Costly Web Copy Pitfalls

By: Vanessa Selene Williams

One secret to a site that sells: Look at your site from your customer’s perspective. Another secret: Watch out for these common web copy pitfalls.

Welcome to…nothing

Look at your site’s web copy. Does it begin with “Welcome to…?" If so, get rid of it. It means nothing. It doesn’t speak to your customers. It’s just a waste of your customers’ time and space. Rather than the worn out phrase, “Welcome to…" try a statement that captures the essence of your company, explaining it in terms that’ll benefit your customers. Instead of “Welcome to Crazy Dave’s CD Emporium," try “Crazy Dave’s CD Emporium, where you can find quality CDs and crazy prices."

Where do I go?

If you track your site’s metrics, look at your customers’ paths. How many customers get past the home page? If it’s less than desired, there might be a problem with your site’s navigation.

If you’re one of those people with mega-content sites, add an internal search to help your customers find there way. If you’re a smaller site, add navigation bars that update automatically when your site’s structures changes or evolves.

“It’s all about me."

Your site is supposed to be about your customers not you. Let’s face it: Your customers don’t care about your Nobel Prize or that you were the first person to sell a condominium on Jupiter, they do care, however, about how your expertise can help them.

Quick tip: Visit your site. Does the copy contain more “we," “me," and “I" statements than “you" and “your?"

Marco…Polo

Have you ever visited a site to be sold on the product, then when you needed to ask a quick question, you couldn’t find their contact information? The solution: Put at least an email address or phone number on each page, preferably at the top or bottom. Then put more detailed contact information on your contact page.

Rarely read but really important.

Just the presence of terms and conditions and privacy policies instills confidence in your product. It also eases the minds of your more anxious customers.

Vague, iffy, testimonials

Testimonials are the easiest and perhaps the best way to capture your customers’ attention and confidence. But simple statements saying that your product is good, won’t work. Detailed testimonials praising how much your product improved their life work best. Another way to give testimonials more selling power, get a picture. Even better, get a picture with you customer using your product or benefiting from your service.

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