Most business owners don’t pay much attention to their websites – they have other things to worry about (clients, bills, employees, etc). As a result, business sites don’t offer much – typically they have an “About Us” page that is formal, filled with industry jargon with a little bit about the founder(s) and that’s about it. This makes it hard for the everyday consumer to relate to you/your company. Meaning, you’re losing customers solely because of your copy and you don’t even realize it. This is why companies need to spend more attention on understanding why is copywriting so important for business.
Good copywriting invokes customers to take action – but this isn’t easy to do. You have to build a relationship through words and graphics and many businesses are failing at it. In such cases, availing the services of a copywriting agency can help enormously.
As the New Year is upon us, here are 10 copywriting mistakes to avoid in 2016:
- Boring Headlines
Attention is the hardest thing to acquire in this age of information overload and bad headlines certainly won’t do the trick. You could have the best content but if your headline is bad, then no one’s going to click on it. Another mistake copywriters make is trying to be over the top and too original. Originality is a must but it is also important to not go overboard. Popular headlines are popular for a reason because they’ve been proven to work. You can change a few words here and there but keep everything else the same. Save the crazy stuff for the actual content.
- Talking Too Much About Themselves
Most websites have this problem, they write tons of material about themselves, their team, and their company. Copywriters need to understand that customers visit the website to solve their own needs and not to read about you. The main focus of the website should be your services and what you can offer to your customers. Address their pain points first and limit the rest to a single “About Us” page. A good way to find out if your copy is too self-involved is to notice how many times you’re using the words I, Me, and We. Keep these words at a minimum.
- Too much Jargon
As mentioned earlier, the common customer will not care about the industry jargon you use. Far too many businesses fail to understand this. If you’re looking for a plumber, you will look for how fast they can fix your problem, not how amazing their tools specifications are. The same concept applies to other industries as well – don’t flood your copy with jargon. It wears away at customers’ patience and shatters your conversion rates. The customer needs to understand that you can meet their needs and can solve their problems efficiently.
- Page Layout
It is very difficult to achieve a balance between good content and good visuals. Some websites focus too much on looks and ignore quality content while others have bad visuals and good content. Avoid clutter, too many ads, and too much text – these will kill your conversions. Don’t focus on making your website look good, add all the necessary information instead. The main point and purpose of copywriting is to make your readers take action – be it subscribing to a newsletter or buying your product/service. Your copy can have lots of content but if your audience fails to take action, then it’s useless. It is best to create copy that is effective, appealing, and compelling at the same time.
- Promising too much
Your copy needs to convince readers to take action but promising too much can be a huge drawback. Your audience can figure out when they’re being lied to and will walk away if your claims are too outrageous. Basically, don’t promise to be Superman when you’re Clark Kent. Even if your audience isn’t turned away by your claims, these promises can be a huge drawback for you as you have impossible expectations to live up to. Being honest about what you can offer and spicing it up a little bit is all that is necessary.
- Mixing up features and benefits
This is one of the most common mistakes copywriters make, even the experienced ones. The features you offer and their benefits are not the same thing. Features are what your company/product can do while benefits explain how they can help the consumer. It is important to recognize the difference between the two and write accordingly. Features are usually listed out in bullet points while benefits contain at least 1-2 lines that address the customers’ pain points. Always focus on conveying the benefits as they are more important to the consumer.
- No Testing
Not testing your copy could prove to be fatal. Most people prefer copy that is less than 1000 words per page but it is important to recognize that what might be boring to your peers, might end up being compelling to your consumers. Different lengths of copy must be tested to see which one represents your company the best while also being a compelling read. Long copies are best suited for complex ideas and awe-inspiring stories. Also, test the structure of your copy and figure out what works best and where.
- Give Reasons
Copywriting needs to make your consumers listen to you. This isn’t easy to do but giving your audience reasons to buy your service/product can be very effective. Give them a reason to pay attention – not just in the beginning but throughout the copy. This can be done in various ways – offer a touching/awe-inspiring story, tell them how you can help them, talk about other big clients that you’ve helped. It is also important to explain to your consumers why you do certain things that they may not like – not on the front page though.
The structure of your copy is vital to your readers taking action. If the structure is too scattered then users will turn to your competitors. Structure your copy in a simplistic and direct manner. Also, avoid multi-column structuring as they rarely convert. Users generally feel like they read bits and pieces of a multi-column structure. On the contrary, single-column structures with a good flow make sure that your readers don’t skip sections. If you still prefer multi-columns, use images to back up the text.
Images are an important part of your copy, so it’s important to use the right ones. They can add tremendous value to your copy or take away from it. Instead of using random stock images for your services, use product screenshots. This makes it easier for your consumer to navigate through your site and take action.
As we enter a New Year, here’s hoping that your copywriting excels and all of these mistakes are avoided. If you’re looking for help with perfecting your copy, you can always use external copywriting services.