Absolutely Atrocious Adjectives: Quickly Killing Conversions

typewriterChances are at some point, somewhere you’ve read, or heard (or admit it—written), a lovey-dovey romance letter. Whether you’re a softie at heart or have Clint Eastwood’s constant scowl, you know that those letters are just a little too sweet. If you’ve ever wondered what makes them so-sweet-they’re –cavity-causing or why you want to just roll your eyes and laugh, the answer is simple—adjectives.

The use of adjectives can be effective in certain types of writing, but overuse could really hurt your marketing copy.

The purpose of website copy is to call potential customers to action. You want them to act on your copy and to contact you to use your services or products. So while you may think using colorful adjectives makes your product or service seem more interesting, they’re just fluff words that don’t add any substance to your copy; they steal the spotlight from the benefits of your product or service.

While you may remember from high school that writing a three sentence paper was unacceptable, the same is true with website copy. But rather than use adjectives to take up space and hit a word count, use stronger language! In marketing copy, verbs are your friends; they are a lot more effective than weak little adjectives because they direct people to take action.

Here’s another way of looking at it. Which of the following sounds more professional and enticing?

  1. “Our arch supports are amazing pieces of awesome engineering and a technological marvel. Their truly dazzling design can fit in any shoe and are perfect for you! Call us today to learn more!”
  2. “Our technologically-advanced arch supports improve your life by easing your back and knee pain while providing the comfort your feet need. Order yours today!”

Of course these are two generic examples and your site’s content will be more specific. But for the sake of argument, which would you choose? The first example says their arch supports are a great piece of technology, but it doesn’t say what they can do for potential customers.

The second example has fewer adjectives and cuts to the chase. It mentions their arch supports are advanced, but then focuses on what the product does (i.e., benefits) by using the verbs “improve,” “easing” and “providing.” In this way, the verbs serve to drive people through the copy telling them how they’ll directly benefit from the product.

So what’s the key takeaway? Naturally you’re going to use some adjectives in your copy, but using too many may negatively impact your conversions. By simply adjectifying your product and service, you may be hurting your bottom line because customers don’t know what your product or service can do for them, nor do they feel compelled to action.

Writing may seem like something very simple in today’s tech-heavy world, but it’s a basic form of communication that requires skill and practice. Writing stronger copy can help lead your business to more conversions by calling potential clients to action (both by literally calling them to action and by explaining the benefits of your product or service). Besides, you don’t want your site to read like a thesaurus-wielding, romance-driven teenager’s love letter!