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Ecommerce Copywriting Secrets

February 2, 2012

Atlantic BT Ecommerce  Copy Secrets

Martin’s Ecommerce Copywriting Secrets
There is an important trick to writing great ecommerce copy – remember your TWO “readers”. Copy on an ecommerce web site is read by search engine spiders and people and the first one (spiders) catches the second (people) in its web. Here is the rub – you ecommerce copy is constrained by mutually exclusive ideas such as:

Spiders

 

People

Want context 1,000 words not too much

No one reads any more, bullets and pictures please

Hate “stop” words but want organic voice (so can’t eliminate all stop
words)

Don’t know from “stop” words and don’t really read

Don’t want to be confused so look for consistency across touch points

Don’t want to be confused and want to be told a story

Learns from order and cadence

Want to be told a story

Want what is really important to be modified

Want to be told a story

Want page to “ping” frequently with new content

Want to share across social nets and read reviews, can you say Facebook LIKE button?

Rate copy on a quality score

Rate copy by buying

If you sell branded merchandise start copy with the brand. Spiders “read” higher placement as more important and people benefit from an immediate sense of scent trail. “Yes, I’m in the right place,” is the most important idea to reduce page and site abandonment.

Misaligned pages don’t convert. Working for a nonprofit recently I saw a 90% bounce rate (ouch). Investigation showed the foundation’s name wasn’t keyword dense for its purpose (supporting blues musicians) but was perfectly aligned to a music synthesizer thus the high bounce rate (still a good cause so go to Music Maker Foundation and make donation).

Here is the secret order of writing great ecommerce copy:

< BRAND > < WHO or WHAT > < KEYWORD SEGMENT >

Brand
If you are selling a SONY LCD Flatscreen start with SONY in your copy, have SONY in your name, have SONY in your page title. If Sony has a sub-brand use that too. Sony Bravia or Bravia Sony (order depends on how they are searched and what you are trying to accomplish and that is TOO LONG a story for this post).

WHO or WHAT
If you sell clothes Men’s Shirt or Women’s blouse or Toddler’s Pants are great keywords. Do the research to know how each WHO keyword ranks in your universe and then spread your copy around. Don’t be afraid to use one highly ranked keyword in the first sentence and another one in the third. Spreading your keyword copy lowers the chance of “stuffing” or spamming and it is all good to you since both are highly searched. KNOW YOUR SEARCH RATINGS and ratings are based on search frequency. Here is an example from toddler clothes:

Ecommerce Copy Secrets Keyword Search Table

The most searches (gsearch) is not always the way to go since being too broad and general with your copy walks your site into potential red oceans (so competitive you can’t get ranked or win much traffic) and going for the most searched terms may misalign your copy. Boy may be too old a word if you sell baby clothes, so, despite its higher searches, using a term with a smaller search set may lead to better conversion and conversion = money. Conversion also = time on site and lower bounce rates so conversion = Google traffic and traffic = money.

Keyword Segment
If
you sell HD TV’s be sure to say so. If you sell toddler PANTS or SHIRTS or TEES be sure to say so. All products are organized into branches in Google and may be arranged that way in your customer’s minds too though taxonomy (navigation) is typically more spider food than the way humans think.

Tell A Story
Great ecommerce copy tells a story. It may be a technical story such as:

Simple Internet Access Plus Premium Picture Quality – Even in 3D
Enjoy Full HD 1080p picture quality even in 3D plus built–in Wi–Fi® makes it a cinch to access the best selection of online movies, TV episodes, videos, music and more from the biggest names in entertainment – so you can watch what you want, watch when you want. Outfitted with Motionflow™ XR 480 technology, you’ll experience incredible motion clarity during fast–action sports, movies and games. BRAVIA® HX729 Series LED HDTVs also feature exclusive X–Reality™ PRO technology which improves the picture detail in everything you watch, from low–resolution web videos to your favorite Blu–ray Disc™ movies. Each pixel is analyzed and perfected for optimal color, contrast and sharpness for Sony’s best picture quality ever.

This copy from Sony is a little self-referential, but bet it plays beautifully with spiders; high spider rating, low human rating. I might rewrite it like this:

Footballs Knock Over Popcorn & You Can Tweet It Real Time
It’s the big game and a football just knocked over your popcorn. Quick grab the remote and Tweet what just happened to friends and family. Enjoy Full HD 1080p lifelike picture quality even in 3D with the Sony 64.5” LED HX729 Internet TV.

The most social LED HDTV features some cool Japanese tech including X-Reality™ PRO so you experience incredible motion clarity during fast-action sports, action movies and video games. Happiness is a large screen TV the whole family loves with built in Wi-Fi making it a cinch to access movies, social networks or email. Now you have to ask your daughter to hang up the TV for dinner and your son will pass his Blu-ray across that home network only he understands especially when you are out for dinner. Give the kids a break and be the home friends want to have the neighborhood Super Bowl party at with Sony’s Internet Enabled LED HDTV HX729 (already sounds like a George Lucas movie).

My copy is less keyword dense but more engaging. Sony’s copy isn’t written for humans so engagement may not be important (can’t believe I just wrote that crazy sentence but it is late and no dinner for moi).

Following some SEO writing rules and two Ecommerce writing secrets (write for spiders and people and follow the template of BRAND, WHO or WHAT, KEYWORD SEGMENTS and TELL A STORY for copy to grab Google traffic AND convert).

If your interpretation of what you just read is BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, Google, BLAH,BLAH, Sony, BLAH BLAH, SEO, BLAH, BLAH, then email or call me and our Atlantic BT marketing team will be glad to help write great ecommerce copy for your site or just feel your pain.

Martin Smith

Director Marketing

Martin.Smith(at)AtlanticBT(com)

919.256.4145 (direct)