Copywriting gone bad: 5 mistakes you must avoid
When developing a website, some organizations overlook the importance of quality copywriting. But if you want to appeal to your target audience and reach conversion goals, your copy can’t be an afterthought.
From tone to formatting, there are tons of factors that separate good copy from bad. Need help coming up with your writing strategy? Our list below highlights some of the biggest copywriting mistakes on the web and how they can be avoided.
5 signs of bad copywriting:
- It’s jargon-heavy. The idea behind your website is to attract new visitors, not alienate them. Not all audience members are familiar with your industry’s lingo; it’s your job to write copy that everyone understands. As FreshBooks says, “Some businesses use very technical language or industry jargon to describe themselves and what they do. Avoid this temptation and keep the language as simple and digestible as possible.”
- It’s longwinded. While you want to provide audience members with enough information to pique their interest, you must be succinct and to-the-point at the same time. Remember, online attention spans run short – help your audience out by breaking copy up into small, easy-to-read chunks (and subheadings help, too).
- It lacks personality. People are drawn to human voices. They want to be spoken to, not at. If your copy reads like a lecture or a blatant sales pitch, rest assured that visitors will quickly abandon your site. Instead, earn their attention by using a conversational, approachable tone – be a storyteller, not a wet mop. It never hurts to include quotes from qualified sources, either.
- It ignores its target audience. Who are you writing for? Not all audiences are created equal; your target demographic has specific interests, needs and questions to which you can pander. “How are you going to tell them what they need/want to know in a new way? Look into articles produced by influential members and/or competitors in your field to figure this out,” Kissmetrics, a leading analytics platform, suggests.
- It lacks SEO strategy. Even if you’ve managed to avoid the previous mistakes, it’s all for nothing if people can’t find your site. “Without making any concessions to the quality of your text, you should tweak and fine-tune your text to the specific demands of search engines,” advises Yoast, an SEO plugin provider. Improve your SEO by writing copy that’s easy to read and includes crosslinks and relevant keywords. This will grab Google’s attention and help you rank higher.
Want to learn more about website fails? Find out why mobile friendly is a must and take our bounce rate quiz.
For more copywriting tips, check out our presentation on writing for the web.
Need examples of great online copy? Hubspot has rounded up the best of the best.