re simply going to leave. This means, don’t have more than about a hundred words per paragraph. It makes text easier to scan. Add bullet points when possible. It’s also important to break up text with images. This will help give your visitors something else to look at and gives the page a more pleasing look.

5. Thou Shalt Only Write What’s Necessary

Image via Flickr by Anne Hornyak

Get rid of the fluff. Fluff is the extra wording and jargon that has no place in your text. It’s filler and fodder. Maybe you think your copy isn’t long enough or maybe you want to fill your text with a ton of keywords. Either way, it’s wrong. Edit your text and get rid of everything that isn’t crucial. Consider hiring a professional copywriter or copyeditor if you’re unsure about fluff.

6. Thou Shalt Use Repetition

Image via Flickr by Daniel Oines

While you don’t want to fill your copy with fluff, you do want to use repetition. This breeds familiarity. However, this doesn’t mean that you should say the same thing in every sentence. What this means is that you should use some items through the copy, such as the same call to action. Another place where repetition is beneficial is in subheadings or specific keywords through the copy that stand out.

7. Thou Shalt Grab Thy Visitor’s Attention

Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon

Do something crazy. Come up with an interesting header. Make your copy funny. You need to do something that grabs their attention, and then holds it. If you don’t, they’re going to leave the page before they get to the point of conversion. Make sure that whatever you do, it fits with your product. If you’re selling a vacation in the Bahamas, you probably shouldn’t make your visitors cry. It’s incongruous.

8. Thou Shalt Showcase the Product, Not Thy Writing

Okay, so you’re a creative writer. That’s great, but that’s not the point of your landing page. Even if you’re selling an e-book that you wrote, the entire point of the landing page is to sell the product. You want concise and persuasive page copy. You want to entice your visitors to purchase your product, not try to convince them that you know how to wittily turn a phrase. Be careful about using too much overt creativity in your writing. Instead, state the facts in an interesting way.

9. Thou Shalt Have a Unique Selling Proposition

Image via Flickr by Lydia

Your landing page is selling a product or service. This product or service needs to have a unique selling proposition. And you need to tell the world what this is. The unique selling proposition is what is going to get people to purchase this product instead of similar items. What makes the item you’re selling better than the alternatives? You need to find great ways to point out the unique selling point to your customer without getting too flowery in the copy. Remember, even though this is an important part, it still needs to stay as clear and concise as possible.

10. Thou Shalt Write in a Friendly, Engaging Way

You want your visitors to turn into customers, right? One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to make sure they like you. To do this your copy must be well-written and friendly. Visitors should feel welcomed when they come to your landing page. They also need to feel engaged. If your copy is too stuffy or formal, many visitors will feel uncomfortable and won’t stay long enough to find out if your product is actually something they want or need in their lives. If they don’t feel engaged, they’ll get bored and leave.

Writing landing page copy isn’t an easy task. It gets difficult to keep everything in mind and create something that works for your product or service, and sounds great at the same time. However, with a little work, your landing page copy will end up great.

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By Jon Correll

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3 thoughts on “10 Commandments of Copywriting That Inspire Conversion

  1. Funny, but well written – kudos, Jon!

    It is hard to believe how many times I’ve seen the #1 commandment either overseen or at most very weakly deployed in copy.

    Great post, I truly enjoyed it 🙂

    Steve ✉ Master eMailSmith ✉ Lorenzo
    Chief Editor # eMail Tips Daily Newsletter

  2. Thank you for clearly pointing out these guidelines. I just started learning about PPC and with my self-confessed still-thin understanding of its concepts, even an effective ad copy becomes useless when its
    corresponding landing page doesn’t sell.

  3. An information and entertaining post. Some of the best tips that I’ve come across on this topic.

    Wouldn’t most of these apply for ANY copy writing since most pages on a website are potentially landing pages?

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