When writing effective web copy, understanding the psychology of how people read and process information is key. Our content strategists know this through client work and various content studies, including one with Yale University where we ‘primed’ survey respondents with words used in the intro.
By incorporating psychological principles into your writing, you can create more engaging, persuasive and effective web copy. Here are proven elements that can make a difference to your website engagements and conversions.
The Power of Emotion
One of the key principles of psychology that can be applied to web copy is the power of emotion. People are more likely to remember and act on information that elicits a strong emotional response. As such, incorporating emotional language and storytelling into your web copy can help create a deeper connection with your audience and drive conversions. Another way to get people to care is by communicating benefits (for more, you can read Features Tell, Benefits Sell).
The Attention Economy
Another important consideration when it comes to web copy is the attention economy. With so much information competing for people’s attention online, it’s important to create relevant copy that grabs and holds their attention. This can be achieved by using attention-grabbing headlines, valuable and useful content, along with visual elements such as images and videos.
Social proof is another psychological principle that can be leveraged to improve web copy. People are more likely to trust and act on information that is backed up by social proof, such as customer reviews, testimonials, social media shares and association logos. We rewrote copy for a client’s landing page and got them to add partner and association logos, which resulted in a 368% conversion increase. By incorporating social proof into your web copy, you can build trust with your audience and boost conversions.
The Scarcity Principle
The scarcity principle is another powerful psychological tool that can be used to drive conversions through web copy. By creating a sense of scarcity, such as limited time offers or limited availability of a product, you can create a sense of urgency that drives people to take action. Just be truthful as being disingenuous will come across as spammy, ultimately hurting your website’s credibility and trust.
Finally, cognitive ease is an important psychological concept to consider when writing web copy. People are more likely to engage with and act on information that is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand way. This can be achieved by using simple language, breaking up content into short paragraphs, and using visual aids to illustrate key points. Remember, when it comes to websites, about 80% of people scan copy — they don’t read word for word!
By understanding and applying these psychological principles to your web copy, you can create content that engages your audience, builds trust and drives conversions. If you prefer to leave your content to experienced web content specialists who have helped brands ranging from 1-800-GOT-JUNK to Tim Hortons, feel free to contact us.