This article explains how to boost your Click Through Rates (CTRs) by using persuasive copywriting techniques to encourage seachers to click on your link. You have two opportunities to persuade searchers: your blog title and the meta description which are both displayed in the Google search engine results page.
Getting on the first page of Google is necessary to achieve organic search traffic but it isn’t sufficient. The user still has to click on your link. Your content may be awesome but your title and meta description will decide if the searcher will read your content or not.
Most bloggers don’t spend the time and effort to optimize their click through rates (CTRs) enough. In this article we will explain what the click through rate is, why it’s important and, most importantly, how to optimize it.
Okay, let’s dive into the topic of click through rates and persuasive copywriting.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to click through rates (CTRs)
- How do you calculate click through rate?
- What is Persuasive Copywriting?
- 7 Persuasive Copywriting Techniques
- Become a Master of Persuasion: 5 Books to Improve Your Copywriting and Storytelling
- “Confessions of An Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy
- “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz
- “The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy
- “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman
- “The Everything Guide to Writing Copy” by Steve Slaunwhite
- Final Thoughts
Introduction to click through rates (CTRs)
Click-through rates (CTR) are important for website owners and bloggers because it’s a measure of how often searchers click on links to your content.
the ratio of the number of clicks on a specific link or call to action to the number of times people were exposed to the link.
A high CTR indicates that the blogger is targeting the right audience and speaking their language persuasively enough to convince them to click. On the other hand, a low CTR could indicate that the blogger is targeting the wrong audience or not speaking their language persuasively enough.
CTR is an important metric for measuring the success of your blogging, marketing campaign or content creation.
Improving CTR is one of the best ways to generate more sales.
Okay, now you know the importance of CTRs the next question is…
How do you calculate click through rate?
To calculate the click through rate we need to explain what impressions are.
An impression means a user has seen (or potentially seen) a link to your site in search (Source: What are impressions?)
An impression is counted whether or not a link is scrolled into view.
Impressions are important because someone needs to see your link before they can click it.
Of course, what you want people to do is click the link. The ratio of clicks to impressions is the click through rate (CTR).
What is Persuasive Copywriting?
How do you get searchers to click on your links? It’s simple, you use persuasive copywriting.
I said it’s simple – not easy. It’s far from easy but don’t worry I’ll give 7 persuasive copywriting techniques in the next section. First, let me elaborate more on what persuasive copywriting is and why it’s important to improve your click through rates.
persuasive copywriting is content that is written to convince readers to take some form of action
What kind of actions? Here are some actions that persuasive copywriting can encourage readers to do:
- click on your link from the search engine page (your blog title and meta description can be used for this)
- read your content
- click on a button
- fill out a form
- share your content
- leave a comment
Learning persuasive copywriting techniques can have many positive benefits to your website or blog. Here are some possible benefits:
- increased user engagement
- attract new customers
- more sales (change no’s to maybes and maybes to yes’s)
- increased sales from existing customers (upsell your products or services)
- boost conversions (joining your newsletter, asking for a quote, sharing your content etc)
For any blogger or website owner learning how to write persuasively is very beneficial. Don’t you agree?
7 Persuasive Copywriting Techniques
Okay, let’s go through some common, and not so common, techniques you can use to make your content more persuasive. Take a look at the techniques below and learn those you find the most compelling.
Effective copywriting is about addressing the needs and desires of your target audience.
Make it about them
“Make it about them” means to focus on the target audience’s thoughts about the product or service rather than describing the product itself.
To make it about them, you need to understand your target audience’s:
- pain points
- biggest problems
Use this information to write content that speaks directly to these issues and demonstrate how your product or service helps them solve their problems or achieve their goals.
For example, if your target audience doesn’t have much free time instead of talking about the features of a service you could explain how much time the service will save them. This is more persuasive because it targets a pain point of the reader.
Use power words
Power words are persuasive, descriptive words that trigger an emotional response in readers. They can make readers feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious.
Using these strong words well can encourage your audience to take action, whether you want them to buy a product, read a book, or comment on your blog.
To make your writing more persuasive, it’s important to use power words intentionally and carefully. Sprinkling in a few power words can transform dull, lifeless words into persuasive words that compel readers to take action.
Here are some examples of power words that can be used in persuasive writing:
Ensure you use power words in the right context. Your writing won’t be persuasive if you randomly add power words to sentences.
A key to writing persuasively is emotion. Injecting emotion into your writing resonates with the reader at a deep level.
Create a sense of urgency
Creating a sense of urgency means using language that triggers emotions to motivate readers to take immediate action.
This technique is often used to encourage readers to act quickly before an opportunity is lost. One way to create a sense of urgency is by using power words that convey a sense of scarcity or time sensitivity, such as:
- limited stock available!
- this weekend only!
- while stocks last!
- only a few items left!
This triggers readers to act immediately or lose the offer.
Another way is to use the AIDA model. Let’s break this model down into it’s four steps:
- A : Attention – grabs the reader’s attention
- I : Interest – builds interest in the offer
- D : Desire – shows what the offer can solve
- A : Action – creates a sense of urgency and encourages the reader to take immediate action
Memorizing the AIDA acronym can help you understand the four stages needed to use this technique effectively.
Use social proof
Using social proof means leveraging feedback from real people about your product or service to persuade readers to take action. We are social creatures and we care about what others think about products or services, especially if they are like us (same age, gender, occupation etc).
Here are some ways to leverage social proof in your content:
- Customer Testimonials: Use testimonials from satisfied customers to show how others have benefited from your product or service. A photo of the customer adds credibility. Video testimonials are even better.
- Customer reviews: Use customer reviews to highlight your product or service. This can be done by making customer reviews readily available on your website. It could be as simple as allowing blog comments on your product pages.
- Social media: Use social media to showcase positive feedback from customers and followers. This can be done by sharing posts and comments from satisfied customers.
Be careful with social proof, it has a downside. A viral social media post about poor customer service or problems with your product can hurt your sales and reputation.
Addressing objections means responding to the concerns or doubts a prospect has about the product or service.
No matter how great your offer is it’s quite likely readers will have some concerns about cost, quality, product fit etc. It’s important to address these concerns and answer then. The more effectively you can do this the more persuasive your offer will be.
Here are some ways you can address objections:
- providing evidence or proof that the product or service is effective
- provide social proof
- money back guarantee
- free trial
It’s a good idea to add some supporting text that addresses objections close to your call to action. Or a point of friction (signing up to your newsletter, asking for a quote).
For more on this topic: Hubspot has an article on addressing 44 common sale objections
Using storytelling means using narratives to connect emotionally with the reader and motivate them to take action. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to create an emotional connection with the reader and encourage them to take action.
By taking readers on a journey, copywriters can connect emotionally with the reader to increase the persuasiveness of their message.
Use storytelling to:
- paint a vision
- answer questions
- guide a reader into a decision
- make a message more memorable and engaging
- create a sense of empathy
Some quick storytelling techniques you can use:
- mini-stories: short anecdotes to illustrate a point
- show, don’t tell: use vivid descriptions and sensory details to paint a picture in the reader’s mind
- sound bites: short, memorable quotes that convey a message or make a point
- imagination: use the reader’s imagination to create a mental picture of the message
Use an involvement device
Using an involvement device means writing content that encourages the reader to become more involved with the message.
Involvement devices can be:
The goal of an involvement device is to create a sense of participation and engagement, which can increase the persuasiveness of the message.
Become a Master of Persuasion: 5 Books to Improve Your Copywriting and Storytelling
The best way to learn more about persuasive copywriting is from the experts. Below I’ve listed 5 books from the master practitioners in copywriting:
“Confessions of An Advertising Man” by David Ogilvy
A new edition of the timeless business classic featured on Mad Men—as fresh and relevant now as the day it was written.
Key ideas from the book:
- Ogilvy approach to business is worth reading. His advice can inspire you to run your business better.
- The role of creativity: Ogilvy argues that creativity is a crucial component of effective advertising and that it must be paired with a deep understanding of the target audience.
- The value of simplicity: Ogilvy advocates for the use of simple, clear, and direct language in advertising to communicate a message effectively.
- The power of headlines: Ogilvy highlights the crucial role of headlines in attracting and retaining the attention of the target audience.
- The importance of honesty: Ogilvy stresses the importance of honesty and authenticity in advertising, as dishonesty can harm the reputation of the brand and alienate potential customers.
- The role of personality: Ogilvy argues that incorporating a strong brand personality can help build a loyal following and differentiate a brand from its competitors.
“Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz
“Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz will teach you how to think as a master copywriter. This is a book you will come back to time and time again.
Key ideas from the book:
- Understanding the stages of market development: Schwartz outlines five stages of market development and argues that each stage requires a different approach to advertising.
- The importance of specificity: Schwartz emphasizes the importance of using specific and concrete language in advertising to communicate a clear message to the target audience.
- The role of benefits: Schwartz argues that advertising should focus on communicating the benefits of a product or service, rather than its features.
- The importance of creating a Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Schwartz stresses the importance of developing a clear and distinct USP to differentiate a brand from its competitors.
- The importance of copywriting: Schwartz highlights the crucial role of copywriting in creating effective advertising and provides guidance on how to write persuasive and impactful copy.
“The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy
“The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy is a book that provides a guide to writing persuasive sales letters. He is the one of the most successful, highly paid direct-response copywriter in the US.
Key ideas from the book:
- Kennedy argues that the headline is the most important element of a sales letter and should immediately capture the attention of the reader.
- The role of benefits: Kennedy stresses the importance of communicating the benefits of a product or service, rather than its features, to appeal to the needs and wants of the target audience.
- The power of storytelling: Learn how to make sales pitches more compelling and persuasive by using storytelling to create a connection with the reader.
- The use of persuasive techniques: Kennedy provides guidance on using persuasive techniques, such as urgency, scarcity, and social proof, to increase the effectiveness of a sales letter.
“The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman
“The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman provides proven guidelines and expert advice on how to write copy that entices, motivates, and moves customers to buy.
Key ideas from the book:
- Understanding the target audience: Sugarman emphasizes the importance of understanding the target audience and their needs, wants, and pain points in order to write persuasive copy.
- The importance of a clear and concise message: Sugarman argues that advertising copy should be simple, clear, and concise, avoiding ambiguity and making the message easy to understand.
- The use of emotional appeals: Sugarman highlights the impact of emotional appeals, such as fear, love, and excitement, in creating a connection with the reader and making the message more persuasive.
- The importance of storytelling: Sugarman argues that storytelling can help make advertising copy more memorable and engaging, and provide context for the product or service being sold.
- The use of specific and concrete language: Sugarman advocates for the use of specific and concrete language, including numbers and statistics, to make the message more persuasive and credible.
“The Everything Guide to Writing Copy” by Steve Slaunwhite
“The Everything Guide to Writing Copy” by Steve Slaunwhite is a step-by-step guide to writing effective copy for a variety of media including print, web, radio, trade journals, and much more. This is a great choice for beginners who haven’t read any copywriting books before.
Key ideas from the book:
- The importance of clear and concise messaging: Slaunwhite argues that advertising copy should be simple, clear, and concise, avoiding ambiguity and making the message easy to understand.
- The importance of storytelling: Slaunwhite argues that storytelling can help make advertising copy more memorable and engaging, and provide context for the product or service being sold.
- The use of persuasive techniques: Slaunwhite provides guidance on using persuasive techniques, such as urgency, scarcity, and social proof, to increase the effectiveness of advertising copy.
- How to research ideas and find information you need to write your copy from.
- How to write headlines, leads and body copy.
I hope you found this article helpful and enlightening.
Here is a quick recap:
- Click Through Rate (CTR) – the percentage of clicks you receive from a search page divided by the number of times your link appears on the search page
- Your blog title and meta description appear on the search page and can be used to improve your click through rates
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