Visitors start with a very fleeting interest. Even once they have become more interested they want to make the right decision but with as little effort as possible. If they can read a 100 word page that persuades them to enquire then they would prefer that over having to read a 300 word page.
Therefore the copy needs to be really succinct and easy to comprehend. So a young child could read it, or to be more precise an adult trying to adsorb the page at 3x their normal reading speed.
With poor copy the reader probably could work out what you mean by the time they finish the sentence but they are skimming bits of text, and you are making more work for them. Bits of text with multiple meanings send our subconscious off in different directions searching for meanings.
Having an easy to read font has a big positive impact. The same applies to the actual wording used. Some of the advantages of keeping your messaging simple:
- If it is easier to read then they associate this with the subject matter i.e. your firm and the idea of working with you.
- – (The simplicity effect is so strong that for example stock exchange tickers that can be easily pronounced like KAR actually do better on the stock market.)
- – (A list of exercises written in a difficult to read font were assumed to be more difficult to perform and to take nearly twice as long to complete as the same list in a simple font)
- People are also more likely to believe what you are saying. In one study people were shown to be much more likely to believe a statement that rhymed (making it easier to read and remember) then the same statement reworded so it didn’t rhyme.
- Jargon rich content was actually shown to give the impression that the author was less intelligent.
[source: “Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion”, by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini]
You should avoid sentences or parts of sentences that don’t make sense until you get to the very end. And parts that have multiple possible meanings. An example of a poor sentence:
“Turn more of your website visitors in to people that become clients by getting them to make enquiries.”
Turn more of your website visitors (turn them! Like in vampire movies?) – in to people(they are already people) – that become clients (makes it sound like clients are a different type of people) – by getting them (with a giant net perhaps?) – to make enquiries (make?).
Having a well worded page has a massive effect on your conversion rate in three additional ways:
- the visitor understands your offer better
- shorter clearer sentences means you get 2x – 3x more information across with the same number of words, so you get a 2x – 3x bigger window to persuade them
- As the information is coming in faster and easier they will actually continue to read more content than if it was coming in slower, reading the page will be more entertaining
For example “We will tell you all the things you need to know, to make your divorce process less stressful” vs “We make your Divorce less stressful”
The first line is 18 words long, the second is only 6. That is 1/3 as many words. If the page carried on at that rate the reader could adsorb 3x more information with the same number of words. The succinct version sounds much more confident and believable too.
Note: this is an extract from my free ebook: http://sols-uk.com/ebook4.php