5 Web Copy Mistakes People Make and How to Fix Them

You have the best product out there. This thing makes dinner, puts away the leftovers, and does the dishes. This thing should sell itself. Yet, it’s not. Even though you are getting plenty of traffic to your website, you haven’t had many sales. So what’s the problem?

5 web copy mistakes and how to fix them

What is Web Copy?

Web copy is simply the writing on your website designed to sell, inform, and engage your clients. In many cases, this is the first interaction you have with your clients. A potential client hears about your product or company, hops over to Google and looks you up.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

This is what makes web copy so important to your company. Without engaging web copy, that potential client may never turn into an actual client. It might be your about page, a home page telling the client about your basic services or a blog post discussing a particular problem in your industry. Whatever it is, your web copy sets the stage for your company.

The Oversell

Maybe you are old enough to remember Crazy Eddie, if you’re not, go check out this video.  Now that you have been screamed at, imagine your web copy doing the same thing. Yelling at customers in all caps “BUY NOW!!!!!” “THIS DEAL WON’T LAST!!!”. If your web copy looks like this, I can tell you why you aren’t selling anything.

No one likes to be yelled at, even in writing.

If your web copy feels like Crazy Eddies commercial, you might be driving away sales instead of attracting them. Web copy should be friendly and informative. No caps necessary.

The Snoozer

This is my product. It is great. It will help you.

Boring! No matter what someone is reading, you need to catch their attention in the first sentence or two, or they are gone. This includes your web copy. The writing on your website needs to engage the reader. This means sentences of different length, with wording that shows the reader how your product or service will help them.

Show don’t tell.

Use a story to showcase your product. Ask previous clients for testimonials and use emotional language to engage the reader. Anything to keep your future client awake!

Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

The Super Technical

The widget 6000 is comprised of an antioxidized titanium alloy that has gone through a reverse osmosis process…

Say what? No matter how technical your product or service, chances are your clients are not. Sure they need the basics specs of a product. When I buy a car I do want to know the basics of the engine. Size, horsepower, and gas mileage. All the things affecting my use of the car. I don’t want to know the compression ratio of the pistons or the composition of those pistons.

Those in very technical fields need to view the technical things in their web copy through the eyes of the client. Will it help them? Will it affect their use of the product? If the answer is yes, put it in the copy. If the answer is no, leave it out.

The Undersell

Many times the person writing the copy knows all about the product or service. They know how life changing awesome their product or service is, so they don’t feel the need to really “sell” anything. I mean this Dinneramatic cooks dinner, puts away the leftovers, and does the dishes, what more do you need to know?

Your client does need to know more.

Imagine if you saw an ad for the aforementioned Dinneramatic. Would you trust the ad? Would you want to be reassured the product really could do all the things it claimed? Of course you would. You would want to know how many types of meals could it make. How often it broke dishes, if it could be used anywhere or needed a special set up.

You want to know how it affects you, and so does your client.

The Over-Explainer

My father is a brilliant engineer. He can tell you how many gallons of jet fuel a 747 will use going from Orlando, FL to Boston, MA, and he won’t use a calculator. So around here, if you really want to know something, you call Dad. He is better than Google and Wikipedia combined. There is one little caveat…you are going to need time, and lots of it. Once you ask, he is going to explain, and explain, and keep explaining until you have died on the other end of the phone.

The problem with copy that over explains is just like calling my dad to answer a question. By the time you get to the sales pitch, your client has died on the other end of the screen. They have either clicked away or have opened another tab, telling themselves they will come back to read the rest later. Ya right.

Keep your explanations in check and invite your readers and potential clients to contact you if they need further explanation. If you know you are an over-explainer, have someone else read your work and give you an honest opinion. In this case, less is more.



So How Do I Fix My Web Copy?

Writing good web copy can be tough, Here are a few tips and tricks to help you write the perfect copy for your clients. Can you find which of these tips I used in this post?

  • Use short introductions. A statement or a question doesn’t matter, keep the beginning of the copy short, and expand as you go on.
  • Show, don’t tell. Show your reader how your product or service will help.
  • Use a story. Stories are great ways to get your client interested and involved in your brand.
  • Vary your sentence length. Different length sentences will keep the reader moving through your copy.
  • Look through your client’s eyes. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Keep that in mind when writing your copy.
  • Keep your explanations short and on point.  Invite them to contact you if they have more questions, this creates a dialog and gives you a chance to talk to someone IRL!
  • Hire someone else. You are good at your job. You take pride in your work and really care about your customers. If you are having a hard time conveying those things in writing it might be time to hire someone to help you out.

Don’t let your web copy drive your customers away. Read your copy with a critical eye and see if you fall into one of the 5 categories above. If you do, use these simple tips to fix them. If you are still struggling, contact us to get some help with your web copy.

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