This is going to sound cheesy but… I bloomin’ love my clients. I’m not a ‘take the money and run’ kind of gal.
I genuinely want my clients to do well. I don’t just want your site to look good; I want it to be effective too. It’s not purely altruistic, the more your businesses grow, the more you think I’m wonderful and come back for more design!
And there’s nothing more disheartening than pouring my heart and soul into a website design project, only to receive lacklustre content from the client. Because I know that if the content isn’t up to scratch, no amount of design magic is going to make up for it.
So what are the web copy mistakes that make me want sob into my coffee? And the mistakes that make your potential customers look elsewhere? I’ve asked my go-to copywriter Clare Crossan to weigh in on this one:
Website copy mistakes (and what to do instead)
1. “Welcome to my website” — cos it ain’t about you!
First of all, EVERYONE says this on their site. And you don’t want to be like everyone else, right?
But the real problem here is that your web content really shouldn’t be about you. Every time you write for your website, you should be thinking, “does my reader really care about this, is it relevant to them?” And if the answer is “no”, hit that delete button!
Find a way to hook your reader immediately. Let them know they’ve come to the right place by addressing their problems or desires. For example:
“Looking for a stand-out logo to boost your brand?”
is much more effective than a generic “Welcome to my website”.
2.“Sign up to my blog” — snore… where’s the incentive?
We’re all a bit tight with our email addresses these days, and with the amount of spam that makes its way into our folders, who could blame us? So, if you want your readers to give up their details, you’re going to have to woo them a little. You’re going to have to convince them it’s going to be worth their while.
What are you offering them? Could you entice your readers with a free email course (like Fiona’s Website in a Week course, check it out here!) or a useful PDF? Or if it is just your blog, let them know why they should bother. What are they going to learn by subscribing to your content? What will they be missing out on if they don’t give up their email address?
Even a simple “sign up for the latest fashion news” or “join our mailing list for top tips for freelancers” will go a lot further than “sign up to my blog”.
3. Your life story on your ‘about page’ — it’s still not about you. Sorry, folks!
Again, your web content isn’t about you.
Don’t get me wrong, you do have to talk about yourself a little — your reader has clicked on this page because they want to know about you before they decide to hire you. But they don’t want to know about your kids, the fun times you had at uni, or the fact that you’ve always been a fan of massage/design/nutrition (delete as appropriate).
They only want to know how you can help them. How you can solve their problems. So yes, talk about you but always bring things back to how your skills, experience and passion will benefit them.
And please, please don’t start things off by saying “I’m passionate about x, y, or z”. We all assume you’re passionate about your industry, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing what you do.
4. A content-free ‘contact page’ — did you just forget this bit?
There are a couple of problems with a minimalist contact page. Firstly, you need to consider your SEO. No text equals nothing for the search engines to grab hold of.
Secondly, this is potentially a crucial part of the sales process. The reader has read your other pages and come this far — you don’t want to drop the ball now.
Tell them how they can contact you and make it super-easy for them to do so. And it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a line or two to remind them WHY they’re going to benefit from getting in touch. “Fill in my contact form to get the ball rolling on kick-ass branding that will take your business to the next level” is always going to perform better than “Contact me now”.
This is your chance to close the sale, don’t waste it!
So there you have it. Cheers, Clare!
Whether you’ve invested time in designing your own website or you’ve invested money in hiring a professional to do it for you, the last thing you want is for poor content to detract from the finished product. When it comes to converting your readers to buyers, there really is no separating great design and great content.
And if you’re still not sure why your web content isn’t converting, have a look at this post from Clare where she talks about her own pet peeves when it comes to web content.
And for more advice on all things relating to how design can help you grow your business, subscribe below.
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