Lars Budde - 5th March 2013
Communications expert Saim Alkan presented online retailers within the eCommerce Forum at CeBIT 2013 practical tips for optimizing texts. His believes: "Many shop owners pay less attention to texts as design and usability, because they underestimate their conversion potential."
1. Use everyday terms
Online retailers rely heavily on technical language terms, explains Saim Alkan. Alkane's recommended approach is to use more everyday language.
For those looking to identify content, it is important to know the terms with which users are looking for and want to discover sites.
Generic terms are replaced by unknown brand terms. Or "grown" terms remain in use even though they are not found the language of the user. For example appliance manufacturers still prefer the term "refrigerator" (plural), although, for example, measurements using the Google keyword tool show that the common customer is looking for "fridge" (singular).
It becomes more difficult for objects for which there are no linguistic preferences - they require paraphrasing texts to be found. An example: "As you look for the little plastic barriers that you put in the supermarket for your goods at the checkout belt"?
2. Utility at the center point
Features, features, features, not benefits, benefits, benefits. 11 inches, 900 grams, 4 hours of battery life, UMTS module. These are the bullets in the online store and they are important and should be mentioned. However, you should translate these features of a notebook. Your customer wants a "travel notebook" and not a set of features. Satisfy this need, and it will be good for your conversion.
3. Use call-to-action with utility
The calls to action towards the end of the product description are often clumsy. "Cross me," "Buy Me", "Put me in the basket": Alkane recommends instead to link the call to action and the versatility of the product. Rather than "Buy me to be nice." maybe it would be better to use "Buy the light weight travel laptop."
4. Create trust
Logos and labels help to create trusted online shops. But there are few online retailers that transmit these signals of confidence on the body text says Alkane. His practical example, in a customer project he noted the aexea team that sell a range of moisturizer products in the U.S. used actor Bruce Willis - a huge confidence signal and identification feature for male buyers. By using his name in the text in the text, they doubled sales.
5. Only make product promises you can keep
When shop owners "sell" their products through value by discounting, it not only increases the conversion rate but also the product return rate. It is therefore important to keep track of issues like the number of returns. Stores that advertise products without a tangible basis are effected by late buyer's remorse and potentially many returns. Alkane recommends to promise only what the product can do.
6. Use findings from tests and studies
Usability tests provide exciting insights into design and usability of the online shop. But rarely are these results are passed on to the copywriter. Online retailers gamble by the lack of text optimization much potential, says Alkane.
7. Use text as a conversion element
While images and graphics are optimized countless times in order to increase the conversion rate, texts remain largely unchanged. Revision of texts costs the the least time and money, argues Alkane. Shop operators should - finally - use it as a conversion element.
Footnote by John Debrincat:
Most of the online shop owners that we deal with on a day to day basis think that the most important issue is design (look and feel) of a website. Design is important but without good content the best designed online store will fail. The saying to remember is "CONTENT IS KING" do not underestimate the need for good content. We have seen business owners spend thousands of dollars on design and then when you open a product page there is no description and a small poor quality image. Good content is not easy, cheap or automatic. So this article by Saim Alkan is a timely and accurate reminder to look at your content from a consumers perspective.
Saim Alkan has posted the notes of his presentation to Text-Gold.de.
Translated by Google Translate and edited by John Debrincat, CEO, eCorner.