Know it or not, like it or not, copy is essential. It is our sales factor — the convincing words we all use to better promote our products or services.
Let me put it to ya this way, the quality of our copy helps determine the quantity in our bank account. Get what I’m sayin’? I thought so!
Therefore almost all business owners use copy in everything they do (i.e. web copy, social media captions, email marketing, etc.). Some do it better than others. That’s because copy is a skill. Meaning it can be learned and perfected over time.
So where do you start if you wish to master it? How should you fine-tune those copy skills?
I don’t know about you, but often I feel the best way to learn is from our mistakes. And as a pro web copywriter, I have seen A LOT of them. I have even made a few of my own (wayyy back when). Which is completely okay with me (and I hope you too) for that is an opportunity for growth.
Let’s take a look at these common web copy mistakes. More importantly, feel free to use these to assess your own web copy to find areas for improvement, specific opportunities for growth within your skillset and in your business.
I am sure you have heard this before but I am saying it again… because it is so true! Do not sell the features of your products or services; sell the benefits.
Think about the reasons why you buy a car. You are not purchasing it because of the tires or the sound system. What you are really buying is transportation, independence, reliability, status, etc.
By the way, who sells cars based on their features? Car salesmen do! And, we all feel some type of way about those people. They can come across pushy, “salesy,” straight up a pain.
If you take the same approach, I call it the “salesman approach,” annoyingly selling the features not the benefits, then chances are — your audience will feel the same about you.
Moral of the story – you are not a salesman, so don’t be a salesman.
Instead start with thoroughly understanding your target audience. The more you know about their underlying needs, their pain points, the more you can understand how your business helps resolve them. Those resolutions are essentially the benefits. Sell them!
The words on your site have power. You can have the most beautiful web images and a beautiful website layout to match. However, without the copy (or very little) what is your site communicating to the reader? Probably not much.
From another angle, think of your website as a billboard. As people drive by (or visit your site), if there is only a picture and a logo with very few words, then the billboard (your website) is almost a waste. How are people going to know who you are, what you do, and why you do it? If your site is similar to what was just described– they won’t.
This is why, once again, words have power. They give you selling power and your visitors knowledge power.
Rather than treating your web copy as a gap filler or avoiding it altogether, leverage those words to share important information about your business.
Like I said (here), people come to your website for information. Don’t be afraid to give it to them. Because if you don’t, nine times out of ten, they will find a competitor that will.
Going from one extreme to the next, too much information can be just as damaging as too little.
Sites that have words for days (literally) are completely overwhelming to the point where visitors are turned away, immediately clicking out of your site. An exit from your site is an exit from your business. Not good.
My advice: keep it short.
Try your hardest not to ramble or over explain every single element about your business. Only focus on the main points visitors need-to-know. Any additional, good-to-know details should spill over to your blog.
Need an example? This blog post is one!
Yes it is discussing web copy; however you will not find this information, or anything like it on my Web Copy Services page. This is nice-to-know information, not need-to-know. My clients or potential clients are not required to have this information before working with me. What they should know is the packages I offer and the benefits that come with.
Even though I am 100% against having too many words on a site (+500 words), if you feel it is necessary break it up into skimmable paragraphs or sentences. And before you do that, be concise. Condense sentences and paragraphs wherever possible.
This may be the fourth listed (these web copy mistakes are listed in no particular order), but please understand having no CTAs is probably the BIGGEST.
Of course we want our web visitors to know information about our business; however it is your responsibility to give them next steps. What should they do with it?
Don’t just assume they will make their way over to your Contact page. It may seem obvious to you but make it obvious for them. As a matter of fact, provide them with CTAs that guide them through the entire site, page by page.
On your Home Page, encourage readers to learn more about you (or your business) with a CTA that connects to your About page. Once they know who you are, tell them about your services. Share another CTA linked to the corresponding page. Finally, have them book those services with a CTA that brings them to your Contact page.
If conversion is your goal, then your web copy should include every CTA imaginable that leads your visitors down the sales funnel.
Copywriting is not a one way street, it’s three! There is the messenger (you), the message (your web copy), and the message recipient (your target audience). And, when you think about it, you can’t really have one without the others. So they all must be equally addressed when writing your web copy.
Unfortunately, many are unsure what to say in their copy (message). As a result, they retreat to their comfort zones, by choosing to talk about what they know best, themselves and their business — ignoring the reader entirely.
But the beauty about copywriting is that it is very uncomfortable. You must think outside the box, explore unknown facts about your business to craft a more meaningful and persuasive message. Stepping outside your comfort zone keeps you from running towards yourself but away in the opposite direction…closer to your target audience.
A web copywriting pro tip, always start with the end in mind. It’s the case for selling the benefits over features and it’s the same for acknowledging your audience.
Here are some beginning steps to approach your web copy (and reader):
Doing this, better positions your message to be well-received. This is because you are writing exactly for the person who is receiving it.
Does that make sense? If so, do not hesitate to give me a “thumbs-up” in the comments below.
I know the blog title states “5 Common Web Copy Mistakes,” but I really felt the need to include a sixth. Let’s just call this a “bonus.”
I want to remind you that copywriting is a skill. It can be learned. However, it takes a lot of time, agility, and patience for it to develop. And I understand that, as business owners, we all have those qualities. Yet, they tend to be scarce. So we must often choose where to best allocate it…and web copy is usually the last choice.
With that said, DIYing your copy may have been a mistake you have made in the past. It could even still be a mistake that is present today. Nevertheless, I can transform your mistake into my opportunity to make it better.
Righting those wrongs doesn’t require much time, agility, or patience. Just give me an hour and I will give you pro written copy so good you’ll forget you DIYed it in the first place!
To learn more, go ahead and book your complimentary consultation. I will happily be in touch with you soon.
But, if DIY is your thing, bookmark this post to help you along the way.
Whether you are looking for inspo or insight, you will find both in my web copywriting portfolio! Download my free portfolio to gain access to real world professional examples of what web copy should be and what yours could be!