There are a lot of elements that go into creating an excellent site for your business. A clean user interface, intuitive navigation, easy checkouts, and great copy are all a must.
Most brands understand the importance of each of these elements, and thus make them a priority. But many overlook one other crucial element that can affect user trust, site traffic, and conversion rates just as much. That element is microcopy.
Microcopy is hugely influential on your site, and can be used in a number of different ways to increase the likelihood that users take certain actions while there. In this post, we’re going to look at how to leverage microcopy on your Shopify site (though the tips will work for non-Shopify stores, too!), including tips on how to write it and split test it for maximum impact.
What Is Microcopy and Why Does It Matter?
Microcopy is small chunks of copy that help users take specific actions or offer quick, valuable information in some way. It’s often more important to UX than it is to overall branding and is isolated from main site copy.
While many users may only read it and not pay a ton of attention to it, microcopy still can subconsciously influence what actions they take on your site.
Let’s look at an example. The below is found on the bottom of Fitbit’s homepage. Their microcopy reads “Get the skinny on all things FitBit.” This isn’t the focus of the homepage, but it explains why users should enter in their email address and the value they’re getting in return. It’s short, but it’s effective.
Microcopy can be used to do a number of different things. It’s often used to drive action, but it can do this in a variety of ways, including overcoming objections, answering questions that may not otherwise be central to the main copy (like privacy notices), or offering quick specific instructions on how to take certain actions.
The example below from Brooklinen demonstrates how microcopy can be used to increase sales by providing quick information. “The hardcore bundle saves you 25% vs buying separately.” It’s difficult for customers to resist a great deal thanks to the loss aversion phenomenon, so this bit of microcopy reminds them that they save more and get more, overcoming the “but it’s expensive” objection and appealing to that desire to get a deal.
How to Write Strong Microcopy for Shopify Stores
Writing strong microcopy for your shopify store can be just as important as writing strong copy, and a lot of the technical best practices for the two overlap.
When you’re writing microcopy, this is what you should keep in mind:
- Stay consistent with your brand voice. Your brand voice is likely distinct and well-defined across the rest of your site, and you’ll want that to be reflected in your microcopy, too. Breaking brand voice will make the microcopy feel odd instead of useful. Grammarly stresses words like “clear” and “mistake-free writing” consistently throughout the site, which has a professional and academic voice. It only makes sense this would be reflected in their copy.
By staying on brand, you’ll be able to more consistently build trust and improve brand recognition long term.
- Keep the copy tight. You should use as few words as possible to get your point across and get the impact that you want. It is, after all, called “microcopy” for a reason. People should be able to skim the copy quickly and be able to get the idea. Use simple sentence structures (unless you’re Grammarly), and break them up visually if needed.
- Consider overcoming objections. Your main copy often focuses on selling your products or services or promoting your brand. Microcopy can counterbalance this and make the main copy more effective by quickly and quietly overcoming objections without coming across as “the lady doth protest too much.” This is why you’ll often see microcopy that highlights “no risk trial” or “money back guarantee.”
- Offer actionable or valuable information. Microcopy can really shine when you just need a quick phrase or two to encourage users to take action. Sometimes, though, the microcopy should be used to literally tell users what specific actions to take. Royal Caribbean uses microcopy in order to keep users scrolling through the page, making sure they get the most out of it, and they use the term “experience” to both stay consistent with brand voice and make the action seem more appealing.
- Utilize it to improve the user experience. Have you ever submitted a “Contact Us” form and not gotten some sort of notification saying that it actually went through and felt uneasy? Use microcopy to improve the UX experience, enhancing users’ understanding of what’s happening and why. This will improve conversion rates, reduce abandoned carts, and ease concerns.
Split Testing Microcopy: Everything You Need to Know
Just like everything else when it comes to marketing, you should be split testing your microcopy. That copy is so short, but it can be so impactful, so you need to make sure it’s working for you.
This can be done manually, by setting up two different landing pages and seeing which yields the most results. This naturally takes more time, but is fortunately relatively easy to do on what I call one-size-fits-all pages like the homepage or the checkout page, which are otherwise stable and don’t require multiple versions like product pages. Product pages are much more difficult to test manually just because there are so many of them.
Fortunately, there are tools that can help with this. Our Neat A/B Testing Shopify appis an excellent solution for testing microcopy present on product pages. It automatically split tests different versions of your product pages to help you determine what resonates with your audience most and what helps you to get the most sales. Run test on your product pages’ copy, and see if you’re surprised by the answer.
You can see how it works here:
Microcopy is often considered an afterthought, if remembered at all, but it’s significant. It can help you increase conversion rates, direct site traffic, and overcome customer objections. Since it’s quick to write with our best practices and easy to test with tools like Neat A/B Testing, take a close look at your site today and look for opportunities where microcopy could benefit your site and your customers in any way.
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are the most common ways you’ll see microcopy used:
- Overcome objections, increase urgency, or provide valuable information to drive purchases on product pages.
- Offer valuable information about privacy, site security, or other customer concerns about how their information may be used on product pages, checkout pages, or in site footers. These are common alongside calls to sign up for their email list.
- Improve site navigation by offering shortcuts and explaining why to click to certain pages; this can appear anywhere on the site and is common on the home page, and may include clickable CTAs.
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