Words can have a massive influence on human behavior. In the same way that stop and yield signs slow drivers down in different ways, the words you write on your menus, buttons, instructions, and error pages can determine what actions your website visitors take. This demonstrates the importance of user experience (UX) writing — a craft that often goes unnoticed, but is glaringly obvious when done wrong.
UX writing works hand in hand with UX design to make websites and apps easy to navigate and enjoyable to use. It guides customers through your platform, persuades them to move further through the buyer’s journey, and helps them achieve certain goals — for instance, learning about your products or completing a purchase. In this sense, good UX writing plays an essential role in converting website visitors into customers.
Here’s what you need to know about how UX writing impacts conversions and how you can use it to boost your business results.
How UX writing affects conversion
If UX writing seems like a small contribution to your website, imagine your website or app without it. It would become incredibly difficult to navigate, if not completely meaningless.
Given that 88% of online shoppers would be hesitant to return after one poor experience, prioritizing excellent UX copy is essential for driving positive engagement on your digital platform and improving customer retention. Instead of exiting your site within seconds or leaving before any meaningful interaction (like a form fill or a purchase), consumers will be driven to stay and convert.
With strong verbs and clear language, you can drive action instead of inactivity.
So how can you improve your UX writing and achieve a higher conversion rate? We’ll run through four strategies that you can implement.
Craft concise copy.
Standard website content is typically long-form, with writers often aiming for over 1,000 words per page to achieve high search engine rankings. However, writing UX copy is a completely different practice — one that isn’t focused on marketing at all. Your goal is to improve the user experience, and odds are, you’ve never wished for a longer headline or more advanced verbiage when navigating through a digital platform.
Conversion-friendly UX copy is simple and concise. As consumer attention spans diminish, it’s becoming increasingly important to use every word deliberately. Users don’t want to read giant blocks of text. They want digestible information in the form of concise phrases and bulleted lists. By cutting unnecessary words from your UX writing and strengthening your core copy, you can send your consumers more memorable, meaningful messages.
2. Write with your target demographic in mind.
No matter what copy you’re crafting, writing for your target audience is critical for improving your results. When your users understand and can relate to your UX writing, they’re more likely to positively engage with your platform. For example, while medical jargon may help nurses and physicians find the answers they need, including complex medical terms on patient-facing websites may lead to more significant confusion.
To make writing for your audience — and therefore, make your UX copy more impactful — it’s ideal to focus on a niche market, especially in the early stages of your business. It’s far easier to develop a complete understanding of a smaller, more specific demographic than a broad one. As a result, you can develop a style and tone that’s specifically designed for your audience, their needs, and the way they uniquely interact with platforms like yours.
3. Include clear calls to action.
Even when people are interested in taking action, they don’t always know what action to take. When you always make the next step clear on your website or app, interested users are more likely to move forward and convert. Insert calls to action buttons (and call to action text) wherever relevant instead of leaving users to do the guesswork. Just as you would for any of your UX copy, keep your call to action simple and concise.
Calls to action can be an opportunity to entice customers, too. Instead of using generic UX copy like “sign up now,” you can generate leads by offering value in your copy. For instance, “sign up for free merch” or “get a free consultation” may help you win more clicks and conversions.
4. Track KPIs for continuous improvement.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that tell you whether or not you’re making headway toward your business goals. For instance, if you want changes in your UX writing to boost your sales, tracking your click-through rates and conversion rates can help you determine if you’re on the right path.
Tracking KPIs helps you avoid making assumptions about your target audience or making blind changes to your UX writing. Instead, you can determine if the microcopy updates you’re making are actually having a significant impact. If you’re not seeing the results you want within a certain time frame, you’ll know that you need to update your UX writing once again.
The more you track your KPIs, the better you’ll understand your target audience, too. Pay attention to the language that they’re engaging the most with, as well as what words make them drop off of your site, then update your company style guide based on your insights.
Achieve your business goals faster
Great user experience design depends on excellent UX writing. When your copy and calls to action are effective, simple, and concise, your website visitors or app users will better understand your messages and follow the right paths to conversion.
If you want a website visit to end in a form fill, for instance, your UX writing can drive them to follow a link to your form and ultimately submit their contact information. Great UX writing prevents interested shoppers from turning into idle visitors.
You can further boost the effectiveness of your content by gaining a complete understanding of a niche demographic, which helps you write more understandable and persuasive copy for your audience. Additionally, you can track your metrics to ensure your new UX copy is improved instead of just a new set of words.