You might have written all the content yourself for your company website to save a few pounds but could some of your, ahem, copywriting mistakes be turning away customers?
Ideally, you’d love to pay a freelance copywriter like me to turn words into profits.
But unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and companies like yours might be struggling through our post-pandemic world, an escalating cost-of-living and energy crisis and much more.
Usually, marketing is one of the first budgets to be cut in leaner times, so you might attempt to write all of your content in-house; web page content, blog content etc.
If that’s you, it’s worth looking through your content to ensure it’s up to scratch.
After all, you don’t want your copywriting mistakes to impact your sales.
This article, part 1 of 2, will explore the first 9 of 18 common copywriting mistakes that freelance copywriters like me might encounter when reviewing your website copy.
One of the most common copywriting mistakes freelance copywriters like me see on a weekly basis is headlines that don’t grab the reader.
Alongside images, headlines are usually one of the first things a visitor to your website will see.
As a result, it’s prime real estate; it can grab their attention or get a “meh” from them.
Weak or confusing headlines can fail to engage visitors and result in them leaving your website.
Here are a few reasons why good headlines are essential.
1. Great headlines grab attention.
The headline is often the first thing visitors see on a website.
A good headline can grab their attention and encourage them to keep reading.
2. Communicate value.
A well-crafted headline can communicate the value of a product or service to potential customers.
It can highlight the benefits of what’s being offered and convey a sense of urgency or excitement.
3. Improve search engine ranking.
Headlines are among the most critical factors in search engine optimisation (SEO).
Search engines use headlines to understand a web page’s content and rank it in search results.
4. Increase engagement.
A good headline can encourage visitors to click through to other pages on your website and engage with your content.
This can help keep visitors on the site longer, improving conversion rates and increasing the chances of them becoming customers.
5. Establish brand identity.
Headlines can help to establish a brand’s identity and tone of voice.
They can create a sense of personality and help to differentiate your brand from its competitors.
So, I hear you ask, how do you ensure your content avoids these copywriting mistakes, and what could be classed as a ‘good headline’?
Aim to nail these five headline essentials, and you’ll be on the right path.
Copywriting mistakes come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth remembering that your website copy should be clear and concise, straightforwardly conveying the message.
Lack of clarity on a company website can be detrimental to your business in several ways:
Loss of credibility: When visitors come to your website, they expect to find information that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. If the information on your website is confusing or unclear, visitors may question your company’s credibility and may be less likely to do business with you.
Poor User Experience: A website that lacks clarity can be frustrating for visitors to navigate. If visitors cannot find the information they seek, they may leave the website and go to your competitor’s site instead.
Missed opportunities: If your company’s website is unclear, it may fail to communicate important information to visitors, such as the benefits of your company’s products or services. This can result in missed opportunities to convert visitors into customers.
Negative impact on SEO: Search engines prioritise websites with clear, relevant, and helpful content. If a website lacks clarity, search engines may be unable to index it properly, which can negatively impact its search engine ranking.
In summary, a lack of clarity on a company website can damage your business’s reputation, lead to a poor user experience, result in missed opportunities, and negatively impact search engine ranking.
It is, therefore, essential for companies to ensure that their website content is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
Using technical jargon or industry-specific language not easily understood by your target audience is one of those easily avoidable copywriting mistakes that can alienate visitors and make your web copy inaccessible.
Using jargon on your company website can be a bad idea for several reasons:
Overall, jargon on a company website can create more problems than it solves.
It can confuse and alienate customers, hinder effective communication, and harm a company’s reputation and bottom line.
Instead, companies should strive to communicate clearly and concisely, using language that is accessible and easily understood by their target audience.
Here are some examples of common jargon found on business websites and alternative language you can use to make your content more accessible:
Jargon: “Synergistic solutions for optimal scalability”
Alternative: “Integrated solutions for efficient growth”
Jargon: “Leverage our cutting-edge paradigm-shifting technology”
Alternative: “Benefit from our advanced and innovative technology”
Jargon: “Disruptive market leader”
Alternative: “Innovative industry leader”
Jargon: “Best-in-class solutions”
Alternative: “Top-quality solutions”
Jargon: “Optimise your ROI through our comprehensive suite of services”
Alternative: “Maximise your return on investment with our wide range of services”
Jargon: “Streamline your workflow with our seamless end-to-end platform”
Alternative: “Simplify your workflow with our integrated platform”
Jargon: “Deliver actionable insights for data-driven decision-making”
Alternative: “Provide valuable insights to support informed decision-making”
Jargon: “Revolutionise your business with our disruptive solutions”
Alternative: “Transform your business with our innovative solutions”
Jargon: “Robust and scalable architecture”
Alternative: “Sturdy and flexible infrastructure”
Jargon: “Achieve synergy through cross-functional collaboration”
Alternative: “Promote collaboration across teams for better outcomes”
Remember, the key is to communicate your message clearly and concisely, avoiding copywriting mistakes such as excessive jargon and using language that resonates with your target audience.
One of the biggest copywriting mistakes I come across is content that doesn’t highlight the benefits of your product or service.
If the copy fails to highlight the benefits, visitors may not see the value and lose interest.
Web copy that fails to highlight benefits can be detrimental for several reasons:
Lack of customer appeal: Customers are primarily interested in how a product or service can solve their problems or fulfil their needs.
If your web copy doesn’t communicate the benefits they can expect, they may lose interest and look for alternatives that address their specific pain points.
Failure to differentiate: Highlighting the benefits of your offering helps differentiate your business from competitors.
Suppose your web copy focuses solely on features or technical details without explaining how those features translate into advantages for the customer. In that case, you risk blending in with the competition and missing out on potential customers.
Missed opportunity to connect emotionally: Benefits resonate with customers emotionally.
They want to know how your product or service will make their lives better, easier, or more enjoyable.
By neglecting to highlight benefits, you miss the chance to create an emotional connection with your audience, which can be a powerful motivator for them to choose your offering.
Ineffective communication: Web copy that doesn’t highlight benefits can be vague, generic, or confusing.
It may fail to articulate the unique value proposition of your business clearly.
As a result, visitors to your website may not fully understand what sets you apart or why they should choose you over competitors, leading to missed conversion opportunities.
Decreased conversion rates: Ultimately, your web copy aims to convert visitors into customers.
If the benefits of your offering aren’t effectively communicated, visitors may be less motivated to take action, such as making a purchase, subscribing, or reaching out for more information.
This can lead to lower conversion rates and hinder your business growth.
In summary, web copy that doesn’t highlight benefits can fail to engage customers, differentiate your business, create emotional connections, and effectively communicate the unique value you offer.
It’s crucial to clearly articulate the benefits of your product or service to attract and convert potential customers.
Grammatical and spelling errors can make your website copy appear unprofessional and poorly reflect your brand.
Indeed, it’s one of the most common copywriting mistakes.
Good spelling and grammar on a business website are essential for several important reasons:
Professionalism and credibility: Proper spelling and grammar demonstrate a high level of professionalism and attention to detail.
It creates a positive impression of your business and instils confidence in your audience.
Customers are more likely to trust and engage with a well-written and error-free website.
Clear communication: Accurate spelling and grammar ensure your message is conveyed clearly and effectively.
Correct grammar helps structure sentences properly, ensuring your ideas are presented logically and coherently.
This clarity of communication helps customers understand your products, services, and value propositions accurately.
Enhanced readability: Correct spelling and grammar contribute to the readability of your website.
Well-structured sentences, proper punctuation, and accurate spelling make your content easier to read and comprehend.
Visitors are more likely to stay on your website and explore further if they find the content easy to read and understand.
Avoidance of misinterpretation: Poor grammar and spelling mistakes can lead to misunderstanding or confusion.
Incorrect usage of words or grammatical errors can alter the intended meaning of your message, leading to misunderstandings or miscommunication.
This can negatively impact your business reputation and result in missed opportunities.
SEO optimisation: Good spelling and grammar are also crucial for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Search engines value high-quality content, including proper spelling and grammar.
Websites with better grammar tend to rank higher in search engine results, leading to increased visibility and organic traffic to your website.
Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial trait in business.
Spelling and grammar errors can be seen as a lack of attention to detail, which may raise concerns about the quality and reliability of your products or services.
Demonstrating a commitment to accurate and error-free content shows that you care about the details and are dedicated to delivering excellence.
In summary, good spelling and grammar on a business website contribute to professionalism, credibility, clear communication, enhanced readability, avoidance of misinterpretation, SEO optimisation, and attention to detail.
Investing time and effort into ensuring error-free content can significantly improve the overall impression of your business and positively impact customer perception and engagement.
An inconsistent tone is one of the lesser-spotted but impactful copywriting mistakes I come across regularly.
An inconsistent tone and voice on a company website can create confusion and make the website copy disjointed for several reasons:
Lack of brand identity: A consistent tone and voice help establish and reinforce your brand identity.
It reflects the personality, values, and messaging of your company.
When the tone and voice vary throughout the website, it becomes difficult for visitors to understand your brand’s character, leading to confusion about who you are and what you represent.
Loss of credibility: Inconsistencies in tone and voice can make your website appear unprofessional and less trustworthy.
Visitors may question the authenticity and reliability of your business if they encounter conflicting messages or different writing styles.
Consistency instils confidence in your audience and reinforces the credibility of your brand.
Disrupted user experience: When the tone and voice shift abruptly, it disrupts the user experience and hampers readability.
Visitors may find it challenging to follow the flow of information or understand the intended message if the writing style changes abruptly from section to section.
This can lead to frustration and a higher likelihood of visitors leaving your website prematurely.
Conflicting messaging: Inconsistent tone and voice can result in contradictory messaging, where different parts of your website convey other ideas or values.
This can confuse visitors and create a lack of clarity about your products, services, or brand positioning.
Conflicting messaging dilutes the effectiveness of your website’s content and makes it harder for visitors to grasp your key messages.
Brand recognition challenges: A consistent tone and voice contribute to brand recognition.
When visitors encounter a consistent writing style and tone across your website, it becomes easier for them to recognise and remember your brand in the future.
Inconsistency can hinder this recognition and make it harder for your brand to stand out and be remembered.
Ineffective storytelling: A consistent tone and voice are crucial for compelling storytelling.
When your website copy follows a consistent narrative style, it engages visitors and creates a cohesive brand story.
Inconsistency disrupts this storytelling process, making engaging and connecting with your audience emotionally more complex.
In summary, a company website’s inconsistent tone and voice can create confusion, erode credibility, disrupt the user experience, lead to conflicting messaging, challenge brand recognition, and hinder compelling storytelling.
Establishing and maintaining a consistent tone and voice throughout your website is essential to deliver a cohesive and impactful brand experience.
Website copy should include clear and compelling CTAs that prompt visitors to act, such as purchasing or submitting an inquiry.
The absence of CTAs is a copywriting mistake that can result in missed opportunities for conversions.
Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons are crucial elements of a business website for several important reasons:
Encourages action: CTAs are designed to prompt visitors to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, requesting a quote, or contacting the business.
Without clear and compelling CTAs, visitors may be unsure of what steps to take next, leading to missed opportunities for conversion.
Increases conversions: Well-designed and strategically placed CTAs can significantly increase conversion rates.
By guiding visitors towards desired actions, CTAs provide a clear pathway for engagement and encourage visitors to move through the customer journey, ultimately leading to conversions and business growth.
Directs user behaviour: CTAs serve as signposts that lead users towards the most important actions you want them to take on your website.
They guide visitors’ attention and help them navigate the site, making it easier for them to find relevant information and engage with your business.
Enhances user experience: Effective CTAs contribute to a positive user experience by providing clear guidance and reducing confusion.
Visitors appreciate being directed to the following steps, which simplifies their decision-making process and makes it more likely that they will engage with your business.
Drives engagement and interaction: CTAs prompt visitors to engage with your website and actively interact with your business.
They can encourage visitors to explore additional content, watch videos, participate in surveys, or follow your social media channels.
These interactions deepen engagement, foster relationships, and increase brand awareness.
Supports marketing goals: CTAs align with your marketing objectives by promoting specific actions and contributing to your business goals.
Whether generating leads, driving sales, increasing subscriptions, or promoting special offers, CTAs are vital in converting website visitors into valuable leads or customers.
Provides measurable data: CTAs offer valuable data for tracking and measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
By monitoring click-through rates, conversion rates, and other metrics associated with CTAs, you can gain insights into user behaviour, optimise your website, and refine your marketing strategies for better results.
The best Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons for a business website depends on your specific goals, target audience, and the desired actions you want visitors to take.
However, here are some practical and commonly used CTA buttons that can be effective on business websites:
“Request a Quote”
“Get a Free Trial”
Remember, when designing your CTA buttons, consider making them visually appealing, prominently placed, and contrasting with the surrounding elements to grab attention.
Additionally, using clear and concise language that clearly communicates the value or benefit visitors will receive by clicking the button is essential.
A/B testing can also help determine the most effective CTA button for your specific website and audience, so you can continuously optimise and improve its performance.
In summary, Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons are essential for a business website as they encourage action, increase conversions, direct user behaviour, enhance user experience, drive engagement, support marketing goals, and provide measurable data.
Including well-crafted CTAs strategically throughout your website can significantly improve user engagement and help achieve your business objectives, as well as help you to avoid potentially costly copywriting mistakes.
Website copy should be broken down into shorter paragraphs for easy readability.
Copywriting mistakes, such as lengthy paragraphs on business websites, can be problematic for several reasons:
Readability and user experience: Long paragraphs can be visually overwhelming and intimidating to readers, making scanning and digesting the content challenging.
Visitors to your website often prefer concise and easily consumable information.
Breaking content into shorter paragraphs improves readability and enhances the user experience.
Attention span and engagement: In today’s fast-paced digital world, people tend to have shorter attention spans.
Lengthy paragraphs can cause readers to lose interest and disengage from the content.
Presenting information in shorter paragraphs can maintain reader attention and increase the likelihood of them staying engaged with your website.
Skimming and scanning: Many website visitors skim and scan content rather than reading it word-for-word.
Long paragraphs make it challenging for users to find the information they’re looking for quickly.
By using shorter paragraphs, you can facilitate skimming and scanning, enabling visitors to easily find critical points, essential details, or specific sections.
Mobile optimisation: With the increasing use of mobile devices, optimising your website for mobile viewing is crucial.
Long paragraphs can be complicated to read on smaller screens, leading to a poor user experience.
Using shorter paragraphs ensures that your content remains readable and accessible across various devices.
Visual appeal: Aesthetically, long paragraphs can make your website appear cluttered and overwhelming.
Proper formatting, with shorter paragraphs, provides more white space and improves the visual appeal of your content.
It creates a cleaner and more organised layout, making it easier for users to navigate and engage with your website.
SEO considerations: Search engines value user-friendly and easily digestible content.
Lengthy paragraphs can negatively impact your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.
Breaking up content into shorter paragraphs with appropriate headings and subheadings can improve the readability of your content, potentially enhancing your search engine rankings.
In summary, lengthy paragraphs on business websites can hinder readability, decrease user engagement, make information harder to find, negatively impact mobile optimisation, reduce visual appeal, and potentially impact SEO.
Using shorter paragraphs can improve the overall user experience, enhance readability, and increase the chances of visitors engaging with your content.
Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging visitors, and not using it to your advantage is one of those copywriting mistakes that’s easy to remedy.
If your website copy lacks storytelling elements, it may fail to connect with the audience emotionally.
For inspiration, check out how I use storytelling on my About page.
Storytelling is crucial on a business website for several reasons:
Capturing attention: Storytelling has a unique ability to captivate and engage audiences.
Presenting information in the form of a story can grab visitors’ attention and keep them interested in your content.
Stories have an emotional appeal that can resonate with your audience, making them more receptive to your message.
Building connection and trust: Stories help make a connection with your audience by creating a relatable and human element.
When you share stories about your brand, its values, and its journey, you allow visitors to connect with your business on a deeper level.
This connection fosters trust, as people are likelier to trust and support brands they feel connected to.
Differentiating your brand: Stories enable you to differentiate your brand from competitors.
By showcasing your unique experiences, perspectives, and successes through storytelling, you create a distinct identity in the minds of your audience.
Stories help communicate what sets you apart and why customers should choose your brand over others.
Communicating values and purpose: Stories effectively communicate your business’s values, purpose, and mission.
By sharing stories that align with your values and illustrate the impact you aim to make, you connect with customers who share similar beliefs.
This strengthens your brand’s reputation and helps attract like-minded customers.
Engaging emotions: Emotions play a significant role in decision-making.
Stories have the power to evoke emotions and create memorable experiences.
By crafting stories that resonate with your audience’s emotions, you can inspire them, spark curiosity, create a sense of belonging, or evoke a desire for change.
Emotionally engaged customers are more likely to become loyal advocates for your brand.
Simplifying complex ideas: Stories can simplify complex concepts or technical information by putting them into relatable and understandable contexts.
Through storytelling, you can break down complex ideas into digestible narratives that are easier for your audience to grasp.
This enhances comprehension and helps visitors connect with your content.
Enhancing memorability: Stories are memorable.
People are more likely to remember stories than plain facts or information.
By weaving storytelling into your website, you make your brand and messages more memorable, increasing the chances that visitors will recall and share your stories with others.
In summary, storytelling on a business website is crucial as it captures attention, builds connection and trust, differentiates your brand, communicates values and purpose, engages emotions, simplifies complex ideas, and enhances memorability.
By incorporating storytelling into your website, you can create a compelling and impactful experience that resonates with your audience, drives engagement, and strengthens your brand.
Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Let’s work together to create copy that connects with your audience and drives real results.
Contact me today to learn more about my freelance content writing services and how I can help you achieve your goals.