Now more than ever, people are relying on the web. Everything is online, from researching information about a service to providing you with reviews of a product you’ve been dying to try. And this means your dream clients are online researching and looking for a solution to their problems! Hint, hint, that solution could be you and your business!
But is your website up to the job? Maybe your dream clients are already visiting your site, just to click the back arrow or the little red x in the corner.
In today’s post, I’ll be walking you through ten of the most common web copy mistakes I see.
So many websites have these mistakes, and they can ruin your credibility and conversions. But no worries here, I’ll also tell you how to quickly fix those web copy fails today!
Let’s get started.
You’ve re-read your web copy at least a hundred times. You know it all by heart. Heck, you can ever recite your about page in your sleep.
But, somehow, a typo – or few – slipped through the cracks. Ugh! How annoying.
I know that frustration you’re feeling. Nobody intends to make a typo. That’s why we call them errors. But even if you didn’t mean for them to happen, they’re still negatively impacting your business.
Your reader doesn’t look at a typo and think, “Oh, whoopsy daisy!”
They see that one mistake and end up expecting more. They’re thinking, “This business doesn’t have enough attention to detail. If they have a typo on their website and haven’t fixed it, how I can trust them to do their job well and pay attention to the little details on my project?”
Ouch. That’s definitely not what you want your website visitors thinking.
Looking for a quick fix?
Have a trusted friend, business coach, or website copywriter look read through your content. You’ve memorized the copy on your site, so it’s easy for your eyes to skip over typos and minor mistakes.
You’ve heard of a little something called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), right? You’ve probably heard that SEO is super important for getting your website seen online.
And it is … to a point.
We’ve all scrolled through a website that’s been so crammed and crowded with keywords. Those websites are almost unreadable, and the website fails to connect or resonate with you. But even worse, it can actually change your mind about working with this business, right?
This is the danger of keyword stuffing and writing for Google’s robots. They aren’t your audience. The harsh truth is Google by itself won’t give you sales.
They will send online traffic your way. And if you have a website optimized for conversions, it WILL get you sales.
But traffic from Google is only one part of the story. Once the users are on your website, you have to convince them you’re worth investing in.
This is what copywriting is for! It’s why my copywriting is robot-conscious, but I focus on human-friendly words and phrases.
Do you know who you’re talking to? Does your web copy connect with your dream customers?
Truth time: If your web copy was written just for them, your dream clients would jump at any chance they get to work with you.
If they aren’t, your web copy isn’t doing its job.
There are so many times when what you like matters, but this isn’t one of them. It’s not about you on your website. Yes, even your about page isn’t actually about you!
Your web copy should be all about your dream customers. Your copy needs to show that you understand, you care about them, and you can solve the exact problem they’re facing. Anything less, and your conversions will suffer.
Readers have short attention spans. Like six-seconds short. You have to capture and keep their attention almost instantly.
We’re all online, competing for people’s attention. If you can’t grab their attention, they’ll close the page and go back to scrolling on social media.
Which calls for engaging and entertaining headlines! If your headlines alone can’t keep your audience reading … You can say goodbye to potential customers and hello to a high bounce rate.
David Ogilvy, known as the father of advertising, said that “5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”
Let that sink in for a moment.
Whether it’s a headline on your blog or your website’s home page, your headlines need to grab your reader!
Once you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention in the headlines, the rest of the copy needs to align with that headline.
Your web copy is more than just words on a screen or a page. It’s a story that you’ve crafted (maybe with the help of a copywriter) with the potential to captivate and compel … or bore and repel.
Is your copy a snoozefest or page-turner?
If you’re worried your copy is boring, here are few ways to add a little spice. First, keep sentences and paragraphs short and snappy. And read through your paragraphs to eliminate flowery prose and strings of unnecessary adjectives.
And if all else fails, make sure your personality and style are infused in the words on your screen.
If your website doesn’t instantly communicate what you do, you’ve already lost potential customers.
Readers and potential customers want clear copy that communicates with them in a way they can easily understand.
You don’t need to write every single thing you do. Sometimes less is more. In fact, the wordier it is, the less likely you are to convert a new client. Why is that?
It’s lost focus. There’s no clear message. People can’t scan it and don’t instantly know what you do.
So when you’re writing your website copy, think of 5-6 key things you want to get across. Every paragraph of text should only have one thought.
The copy should also be broken up for easy scanning on a website, so add headers, bullet points – basically, just break the paragraphs up.
This is also where a good designer is essential. They know how to distribute the copy with design to make it super impactful.
There’s short and sweet copy … and then there’s just straight-out shallow copy. And there’s also detailed and educational copy… which can easily transform into fluffy, long-winded, talking-in-circles copy.
Your web copy needs to have style and substance. But if it barely skims the surface of your audience’s emotional needs, then you’ll likely struggle to convert visitors into leads.
Readers have short attention spans. So they aren’t going to read your 20,000 words ‘about’ page. And they sure as heck aren’t going to know how to work with you, or if you’re a good match if you only have 5 words on your page.
It’s a balance.
Okay, so let’s say your website clearly communicates what you do, with the right amount of text on the page.
Your website’s next job? To show why your audience should care and build a connection with them.
Without a compelling reason for why your reader should hang around and get to know you better, they’ll leave.
And the way you compel them to care is by expressing the value you bring to the table and creating a connection. After all, what’s more connecting than finding out somebody knows what your struggle is, can help you fulfill your needs, and create your dream life?
Exclamation points, CAPITAL LETTERS, and countdown timers, oh my! Welcome to a major copy mistake, overly salesy copy.
Think about it. Is there anything more annoying than:
“Buy here, RIGHT NOW!!!! Only available for 5 more hours and then it’s gone FOREVER and you’ll never see it again in your lifetime!”
The copy is shouty. It’s aggressive and over-the-top. It’s the website copy version of walking onto a used car lot and a salesperson immediately ambushing you, trying to make a sale.
As business owners, we all want to make sales. But that doesn’t make sales. It can come across as dishonest, aggressive, shouty, and spammy. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see in website copy.
Your website – your copy, your imagery, your brand colors, your projects, your testimonials – should be aimed at creating a sale more subtly.
The trick to generating sales is nurturing relationships with readers. You want to walk alongside them on their journey. So use your copy to show rather than tell. Show the value, show how easy their life will be, or the problem it solves today, instead of shouting the discounted price from the rooftop.
Whew, we made it to #10.
And on this final mistake, I can show you the difference between an okay website and a great website.
An okay website provides a digital destination to visit, but a great website offers a virtual journey for exploring.
Like I mentioned earlier, your customers aren’t robots. There are steps, both emotional and physical, that they need to take before they’re ready to buy.
They need to …
Get to know you better
Understand your value
Know how you can help them
Trust you and your expertise
Understand what happens when they click ‘buy’ or ‘contact’
Start a journey and relationship with you
And like any good friend or tour guide, you’ll need to gently lead them from where they start to where they want to be.
This is where your call-to-actions come in!
A call-to-action is devoted to inciting action from your audience.
Your CTA can be a ‘buy now’ button, a link to your services page, a blog post to educate them on your value, or even a free resource. Whatever you choose, your call-to-action should be a logical next step for your growing relationship with your reader.
CTA’s work best when they make sense. So a blog about social media best practices might end with an offer of a free social media audit.
But what if a reader pops onto your home page for the first time, and you’re asking them to pay for and schedule a 60-minute strategy session. That might be too forward or too confusing. Why do they need that? And why are you the perfect person for that job?
Think of it like dating… You shouldn’t walk up to a stranger and propose. You start by asking for their name and phone number.
Just like that example, if you don’t use CTAs to guide the journey appropriately, your visitors will get fed up, confused, overwhelmed, and lost.
Want to see a call-to-action in, well, action? Check it out.