June 7, 2017

6 copywriting mistakes you're making

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Published: 7 June 2017 

Not seeing the conversions you’d like on your website? Sometimes it’s not because of your ads or your email campaigns, but because of your website copy.

So what mistakes could you be making that would cause a lack of conversions?

1. Not knowing your audience

Before you even start writing copy for your website, you have to establish who exactly you’re writing for. Otherwise, you won’t know the right language to use, and what will persuade them to follow your call to action.

Be aware of what stage of the buying cycle your target market is. Are they just becoming aware of your product or service? Or do you offer something they are ready to buy right now? This will also alter the type of copy you use on your landing page.

Make sure you undertake extensive market research to fully understand your audience before writing or rewriting the copy on your website. This will help you to target more accurately and will then be able to increase conversions.

2. Focusing on yourself

People want to know how a product, service or blog post will benefit them. What do they get out of it? Although it is tempting to always try and sell your products, it’s not what people want to read. You won’t gain conversions, you’ll just end up with a high bounce rate. It’s always a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule - write useful, informative content 80 percent of the time, and spend the other 20 percent focusing on your business. This way you can still promote your products or services without going over the top and losing potential customers.

3. Rambling

When writing copy, you want to make sure it’s long enough. After all, you’re far more likely to rank with long-form content rather than short. It gives you more opportunity to use keywords, particularly long-tail keywords.

However, there’s long content, and then there’s content that is just rambling. People will get bored and just scroll through the content, or leave the page altogether. While you want your piece to be long, make sure all of your content is necessary.

4. No call to action

So you’ve written a helpful, informative piece that is receiving traffic. A rookie error copywriters make is not including a call to action. You want to ensure people know what you want them to do with the piece. Should they be contacting you? Signing up to a newsletter? Sharing on social media? Make sure to include this information to ensure you gain the most conversions possible.

Make sure your call to action includes the benefits the customer gets from following the action. Do they receive exclusive content? Do they receive a free report or instant assessment? Whatever incentive you are offering, make sure to write this with your call to action. This will make sure you have higher success rates than writing something plain like “Sign Up Now” or “Subscribe Here.”

5. Outsourcing a cheap copywriter

Sometimes outsourcing is the best way a business can get cheap copy quickly. It means you don’t have to hire someone internally, and don’t have to spend your time writing content. Instead, you can focus on other areas of the business while someone external focuses on the copy.

However, hiring an external copywriter can often be a case of ‘you get what you pay for.’ They are cheap for a reason. The content may end up being unreadable, stuffed with keywords, spun from another website, or even worse, completely plagiarised from another website. If published on your website, this could result in you receiving a Google Penalty, and therefore damaging your traffic flow, conversions and ROI. It also means you have to spend extra time fixing the copy before it goes live on your website to avoid any problems.

When outsourcing, make sure you hire someone who is reputable and will actually be able to sell. Otherwise, consider setting time aside per week out of your own schedule and dedicate it to copywriting. You will often find this way you will be able to achieve better results for a cheaper price.

6. Bad layout

People often skim articles looking for something of interest or relevance. They don’t want to be greeted with a huge wall of text.

With that in mind, to avoid layout errors you need to:

  • Use headlines and subheadings to break up paragraphs
  • Keep headings, paragraphs, and sentences short
  • Use dot points for lists to help the text be more skimmable
  • Break up the text with relevant images

These tips will help to ensure your content is more readable and people are more likely to stay on the page and consume your content.

Got any copywriting tips? Let us know in the comments.

Ben Maden

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