Are your Headlines/CTA’s Missing these 5 Highly Converting Tricks?

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Whether you’re writing headlines for your content, heading copy for your landing pages, or text for your adverts, getting the words right is the difference between noticeable performance and just ‘noise’.

While every experiment on each channel is fundamentally different, there exists a key facet of every campaign that requires the same level of planning and execution. That’s language.

At its core, any type of campaign you’re designing to drive conversions and grow, depends on the variability of the language you’re using to attract and drive user action. Without content, the internet breaks. Without a reason to click on yours, your goal breaks.

With linguistic clarity, you can drive not only more of your target demography to take action, but increase the relevancy of your funnel, lubricating the pathways to growth.

Before you can speak to your potential and existing traffic, it’s important to intimately understand your target audience. To find this out, answer the following questions. I’ve made this available via Google Docs for you to make a copy and use yourself (find it here):

  • What’s the majority gender? Or is it pretty evenly spread?
  • How old are they, generally?
  • What’s their majority marital status?
  • Which geographic region do they mainly live? Are they metro or rural?
  • How much do they typically earn?
  • What’s their relationship like with money?
  • What makes them spend their money?
  • What’s their biggest problem?
  • What do they aspire to?
  • What generally convinces them to purchase something?
  • How does your product or service help them or solve their issues?
  • What would generally turn them off a sale?
  • Who do they unquestionably trust?
Work out who your target audience is
Work out who your target audience is

The majority of these questions you can hypothetically answer by imagining your typical customer, or averaging out your existing database and decoding who they actually are. For the ones you can’t answer yourself, do some research on your competitors and industry to uncover greater depth of understanding.

Once you’re aware of who your audience is, you can start to formulate better engaging language that opens the pathways to consistent customer relevancy.


Research your keywords

Keywords perform two vital functions. The first is to increase the sure-fire relevancy of your copy, and second, it ensures your copy can continue to live on and become discoverable on search engines (if you so wish), into the future. Keyword research should be the core of any of your channel campaigns, and will help you craft a more focused campaign.

To perform keyword research, there’s quite a few tools available on the internet, but here’s the top free places to get a quick list of keywords that will work for your copy.

  1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner: This tool from Google is geared towards their AdWords advertising offering, but has the capacity to provide you with deep insights as to which keywords people are actually referencing when searching for your business. Once inside, you can search for keywords in multiple ways.
    1. Enter your core product or service for the Keyword Planner to use and expand on with other related keywords or terms
    2. Enter your web address or landing page, and the Keyword Planner will crawl the page to extract the most relevant keywords or terms
    3. To increase relevance, select the category your product or service best fits
    4. You can choose the geographic/linguistic targeting
    5. You can pre-filter the types of keyword results you’ll get, such as only showing keyword ideas that closely relate to your search terms
    6. Once you select ‘Get ideas’, you’ll get a list of keyword group results you can filter by monthly searches and amount of competition that keyword gets on AdWords.

      Using Google AdWords Keyword Planner
      Using Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  2. Google Suggested Search Bar: This is as simple as starting to type some of your most important keywords into Google’s search bar. The magic is that you’ll find the most popular suggested phrases that relate to the keywords you’re typing in, as measured by the volumes of search traffic Google actually gets. The more generic your keyword, the more generic your results, but as you type more keywords into the search bar, you start to see some very refined search phrase results.

    Using Google Suggested Search
    Using Google Suggested Search
  3. Google Trends: An interesting data display toll from Google, that looks at historical searches and displays the most popular Google searches for specific keyword terms you enter. Simply type in your keyword into Google Trends, and it will show you interest in that keyword over time, geographic interest, and the most common related searches.

    Using Google Trends
    Using Google Trends
  4. Bing Ads Intelligence: This downloadable tool from Microsoft is an alternative to Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner. With this tool, you can import a list of keywords in your spreadsheet and perform keyword expansions. The added benefit is that it also integrates keyword data from Yahoo’s search network, as well as view keyword research templates based on your existing list.


Be human and relate to your customers

Showing you relate to your audience, on their level and their language, is a big win. It allows your to convey comfort and relateability, and prevents unneccessary alienation of your business vs their wallet. You can achieve this in three ways:

Show how human you are for big wins
Show how human you are for big wins. Just maybe not as corny as these guys from #unfinishedbusiness. Image courtesy of this movie stunt.
  1. Show you’ve been in their shoes: It’s not enough to just to sell them on the fact you can solve their problem. If you can share your journey that let you to starting the business in the first place, it instantly makes you more of a human.
  2. Be hyper transparent: Sharing only your wins is not doing much to prove you’re a human being running a compassionate business. Everyone fails, and not every day results in huge accomplishments. By making these moment public, you’re instantly becoming relateable, and helping your customers back you on more of a personal level.
  3. Use consistent brand voice: Once you pick a brand personality, stick to it. Train anyone who is using your public-facing channels to keep to a consistent personality style as this ensures collectivism and unity within the business, and increases the trust of your current and future customers.


Use trigger words

There are several words and sentence structures that psychologically compel us to act. These are important to understand as they can help you to understand great ways to maximise the click-through rate of your content headlines and call to actions. Here’s four ways to integrate triggers into your text:

Get your users to be curious
Get your users to be curious with questions, problems, curiosity, and converting keywords. Image courtesy zubrow, Flickr.
  1. Use Questions: Questons make your target audience inquisitive, and almost force their mouse to click. Rather than making a statement such as ‘Here are 5 converting language tricks’, asking a question about whether you’re missing them would have a much greater appeal.
  2. Use Problems: Think about what solution your product provides to your customers, and use the biggest problems it solves as your question material. For example, here I’ve used ‘Are your Headlines/CTA’s Missing these 5 Converting Language Tricks?’, which contains the problem and implies a solution.
  3. Use Curiosity: By making the headline provocative enough, you can entice the curious mind to click through. This is an extremely effective tactic, as it taunts the customer into wanting to find out more about the point you’re trying to make.
  4. Use Converting Keywords: Words such as: You, easy, because, discover, free, new, value, save, guaranteed, proven, amazing, and safe are always geared for high trust headlines that compel users to click.


Create a sense of urgency

Nothing creates the fear of missing out (FOMO) more than an indication that missing out is imminent. If you’ve got something you want to sell, it makes sense to create a sense of urgency to drive conversions at a faster pace. To achieve this, you can use these three tips:

Developing some classic FOMO
Developing some classic FOMO
  1. Build impending FOMO: Rather than simply state your offer or deal, iterate the fact the deal won’t last. Using statements such as ‘while stocks last’, ‘first 25 customers only’, and ‘sale ends today’ could be the difference in a so-so conversion attempt to one that yields measureable results.
  2. Describe the urgency: Stating the obvious has the effect of driving greater action. For example, using the words ‘sign up today’, ‘call now’, and ‘hurry!’ is a great way to test how much push you can deliver via your content.
  3. Practically do it for them: If you’ve done the hard work and created the capacity for a sale, it makes sense that your sales process be completely painless. Ensure your landing pages and conversion processes are built minimally to reduce resistance once the customer begins their conversion journey.


Design a call-to-action activator

Regardless of where you’ve crafted your highly converting headline, it needs to be coupled with an object that will allow a user to take action. That’s where activators come in. Typically, these are simply just buttons that lead to a sign up form or a shopfront (from a landing page or an email campaign, for example), however these should never be an afterthought and need careful planning, testing and measuring:

Press me, I'm a button
Try “press me, I’m a button”, and when that doesn’t work, try something that actually works
  • Button Text: Less is more here, and the little words you use, need to contain a lot of action. Experiment with variations of the action you want your users to perform, such as ‘Sign up now’, ‘Get free access’, ‘Download now’, ‘Free access’ and ‘Book now’, for example.
  • Button Colour: This is a contentious subject and much has been written about what colours work and which ones don’t. The only consistent truth to this is that you can not decide what works for your channel assets unless you experiment with colours yourself.
  • Button Shape: Traditionally, most websites use a rectangular or rounded rectangle call-to-action button, however it could be worthwhile experimenting with circular or polygonal buttons, to see whether irregular shapes have a positive effect.
  • Button Placement: Where your button is positioned can make all the difference. Experiment with right aligned, centre aligned or right aligned, as well as the amount of white space it has surrounding it. Placement of these buttons should always be ‘above the fold’, that is, visible on page load without having to scroll down.
  • Mobile Prominency: Equally as important, is the call-to-action button’s visibility on mobiles. Due to the reduction in screen space, the headline generally takes up the width of the screen space, and is immediately followed by the call-to-action button, before any swiping/scrolling needs to take place.
  • Network Advertising: Sometimes, you won’t have control of call-to-action buttons, as they’re built into the native experiences of the channels we’re using. For example, on Facebook, you can add a call-to-action button to your display ad (with seven variations: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up or Watch Video). With Google AdWords, there’s a potential for you to add call-to-action buttons as well, especially on mobiles where you can in fact add a ‘Call’ button to immediately allow users to call you.


Have any other tricks to speak to your audience better? Leave them in the comments below!


~ Tomer Garzberg
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