Imagine if you could embed something on your website which would hypnotise your customers – what would you get them to do? Place an order there and then? Bookmark the site and return daily? Tell all their friends and followers about how great and wonderful your site is? Smother themselves in tomato ketchup and custard and dance round a yew tree at midnight singing “I’m a little tea cup short and stout”?
If any of the first three ideas sound appealing, then read on. I’m going to reveal a few inside secrets into how this might actually be possible. If the fourth option sounds appealing, seek help. No, really. Seek help.
Now if you’re imagining that this ‘thing’ embedded into your website is some fancy graphic with spirals that spins around before a sultry voice wavers melodically through their speakers, think again. Because the ‘thing’ you’re going to embed into your website is far more subtle and clever than that. In fact, it’s something which Sigmund Freud himself called ‘magic’. He declared that this ‘thing’ has its origins in magic, and that the magic can still be found and used very easily.
Okay, enough of the teasing, what’s this magical ‘thing’ that can achieve so much even when you might be thousands of miles from your visitors and in another time zone?
Very simply – it’s words.
Now hang on, don’t go clicking. Because let’s be realistic for a minute.
Everything significant in the history of mankind, every monumental decision, every historical development, every memorable action and every great leader or idol of men has been the result of words. Words can make millions laugh, make grown men cry, mend hearts, break hearts, excite, entice, anger, frustrate, compel and rebel.
The real problem is that far too many websites focus on inbound traffic marketing, forgetting that once that traffic has ploughed its way to your website, it’s up to you to do something with it. And simply presenting your visitors with a bit of bland sales talk, a phone number and a pretty little logo is not going to cut the mustard. Or indeed, the ketchup.
Can You Really Hypnotise People With Words On A Web Page?
Yes. Simple answer. People are doing it every day, and making a great living from it. Is it legal? Of course. Can anyone do it? With a little understanding of the basic rules and strategies, and with the ability to stop thinking like a salesperson and start thinking like a customer, yes.
Let me demonstrate with a simple example;
Let’s imagine that you’re creating a website that’s selling some rather nice watches. And let’s imagine that your web page title or H1 heading reads: “Large Selection Of Designer Watches At Prices Everyone Can Afford”.
You might be quiet happy with that. You might have even got a few sales from it. But it is very far from hypnotic. It isn’t going to reach out to visitors in the way that hypnotic writing needs to.
Hypnotic web copy that captures the interest of targeted inbound traffic needs to be personal, be relevant and be emotive – ‘P.R.E.‘
By making the heading more personal, more relevant and more emotive we could rewrite it as: “Make Your Next Handshake Make A Statement”.
See how I include a personal pronoun, and included a visual action, and hinted at an emotional response? Now the more SEO savvy among you will probably already have loaded up your shotguns to shoot that heading down by pointing out that it has no subject relevant keywords in it. Granted. But firstly, it’s only an example, and secondly, you’ve just fallen into my bear trap.
Because if you focussed on the fact that the heading wasn’t terribly SEO friendly, then you’ve probably been missing the point all along. Your hard work generating inbound traffic through search engine optimisation and external link generation is not the end, but the means, and it is not even the means to an end, but the means to the means by which you end up with a sale!
SEO Headings Might Look Good To An SEO Guru, But They Don’t Sell. And That Could Be The Thing You’re Missing.
Hypnotic writing is more emotive, more relevant and more personal, compelling people to find out more, place an order, click, signup, register and post you every credit card they have.
Let’s take another example. Perhaps you’re selling memory foam mattresses. You could have a title that reads “We Sell A Wide Selection Of Memory Foam Mattresses To Improve Sleep Quality.” The problem is though that, yes, it might include the keyphrase, and the words ‘sleep’ and ‘quality’, but is it personal? No. Is it relevant? Well, yes, but only in as far as it points out what the website sells, and your visitors already know that. They clicked on the link in the search engine after all – they were pretty clued up about what you sell before they even saw the site, so the relevance is actually not relevant at all. Is it emotive? No.
So how do we make the heading more compelling, more hypnotic, more effective? How about “Which Do You Want To Say Goodbye To First – Your Alarm Or Your Partner’s Snoring?” This is likely to strike a chord with many people, and increase the likelihood of them scanning the page for a sub heading which focuses on the particular problem they would like to solve.
Of course, the hypnotic writing needs to go beyond the heading – it needs to carry on all the way down the page and right to the end where you compel your visitors to place an order.
And don’t invite people to consider placing an order. Don’t even say how delighted you would be if they ordered from you. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Make sure that you make it clear what you’re offering, why it is relevant to them, how it will make a real difference to them, and what they must do right now to enjoy that benefit. “Order today for delivery tomorrow”, “Click the ‘order’ button now to benefit from today’s discounted price”, “Buy now and sleep better tomorrow.” Notice that each of these phrases includes a direct order? ‘Order today’, ‘Click the order button’, ‘Buy now’. Not ‘Please would you mind thinking about the possibility of perhaps bookmarking this site and going away, thinking about how wonderfully happy we would be if you came back and pondered about making a purchase some time.” Honestly, I’ve seen web copy almost as weak as that.
Do you agree that SEO can sometimes hinder the potential persuasiveness of well written web copy? Do you feel that hypnotic writing is sheer bunkum? Quickly jot your first thoughts about this idea in the comments box below, and let’s see how we all stand on this one.