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You know and understand your business better than anyone else.
But do you know how to write web content that will not only engage potential clients but also convert them into customers?
If you’re considering writing your own website copy – or maybe you’ve already written it – following are common copywriting mistakes people make. Avoid these issues and you could be the next internet sensation. (Or at least you won’t have wasted your valuable time.)
Mistake #1: Focusing on you not your customer
Obviously, you’re awesome – but customers are looking to see how you can help them, not how great you are. Focus on how you can benefit the client not just the features of your organization. So, “We’ll save you money and time” rather than “Our services are reasonably priced.”
Think about what potential clients want and how you help them get it. What might you offer that they can’t get from others? In essence, know your audience, know what they’re looking for and write for them.
Mistake #2: Not enough – or too much – emphasis on keywords
Ahh, keywords…they can be a minefield. Stuff in too many, the search engines will penalize you and your writing suffers; use too few and you won’t get found by the right people. Generally speaking, do a little research, come up with a few key phrases and incorporate them as best you can. Avoid clunky writing by including them in title tag lines, incorporating subheadings and replacing generic terms (sewing services) with specific terms (personalized embroidery and finished hemming).
While it’s important to write for people and not for the search engines, you still need to include some keywords. Therefore, do it in where it makes sense and in a manner that flows. Once everything is written, go back and see if there are some logical spots to insert a couple more.
Mistake #3: Lack of awareness with word count – too high or too low
People don’t want to read a novella, but they need more than a cartoon strip. Like with keywords, you must find a happy medium. Your home page doesn’t have to get into your life story, but it does need to give a good indication of your services and abilities. Say what you need to, say it succinctly and keep things focused.
Mistake #4: Absence of CTAs
Don’t forget to tell people what to do next! They found you, and they know you can help, now what? “Get a free quote today,” of course!
A call-to-action (CTA) prompts the reader to make an immediate response – be it “contacting,” “clicking,” “downloading” or “buying.” Every page should have one CTA, no less and, typically, no more. And if you can focus on the value to the customer, all the better. Instead of a link that says, “Buy now,” try using, “Get your savings.”
Mistake #5: Too many hyperlinks
Readers tend to get annoyed with an abundance of hyperlinks. For visitors to your site, it looks distracting and can result in people leaving your page and never making their way back. And search engines may slap you down their list because a large number of links off-site can indicate a lack of original content. Plus, if those external links end up going to pages that no longer exist, that can make Google cranky, so check them occasionally. A few links show you’ve done some research and can play nicely with others, but don’t overdo it!
Mistake #6: Ineffective headlines
Be specific. It’s the first thing a reader usually sees. Engage, communicate and give folks a reason to keep reading.
Other ways to avoid website copy pitfalls Spend some time doing research on writing, your audience and your competition. Come up with a plan and stick to it. Keep hype to a minimum and offer proof of successes. Have a few friends read and edit your copy.
And if that all sounds like too much work, hire a professional.