Your company could have one of the most refined and brilliantly designed websites of any of your competitors, but if it doesn’t move your visitors to take action, then it isn’t doing its job.
If your website isn’t helping you transform visitors from passive readers to active and loyal customers, it could be the result of bad copy decisions. In the following post, we’ll outline 10 of the most common copywriting mistakes that are made with regard to websites. Any one of these mistakes can prove to be fatal to a company in today’s environment.
If you recognize any of the following common copywriting mistakes with regard to your website, you should address them as soon as possible.
Mistake 1: Your Copy Is Too Technical
You spend a great deal of time working with the products or services that you offer to your clients. You know your products, services, and industry inside and out. The problem, however, is that your target audience might not be as familiar with certain terminology as you are.
When you write copy, think first about your target audience and what they may already know (or not know), and make sure that the language you use is clear. Don’t muddle it all with complicated jargon and technical terms.
Mistake 2: Your Copy Focuses Too Much on You
Telling your brand story on your website is important, but you have to be intentional about it. A lot of the people who visit your website are looking for solutions, not necessarily information about you or your team. If all the copy on your website includes messaging about you and the reasons why your company exists, you might want to consider updating it. It’s important to have a good balance of copy that focuses on the problems your products or services solve, and copy that tells your story.
Mistake 3: Your Copy Is Not Concise
Most consumers don’t like reading long paragraphs or explanations about products and services. Instead, they prefer reading through websites that break up content through the use of headings, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs. If you find that the majority of your websites include content that is unnecessarily long, consider spending time revising it. Work with other people at your company or on your team to figure out how you can be more concise when describing your products and services.
Mistake 4: Your Copy Doesn’t Include Any Call-To-Actions
A call-to-action is one of the most important components of website copy, but it’s often overlooked by business owners. Consumers on the internet need to be told what to do when they land on a site. If you’re frustrated by the lack of sales on your site, it might be because you aren’t helping your visitors understand what it is they are supposed to do (and why). Consider placing strategic call-to-action messaging in different places on your website. You can ever go a step further by tracking the effectiveness of your call-to-action messaging through the use of analytics. It’s best to avoid using basic “buy now” call-to-action buttons on your website. Instead, work to develop and include more interesting call-to-action copy that will drive your visitors to product landing pages. Remember: the goal is to help your customers understand what to do (and why) when they land on your site.
Mistake 5: You Have Been Neglecting Meta Titles
Most of the major search engines still place some level of importance on Meta titles. They might not come to mind when you think about the copy on your website, but poor Meta titles can affect the overall success of your website just as much as other forms of copy. If you haven’t taken the time to add Meta titles to the pages on your website, follow these recommendations from Google.
- Make your page titles descriptive and concise
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles
For additional tips, click here.
Mistake 6: Your Meta Tags Are Ineffective
Are your Meta tags popping off the page? In the limited number of characters provided for a Meta description, title, or other tags, are you able to clearly and concisely describe what your website, company, and products are all about? If not, spend time working on updating these areas on your site.
Mistake 7: You Are Burying The Lead
Where’s your hook? In fiction, writers are instructed to have a compelling opening line and an even more powerful first paragraph.
With your website, you need to keep in mind that the average visitor will decide within a few seconds whether your website is what they’ve been looking for. If you bury the lead (your hook) and make it hard for visitors to find, you risk the chance of losing them before they even get to the good stuff.
Mistake 8: You Have No Real Compass To Follow
Who is your target audience? What is the demographic of your ideal customer? If you’re one of those companies that say, ‘Anyone will be our customer,’ then you won’t have a clear marketing strategy and won’t be able to produce winning copy.
You absolutely must know who your target audience is. Is it 18-25 year old males? Or how about 25-35 year old women? Perhaps you’re selling products that are more likely to be interesting to retirees.
If you don’t have a compass for your target market, you can’t create effective copy for your site. If you haven’t yet, spend some time developing ideal digital brand personas for your business. Refer to the personas when developing or updating copy for your website.
Mistake 9: You’re Using Confusing Headings
Do the headings you use on your website make sense? Do they support the content that follows? It’s beneficial to include strategic keywords in the headings on your website, but don’t overdo it. Headings that repeat specific keywords or phrases over and over again will only confuse or annoy your prospective customers. When developing headings for your website content, remember to be authentic.
Mistake 10: You’re Not Being Honest
If you never worked with a Fortune 500 company, don’t tell your audience that you did. Keep your copy honest and forthright. As more and more people continue to use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with companies, honesty is crucial.
What other copywriting error mistakes have you seen online lately? Leave a comment for us below.