This is the Path to Writing Effective Microcopy

This is the Path to Writing Effective Microcopy

Marry McAleavey
18 July 2016
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Every web professional, at some point, whether they know it or not, will either make or break a page’s engagement rate with microcopy (the small parts of text on a web page). In a few words to a sentence, microcopy is what drives conversion rates by breaking up text, calling readers to action, and solving common website problems. Here’s how you can leverage it to increase engagement.

 What is the Purpose of Microcopy?

In order to utilise these small segments of copy (from a few words to a single sentence) you must first understand what the purpose is. Microcopy is intended to guide readers by letting them know exactly what to do next. It’s used in menus, headings, widgets, buttons, and more. Try to look at your website from the perspective of someone who is landing on your homepage for the first time. Do you know what action to take? Buzzfeed’s readers do.

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(Screen shot sourced from BuzzFeed.com on July 13, 2016)

When used correctly, microcopy is what will give you authority over visitors’ experience of your website. In the case of moving readers to a new page, give more than one option so that they feel like they’re in the driver’s seat.

How to Choose Your Wording Carefully

The trick to perfecting your microcopy is to think of your website as an experience for every reader to enjoy, page by page. When someone lands on your homepage, what is the next step you want them to take? What about when they land on an article? Fine-tune your sidebars, your headings, and your call to actions (CTAs) with care as you move through each page, imagining you have never seen this website before.

What can you say so that readers feel compelled to move on to the next step? Illuma Glass wants readers to download an ebook. Rather than say “download ebook,” they have used the phrase “get it now.” CTAs like this are known to generate more conversions than single words.

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(Screen shot sourced from illumaglass.com on July 13, 2016)

The Secret to Solving UX Problems with Microcopy

In just a few words, you can solve so many simple issues that users might be having on your site. Rather than leave all the answers on your FAQ page, which probably doesn’t get much traffic anyway, try explaining in the place where advice is needed. Use CTAs that explain simple actions to take to reach specific goals.

Conclusion

In order to guide people through your website, giving them the best possible experience, hone your microcopy skills. Use language that appeals to your audience — not just single word commands (“download,” “subscribe,” etc.). Help readers through potential site hangups with specific CTAs. Now, go make some improvements to your microcopy and watch conversion rates soar.

Marry McAleavey is a content writer and online marketing manager at the essay service. She is always on the lookout for the new ways to create and promote great content.