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January 2013

4 Copywriting Mistakes You’re Making

The Lead is Buried

The attention span of an online visitor is 8-10 seconds at best. Instead of starting with a long and unnecessary introduction- get straight to the point. Make sure your user knows exactly what the site is about and what you want them to do in those first 10 seconds. Ask yourself these questions to see if your most important messages are being highlighted- or being buried:

  • Are you leading with your main message?
  •  Is that main message above the fold?
  •  Is it buried as the 3rd or 4th sentence in your “welcome” paragraph?
  •  Do you use size and color to make your most important content stand out?

You’re Focusing on Yourself- Not the User

Let’s say I work for a company that makes coffee mugs. I am drilled day in and day out about our coffee mug products, our company policies, and how wonderful our company is. It’s easy to regurgitate information that you are surrounded with to your customers. No one loves your product more than you!

But to get customers to do just that- love your product even more than you- you have to write outwardly- show them how they benefit from being at your website and using your product.

They don’t care how wonderful you think your company is, they want to know how you can make their lives wonderful.

The Calls To Action are Soft or Nonexistent

Call to actions, or CTAs, are one of the most important aspects of a website- it tells the user what to do in the blink of an eye. Your copy could be outrageously persuasive and sell ballet shoes to a scientist, but if you don’t lead the viewer through CTAs, they’re as good as gone.

Users don’t want to think about what steps to take, they want to instinctively know it, and that instinct is big, bold words telling them to “DO THIS!”

Keep these tips in mind when creating your call to actions:

  • Know what you want your visitors to do on your website before you start designing
  • Designers and writers should work together. What the CTA says is equally as important as the placement of an arrow, the size of a word, and the color of a circle
  • A CTA should be clear and compelling
  • Most CTAs are willing one of the following actions: to subscribe/enroll, to place an order, to request a quote, to learn more

You’re Talking Too Much

Lose the extra baggage. Be clear, concise, and straight to the point.

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