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How do you add word count without lowering conversions of sales copy?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by macdonjo3, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    We all have local clients who have everything they need their customers to know about, on their website, but in short paragraphs. So as an SEO, you generally need to add more content. For example, a product page has everything you need to know about their products, but it's just not enough content for page 1 of Google.

    If you want to increase the word count on a 200-300 word page, but don’t want to lower the conversions of the sales copy, what do YOU do? Stick a 700 word article under the CTA? That's what I think I'm gonna do on every page of my local client's site.

    I don't want to lower the conversions but I also don't want to make the client look unprofessional. When you're dealing with high end clients, you want to look legit. I know a ton of people on here just hide their content with styling, so the search engines see it but the viewers don't.

    For example, a real estate company. We have a page ranking on 3rd page of Google, but it's 200 word of content. It's a lead gen page of a real estate agent and there's about 200 word before a contact form that collects all info. Would you stick in a 700 word article titled "7 Reasons You Should Buy Your Home From A Broker" or something different?

    I kind of have a plan of what I'm going to do, but sometimes the right person chimes in on here and changes everything.

    I'm going to invite @BassTrackerBoats to share his knowledge, along with others on here who own a local agency.
     
  2. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry for the tardy response; between the Holiday weekend and what not I got tied up some.

    Typically when I want to increase word count, and keep the conversion ratio up, I'll add feature and benefit content to the post/page with a CTA added every other paragraph or so.

    I had an old friend of mine, Erik, once tell me (ages ago btw) that when you are selling you want to cover every positive aspect of the product because you can't always tell what your prospect is going to hit on and to ask leading questions during the process to see if you should ask for the sale after each feature/benefit.

    The questions, mild in nature as to selling would get you to be able to see what the client thought about that particular feature/benefit and if it was enough of a positive reaction to break out the "So, do you want to pay cash or finance this?" question.

    We can't really do that with online selling as to seeing the reaction to the question but we can have a CTA after the feature/benefit and that usually works fairly well.

    Erik is actually about 10 years my senior and I sold industrial equipment for him in Northern Jersey on a B2B level who has since retired to the Florida Keys and fishes off his 38' sport fisherman when he is not hitting golf balls and fighting his putting yips.
     
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  3. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    ^ Answers like this is what makes BHW so valuable, and really help take our intermediate level members to advanced level.
     
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  4. splishsplash

    splishsplash Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Long copy always always outperforms short copy, so adding more content will never decrease your conversions.

    People who are ready to buy won't be put off by long copy. They'll read the first few paragraphs and be hooked with the initial CTA, however, people who are not ready to buy and need a lot more convincing simply won't buy with the short copy, so you're going to lose more conversions with short copy than you would long.

    The problem with SEO is you can't just write good sales longcopy for every page, because it has to be unique and relevant to the keyword group.

    What I would do is try to craft some content for each page that isn't just generic SEO copy, but actually is closer to legitimate longcopy relevant to that particular page. Throwing in as many benefits to the prospect as possible within that relevant content, so that you're building up more value for the client and also filling out with relevant content that google will like.
     
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  5. SethTurin

    SethTurin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Long copy doesn't always outperform. It could certainly decrease your conversion. If you have an amazing CTA and it's the first thing your customer sees, then they see a bunch of gobbledygook after that, they could easily be turned off. Fine print is small for a reason.

    @BassTrackerBoats already mentioned a good idea with the frequent CTAs. You could potentially add an email grab or a popup with a CTA after they get somewhat down the new, longer page, and split test that. You could try feature / product / service information in collapsible areas of the page (although hiding product or feature information is difficult to do right, so be careful).
     
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  6. splishsplash

    splishsplash Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    "could certainly decrease" <-- Opinion vs hard facts. Long copy is tried and tested. Why do you think pretty much every single product on the internet uses long copy?

    Besides, what you're saying is a bit strange. If someone is ready to ACT, but decide instead of acting they're going to read on, just because there's more to read(This in its self is strange and not what humans do), then if after reading more of your copy they decide NOT to act, then your copy is bloody shit. The only time short copy will outperform long copy then is if you're so bad at copywriting, that you actually UNSELL your prospect.

    If your initial section is

    "AT LAST: A Powerful Blender Under $100"

    Buy Now.

    Then you go to talk about all the benefits, like making delicious fresh smoothies in under 5 minutes, having more energy throughout the day etc etc, someone isn't going to suddenly say "Oh, yeah the powerful blender for under $100 sounded good, but, hm, I don't like the all these benefits like having more energy and better skin"


    http://www.john-carlton.com/2009/07/quiz-7-hot-new-prize-too/

    "I find it shocking that so many wanna-be-rich marketers out there still think the question of “short copy vs. long copy” is unsettled online."

    I suppose john carlton is wrong? Gary halbert too? ;) How about eugene schwartz?


    Copywriting isn't hard. Stop trying to be creative, and hip and invent new ideas. What worked 100 years ago works today and will work in 100 years. Humans are humans are humans.
     
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  7. SethTurin

    SethTurin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't want to get into an argument because I think generally you're right. Copywriting actually is hard, and it's getting harder. The internet is a very quickly changing beast. Gary Halpert is right about a lot of things, but some of the most successful companies in the world don't use long-form sales pages (think AirBNB, Uber, Google, Facebook) for a reason. Do you think that they're doing it wrong? Then there are some successful companies that do use long form sales pages, but know how to do it professionally (check out http://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/). Obviously long copy can work better. But it takes someone who understands how to tell a story, bring the customer along, and know what the customer wants. And that takes time.

    And more importantly, the OP said "but I also don't want to make the client look unprofessional. When you're dealing with high end clients, you want to look legit." He wants the site to look a certain way (professional, ie not a bunch of IM text like it's 2009).

    To do that, you need to be creative and a little hip. I'm not talking Parallax bs, but believe me - if you're selling certain high-end clients and you present a Gary Halpert-esque long-form sales page, you absolutely might lose them. So, yes, you can have long form sales pages that convert better, but saying that it always converts better than short copy is misleading.
     
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  8. splishsplash

    splishsplash Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you've got copywriting confused..

    That ipad pro page isn't long copy. It's not sales copy. It's a product description page.

    You're saying google don't use long copy..? What? :) Google is a search engine.

    Facebook doesn't use any copy. It's not a product they're trying to sell people on. It's a social networking site. Their signup page is just a simple signup page. It's also one of the most well known sites on the internet. Long copy selling people on the benefits of facebook, with testimonials and explaining why you should trust facebook is ludicrous.

    I think you're confused about sales copy.

    Sales copy is when you're trying to persuade your prospect to buy or act in some way. It's a specific type of content that's used to drive action from direct advertising, be it direct mail, ppc, banner buys, native ads, email marketing.

    It's not what you find on a company's homepage, or their product description page. That should not be sales copy, it serves a different purpose.

    And copywriting isn't getting harder. What does it matter how the internet changes? Humans aren't changing. Do you realize that the same crap that you're seeing today online was being used in mail order in the 1920's? The exact same shit. Humans still have the same basic wants. The life force 8 is what drives humans.

    survival
    enjoyment of food and drink
    freedom from fear/pain/danger
    sex/partners/relationships
    comfort
    being superior
    protect family
    social approval

    Since we've been living in caves we've had these core desires. We will have them for another 1000 or more years. The Internet can change all it likes. Humans aren't going to change any time soon.
     
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  9. splishsplash

    splishsplash Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  10. SethTurin

    SethTurin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I know the difference, just didn't have time to find a bunch of examples ;p Maybe the OP should give an example site that he's trying to pump up the word count for.
     
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  11. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Don't try to turn this on me now

    Besides, who would give out their site?
     
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