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Writing for Conversions, Part 3 of 3 - Format

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10/29/2008 04:48:00 PM

This is the final post in a three-part series on writing for conversions by Tim Ash, author of Landing Page Optimization. Tim is an industry expert in website optimization and his company, SiteTuners, is one of our Authorized Consultants.

In two previous posts, I examined the structure and tone of your writing as a way to increase conversions. In this blog post I will cover the remaining key element - format.

Since people don’t read on the Internet the same way they read offline, the format of your writing should support their scanning behavior. Use the following guidelines to help you write scannable text:
  • Write in fragments or short sentences. Don’t worry about grammatical correctness if you have made yourself clear.

  • Use digits instead of words to write out numbers (e.g. “47” instead of “forty seven”)

  • Highlight important information-carrying words. Don't highlight entire sentences, stick to 2- or 3-word phrases.

  • Use clear, emphasized titles for page headings and important subheads.

  • Use ordinary language (avoid industry jargon and acronyms that are not widely understood).

  • Use active voice and action verbs.

  • Use bullet lists instead of paragraphs.

  • Do not use more than 2 levels for lists or headings.

  • Use descriptive link text that describes the information on the linked page.

  • Use supporting links to present supplemental information and use “see also” for cross-referenced information.
If you review your website and landing pages with a critical eye and faithfully implement the recommendations above, I can guarantee that you will make a better and more persuasive connection with your visitors. This, in turn, should make your cash register ring more often.

We'd like to thank Tim for putting together this series. If there's a topic you'd like to see us cover, please shoot us an email.