Is Your Web Copy Driven By Stats and Conversion Data?

1 December, 2008

Copywriting, web content, Writing tips

Or are you one of the many writers kept in the dark?

I’ve asked clients before to share traffic conversion data with me when they’ve asked me to write either conversion-oriented copy, landing pages, and/or linkbait articles. I have received very little feedback. And while it’s frustrating, since it limits my abilities to perfect and finetune copy, it is also out of my hands.

calipersWhile I was pondering this I remembered reading a section of John Caples’ book Tested Advertising Methods. In it he specifically compares the job of copywriters asked to produce copy for clients who don’t expect specific and “proven” results with those who have no choice but to write only sales copy that SELLS. The challenge is that unlike other types of “entertainers” such as a comedian and a salesman (Caples’ examples), both of whom receive immediate approval or disapproval from their audiences, a copywriter is removed and as such at a disadvantage in determining effectiveness of the writing product. Unless you have some sort of magic insight, you rely on client feedback and sometimes it just never shows up. Both of us lose when that happens.

Tracking Linkbait: Do-It-Yourself

The one data measurement I have been able to track somewhat are number of links back to a linkbait article. And even in these instances data is unclear because the timeframe is so indeterminate. Immediate links are not necessarily a given. I’ve had  bloggers agree to link to compelling and intriguing articles, but it could be a week or so later that they get around to the post–they’re busy and many have blog agendas and topics they want to run. You end up in some kind of queue unless of course you can manage to produce something with a date and deadline attached.

If you produce linkbait and want to run test on your own, simply search for a sentence or so of your article. I think you’ll find that to really get links there will be a trickle down time, or a period of percolation–maybe one or two weeks in which other bloggers, second tier sources you’d never contacted, grab the link from one of your main contacts.

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