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Micro-Content Fixing – an Introduction

Micro-Content Fixing – an Introduction

The fewer words you have the harder each of them has to work. So make sure they count. Let’s take a look at why you need to take care of your micro-content

It’s the little things that matter – both in life and online. Companies that test their websites have found that they can make big improvements to conversions and bounce rates by changing a few words. All of which adds to the bottom line.

Many people have worked hard on developing a clear content strategy but overlook the importance of the tiny pieces of copy on their websites – for example buttons, links, form labels and instructions, error messages and contact us pages.

Sometimes websites go live with the button names and titles supplied by the technical teams that have built the website as placeholders. But our advice is to take a long hard look at these valuable pieces of copy.

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Where Micro-content Really Matters

Have a look at your hero pages and key touch-points with your users

Buttons and Links

Designers often say nobody reads the text on buttons – and want them all to be a uniform size. However, testing in the real world proves the opposite.

Button copy can have a huge impact on results. For example, one company switched from “Order information” to “Get information” and got a 38% increase in conversions. This is because the button mirrored the benefits that a user would receive.

To create a good button you need to think about user goals and motivations – and what they are actually going to get when they click. So don’t write Download – instead say Get your free whitepaper now. Don’t say submit, say Get your quote now.

Forms

Getting users to fill in forms is tricky enough without creating extra hurdles with bad explanations of how to complete the form or titles for form fields that confuse them.

See Also

If you are going to ask someone to complete a long and difficult form let them know what  they will need to hand before they complete it in a brief introduction – for example To complete this form you’ll need to know your passport number. Many users resent giving away personal information that seems unnecessary to them – so remove barriers and ease them through the process. Provide a brief explanation of why you might need their date of birth or other intrusive information – this should help smooth the path to success. Think about forms as a conversation with users. Don’t be rude or unhelpful to them.

Cookie Policy

A recent example of how little pieces of text can have a different impact was when the sites were required to alert users to their cookie policy. Responses varied from a technical approach to a much more warm and user-friendly approach. See some examples of different approaches to cookie policy messages.

Tone of Voice

Many companies and brands are careful about their tone of voice in copy in the main part of the page but only a very few remember to carry it through everywhere. Look hard at places like your 404 error page, the page that shows an order has been completed or an email sign up is successful and check whether your brand values are on show at their best here. But you may also need to watch your tone of voice. Don’t let playfulness or quirkiness get in the way of user tasks.

If you Spot a Problem in your Micro-content

Suggested fixes should be informed by an understanding of digital best practice, retail psychology, behavioural economics and persuasive copywriting techniques. To reduce friction and smooth the conversion journey, look for opportunities to tap into key drivers like ego, inertia, peer approval and perceived ease, and translate these into persuasive, compelling messages.

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