Do You Make These 9 Writing Mistakes On Your Website?

You’ve created a wonderful website.

It looks good.

And you’re so proud of it.

But sometimes you wonder….

Why doesn’t your website generate more leads?

Why don’t your web visitors stick around for longer?

Have you made mistakes with your website copy?

Avoid the following 9 most common writing goofs. And your website will convert more prospects into customers.

1. You’re writing about yourself

Shouldn’t your website focus on your service or your products?

No, it shouldn’t.

Your website should show how your customers benefit from working with you or from buying your products; and how prospects could benefit, too.

Follow these simple rules to make your website focused on your customers:

  • Describe your buyer persona and write as if you’re telling him (or her) something in a personal email to him (or her).
  • Try replacing I and my by you and your.
  • Use the WeWe calculator to check how customer focused your content is.
  • Add a customer benefit for each specification or feature you describe.

2. You are too wordy

Wordiness sends your readers to sleep. Because having unnecessary text exhausts your readers.

So how do you avoid this mistake?

Edit your text rigorously and cut at least 10% of your first draft:

  • Scrap paragraphs that don’t add to your story or argument.
  • Remove sentences that don’t add meaning.
  • Cut unnecessary words such as actually, very, perhaps and in my opinion.

3. Your content is boring

How do you know whether you’re boring?

Boredom is easy to spot when you’re face-to-face. But online, it’s difficult to know.

But you can avoid the common mistakes that bore the hell out of your readers.

Follow these guidelines to be more enchanting:

  • Use short sentences.
  • Write fascinating bullet points.
  • Choose vivid adjectives to help your audience picture your story.
  • Consider using photos instead of text.

4. You don’t have a clear call to action

Each web page should be focused on one call to action. Don’t confuse your readers with too many options.

A call to action can be subscribe to a newsletter, click for more information, or add to shopping cart. Tell your readers exactly what they should do next.

5. You don’t write enough

You need to address each objection your target audience may have.

You need to describe each potential benefit from working with you.

You need to answer each question they may have.

Don’t frustrate your readers by not presenting a full story.

 6. You’re too clever

Do you think clever headlines work?

Research shows that headlines focusing on a benefit are far more effective.

Do you think complex words make you sound more intelligent?

Wrong again. Simple language is far more effective.

You don’t want to insult readers by talking about something obvious. But you don’t want to make simple facts complex either.

7. You’re writing for Google

Stop worrying about Google so much.

Your first priority should be to write for your prospects and customers.

If you write helpful blog posts, then people will tweet and plus.

If you publish breathtakingly beautiful pictures, people will pin.

If you create mind-blowingly interesting content, then people will link to it.

And when others link to and share your web pages, you will be rewarded by Google.

A good keyword strategy, internal linking and guest posting will help, too. But you have to start by creating content for humans, not robots.

8. You don’t audit your content

What impression do you make when your last blog post is dated a year ago?

When an old promotion is still on your website?

Or when an existing product is still marked as coming soon?

Make sure you audit your content at least twice a year. You’ll be surprised how much text is out of date. And you might spot a typo or two, too.

9. You sound like a cold fish

Let me guess.

You’re passionate about your business. You enjoy your work.

Why not let your passion shine through?

Nobody likes talking to a cold company.

Follow these simple rules to engage your audience:

  • Skip the gobbledygook.
  • Use simple words.
  • Add a personal story.

Will avoiding these mistakes make you more successful?

No blue print exists for writing persuasive, engaging web copy. But you don’t have to be a literary master to create effective content.

And you can avoid stupid mistakes. So…

  • Delight with your opening paragraph.
  • Energise with your closing statement.
  • Be helpful. Let you passion shine through.

And your readers will be yearning to work with you.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Read through your own web copy and take action if you are making any of these mistakes.

Henneke Duistermaat

Henneke Duistermaat is a marketer and copywriter. She helps companies win business with persuasive website and content. Sign up for her ultra-short, entertaining copywriting and content marketing tips at Enchanting Marketing.

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Comments

  1. Great post Henneke. I agree with most points and, having read your work on Copyblogger, think you are one of the most talented copywriters I have read recently.

    My minor disagreements would be with the overemphasis on simple words. If you have a smart audience and that is how you speak, I don’t think you should dumb-down your writing to sound like a newspaper (and 99% of the other blogs on the planet). However, I agree with not trying to sound smart or making simple things complicated.

    With that said, if you ever want to guest post on my blog, you are more than welcome!
    Vince Robisch recently posted..Content Marketing Tips Straight From Your Reader’s BrainMy Profile

  2. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to comment, Vince.

    Not sure I agree with talent – it might just be hard work 😉
    But that’s a whole different discussion (an interesting topic nonetheless).

    I don’t think we disagree about using simple words. You don’t want to dumb things down but at the same time you don’t want to overcomplicate things either. It really depends on your target audience.

    I’m quite busy at the moment, but might take up your offer for a guest blog another time. 🙂

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