Copy Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

by | Jul 27, 2016 | blog, Web Copy |

Before we start, let’s clear up one simple misconception – copywriting is hard. Anyone can pick up a pen or type on a keyboard and produce words, but that doesn’t make them a copywriter. A copywriter knows how to choose the right words, put them in the right places and use them to evoke emotions in their readers, inspiring them to take action and do what the client wants. Unfortunately, a lot of people out there believe that copywriters are underrated, saying they can write their own web copy and it will be just as good (plus they wouldn’t have to pay for it!). Now I’m not trying to talk myself out of a job here, odds are if you want to save money by doing your own copy then I can’t change your mind, but what I can do is offer you some advice. There is a myriad of advice out there about writing web copy, and not all of it is good. This post isn’t going to tell you how to write web copy, but instead warn away from some of the most basic pitfalls of web copy and help you make the most of your page space.

Focus On Customers, Not Keywords

A lot of SEO gurus out there will tell you to focus on keywords in order to get your page rankings up. While you do need keywords, it can be really easy to get carried away with them and go overboard. When you start to focus more on your keywords than how your copy will read for customers, you’re in dangerous territory. Your web copy should first and foremost be written to give people the information they need, answer frequently asked questions and inspire people to take action and contact you. All other elements like keywords and link generating should come second. While you do need to think about your key words and phrases, if you start writing copy purely designed for search engines, your website will never perform.

Don’t Forget Who Your Website Is For 

This is one of the most common mistakes we see in web copy. You sit and write some (in your opinion) brilliant copy that says everything about what you’re doing and what you want. So you sit and wait for the sales to come rolling in. But they don’t. That’s because you’ve forgotten a fundamental rule of web copy – it’s not for you. It’s for your customers, prospects and clients. Instead of writing about yourself, your activities and your needs automatically, instead try to tailor your web copy t what your clients need. Answer their questions, tell them what the advantages are for them when choosing to work with you. Always keep the needs of your audience in mind and create content that meets those needs.

Page 1 Is Only Half The Battle

When writing web copy or talking about SEO, the goal is almost always ‘get to page 1 of Google’. That’s great, and there is nothing wrong with having that as a goal. But what happens then? You are on the first page of Google, getting decent, organic traffic to your site, but where are all of those sales? Probably with the person whose site is on page 2. That’s because they have thought about not only how to rank highly in Google, but also how to convert visitors into sales. It’s important to remember that occupying the top space in Google doesn’t automatically mean you will get business. Your website needs to provide real content and useful information to visitors and clear call to action, otherwise, all of that traffic will go elsewhere and all of that effort to get to #1 will be wasted.

Avoid Being ‘Action Heavy’ 

We have been talking a fair bit about calls to action (mainly that you need to have one), but we haven’t talked much about how to implement them. This is a finer detail of web copy, but ultimately has a huge effect on your readers. A lot of people tend to use ‘action words’ or ‘power verbs’ in order to convince prospects to buy, asking or telling them to do something specific. While it is good to be clear, you shouldn’t be putting all of your focus into the action, as this has been proven to hurt conversion rates. Instead, customers are more likely to act when they are assured of the value they’re going to get as a result of taking that action. For example, ‘Get instant access now’ saw a 103% increase in conversions over ‘take a free trial’ in once survey, with ‘Get your X now’ improving conversion 69% over ‘sign up now’. Getting this small detail right in your call to action could give you dramatic results with very little effort.

Ultimately writing web copy is something that takes a lot of practice, time and most importantly trial and error. The advantage of using a professional web copy writing service (like ours for example) is that they have done all of the hard work for you, but that doesn’t exclude you from trying your hand at it. The most important thing to remember is to keep your customer at the front of your mind at all times. If you can think like them and understand how they would interact with your website, then you have a good chance of getting it right. If you want to chat about web copy or just want a few tips, our in-house experts can help you out.

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