In some professions, people talk about the sights they see when they’re on the job; airline pilots, paramedics, window cleaners; they’ve all seen some sights I’m sure!

In the same context, while working as a freelance copywriter; gosh I saw some sites!  Websites that is, that nobody (let alone your target market who you want to impress), should ever have been exposed to!

Sites that are so bad, they should have been illegal!

One day I sat looking at a website for a good ten minutes trying to work out what this particular sentence meant (actually, it was a bad ten minutes, but it was solid).

It referred to the ‘purples’ that the owner wanted to buy their product. The purples? I was confused. And then it hit me.

OH; did you mean ‘people’???

And this was just one of many.

There are millions of websites out there that have been launched simply as a direction point for business cards, and none of the website copywriting on those sites has been given the love and attention it deserves.

And goodness, that makes me itch!

But it’s not a mistake that comes from a bad place. Often, site owners have paid no attention to website copywriting because they’re face-to-face people.

They believe that once people visit their site, some basic copy alongside the contact details will get the visitor to pick up the phone so that the office staff can do the rest.

Big mistake.

If you’re not writing website copy to talk to your target market at the point they’re online; there’ll be no picking up of the phone.

There’ll be no popping in for a visit. They’ll simply move on until they find someone who they can identify with – your competitor!

Is this you?

Have you launched your website without any clear strategy on writing your copy? Have you just filled space with words which you think will get your readers to call you so you can explain about your wondrous self in person?

Take my word for this; if you haven’t been tactical with writing website copy, you are stopping internet searchers, that’s someone who needs your EXACT product; from engaging with you and you are pushing them directly to your competitor.

Yes, based on your copy alone.

Here are ten of the most common website copywriting mistakes that I regularly come across.  But fear not, if you don’t know your purples from your people either, I’m also going to tell you how you can fix these mistakes up all by yourself!

1) Your website copy is written in a tone you like to speak in.

Well, why wouldn’t it be? That’s how you talk! You have a small, local business which is built on relationships with your clients, so why wouldn’t you write how you speak?

But if you’re a 40-year-old woman selling a product for an 18-year-old man, that’s how you need to make sure you’re writing website copy.

You need to make sure that you’re picking up what they’re searching for in Google before they even get to your website. And to do that, their search queries need to appear in your copy exactly as they’re typing them.

If you can’t get past the Google gatekeeper, you’ve got no chance with what the rest of your site can do.

How you can fix it 
Complete a thorough competitor analysis so you can see which keywords and phrases your target market are looking for to get to your competitors’ sites. And start talking in that tone precisely, and consistently.

2) Your website copy is stuffed with keywords.

Google is smart.

Google no longer ranks content purely based on how many times you can use your keywords and phrases in your few hundred words of copy.

It ranks you based on how many times you can get your key phrases authentically into content that provides value to your readers. So if you’ve randomly stuffed your chosen keywords into places that they’re not welcome, you’re likely to get punished by Google, not rewarded.

How you can fix it
Write your article or blog first and then go back and add keywords naturally into your existing copy.

website copywriting services

3) Your website copy doesn’t mention the benefits to the reader.

Nice as they can be, humans are selfish creatures.

While your new state-of-the-art equipment and lifetime achievement awards are of value to you, what benefit do they provide to your reader? Because that’s what they’re there to find out. If you don’t hit their sweet pain-point, and address their needs relatively quickly; you’re not giving them anything to entice them through your front door.

How you can fix it
Identify the biggest need that your product or service solves for your target market, and when writing website copy, focus on that! Make sure most of your content is written around the word ‘you‘ not ‘I‘.

4) Your website copy is too vague.

When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no-one.

If you’re standing in a room with 100 people and only two of them are your target market, who would you have a conversation with first? That’s right…the two that you want to talk to.

Online is no different.

How you can fix it
Refer to your buyer persona and write your copy as if they were in the room with you. Forget about their uncle, brother, mother-in-law and goldfish!

5) Your website copy doesn’t pre-empt your reader’s objections.

Humans are created with an inbuilt deflection mechanism designed purely for sales people. We can sniff out someone who wants to take our money at a hundred paces, and we don’t like it!

When writing website copy, if you don’t address the buyer’s objections that are already hard-wired, they’ll leave your site with the view that ‘they were right all along.’

How you can fix it
Understand the reasons your customer has for not buying from you, and get in there first!

Are they short on budget? Pushed for time? Not open to change?

Your copy is the perfect place to address all of those reservations. By the time they get to the end, they’ll have no reason not to buy from you.

6) Your website copy isn’t clear and concise.

How many times have you got to the end of the first paragraph of website copy with no idea what the writer is trying to say?

I’d say none.

People just don’t get to the end of the first paragraph of copy that’s not clear or concise.

They give up and go straight to your competitor.

How you can fix it
Don’t try and flower up your copy with technical speak and industry jargon. Talk in a natural, unassuming tone that people find easy to read.

Remove your fluff and focus on the stuff.

Read every word and evaluate whether it’s of value to the reader. Yes, every word!

copywriting for websites

7) Your website copy is too short

How do you expect to engage people with no words?

When written correctly, words hold power to help people find you, understand you, and then choose you. Without them, you’re left with a big blank space, and that doesn’t appeal to anyone!

How you can fix it?
Aim for a minimum of 200-300 words of valuable copy on your home page and regular blog posts of approximately 800 words.

8) Your website copy isn’t grammatically accurate.

OK so while not everyone is a grammar Nazi, being on the receiving end of website copy that is grammatically incorrect with poor sentence structure is downright painful.

So painful to read, in fact, that people just don’t bother.

How you can fix it
Always get someone to proofread before you print and use apps such as Grammarly or Hemingway to check for errors and receive a readability score before you publish.

You can also hire a website copywriter to do the hard work for you!

9) Your website copy doesn’t include a call to action.

What’s the point in a beautifully created piece of website copy that, when the reader gets to the end, doesn’t tell them what you want them to do?

People give their customers too much credit and assume they know what you want them to do next…they don’t.

How you can fix it
Add plenty of CTAs (calls to action) throughout your website copy.

Sign up now. Request a quote. Contact us for information…whatever you want your reader to do, spell it out for them!

Don’t give too many options per article; pick one and be consistent, otherwise you’ll just cause confusion.

10)  Your copy isn’t optimised for SEO.

I talk about SEO a lot because if you don’t get it right, you dramatically reduce your chances of getting found online; and that’s no good for any business!

‘Optimising copy for SEO’ doesn’t just mean putting in keywords I’m afraid.

You also need to do the following:

  • Provide Google-friendly title tags and meta descriptions adhering to a character count and following basic copywriting protocol.
  • Provide external links to other websites.
  • Provide internal links to other pages on your site.
  • Create content that encourages others to share through their social media channels.
  • Create social media introductions that encourage others to share from your page.

How you can fix it
If you know your way around the back end of your website, you can implement the above relatively quickly. Otherwise, engage with a copywriter or SEO Strategist (or both!) to ensure that your front end content and the back end of your site are meeting the needs of the market you want to attract.

Words and the Bees  provides an expert website copywriting service which will appeal to your target market AND address the complexities that an effective SEO strategy requires.

Whether you want home page copy, blogs, or direct response sales copy that makes your audience stand up and take action; we can produce it all!

CONTACT US today or call Jo on 0422 053 199 for more information on how Words and the Bees can help your business grow.

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