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How to Beat the Back Button

Five tips for effective web store copywriting.

The Back button is your web store's worst enemy. If you can't get visitors to stay on your site, you can't sell anything. And while the digital shelves of your web store may very well be lined with great products, you have to know how to connect with your visitors, keep them engaged, and communicate that message. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Know your visitors.
Whether it's teenage girls, stay-at-home parents, or flashlight enthusiasts, you've got a specific audience. The language you use (and don't use) can make or break a connection with a visitor almost instantly. There's a good chance you already have an idea as to who your customers are and what they're like. To learn even more, go to blogs or forums your typical visitors would frequent, and keep on top of current trends important to them.

2. Utilize keywords.
Using product-focused words and phrases does more than just establish your knowledge and credibility to your visitors. Including key search terms in your web store copy gives search engines a better chance of returning your site in results. If the keywords your potential customers are searching for aren't on your site, they'll have a hard time finding you. A word of warning: Don't "keyword stuff " your site — your writing won't sound natural, and it'll only hurt your communication in the end.

3. Keep it brief.
No one likes to be met with a wall of text when shopping online. So after you draw visitors in with a smart headline, use short, well-crafted paragraphs that only include relevant and necessary information (that means no fluff). And keep in mind this proven fact: People are more likely to read captions under pictures than body copy, so be sure to include compelling info under photos of your products.

4. Get the results you want.
Determine what you want from your visitors on each page and make those messages clear. For example, your contact page may encourage connecting via social media. Product pages can push the sale or ask to write a review. And your home page should invite your visitors to explore other parts of your site. Each call to action should be well defined and tailored to the page it's on.

5. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Mistakes look sloppy and unprofessional — the last feeling you want to give a visitor trying to buy something from you. Above all else, shoppers want to feel secure when making a purchase online. A site that comes across as amateurish won't make a visitor feel confident in giving his or her personal information to you. Not up to snuff on your spelling and grammar? Hire a freelance proofreader to check your work and ensure you've got flawless copy.

The longer your copy keeps a visitor engaged, the better chance you have to make a sale. A few carefully chosen words could mean the difference between clicking the Back button or staying on your site, so use these tips to get the most of your web store copywriting.

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