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What's wrong with my website copy?

Your flashy website means nothing if the copy for it isn’t right. But what are the mistakes people keep making?

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What's wrong with my website copy? image

Hi everyone! Zarte here!

There are several important parts to your website. The way it’s laid out, the engaging characteristics of the pictures you choose, the...

Oh, sorry, bear with me. The post has just arrived and I’ve been expecting something. I’ll be two ticks.

Bill… bill… reminder… bill… sales pitch. Hmm, wonder what they’re trying to sell me. Oh wow, that’s badly written… it’s like a two year old has gotten hold of it… anything else in here… another bill…

Sorry, I’m here now. No luck with what I was actually waiting for, but it did give me an idea of what I should talk to you about today. What’s wrong with YOUR copy?

For those not familiar with the term, copy is the text for your website. It could also be copy for flyers/emails etc, but whilst much of what I’m saying would still be true, this article is specifically focussed on your website’s copy.

It’s a bit of a passion of mine, it’s my role with BEA Solutions after all, and so honestly, I could write for days on this, however I’ll stick to giving you just a few ideas as to why your website might not be having the effect you hoped for.

Is it a mess?

Everyone makes the odd typo. Everyone makes the odd grammatical error. Some people make lots of them, and that’s fine when you’re sending a text. But there is no excuse in the modern day for a lump of text to be littered with errors. And it DOES have an impact. If you’re not professional enough to ensure that your copy is correct, why on earth would I trust your product? This is the time for quality.

Is it legible?

Something we see a lot is people focussing on the aesthetic of their website, and using colours and styles in such a way that it’s very difficult to find a font that sits perfectly within that design. And so you end up having to strain your eyes to read dark text on a slightly brighter background. Clarity in all areas is the key. Black text on white is quite often your best bet, and with good reason.

Is it too technical?

For the majority of businesses, you will be selling to someone who knows less about the product than you do. Some people believe that showing off their knowledge in the hope that it makes them look more qualified is the way to go, but I beg to differ. Give people what they can understand and let them ask the questions if necessary. Jargon is just another thing to lose customers in – it’s not worth it.

Is it consistent?

A website will look confused if the copy has multiple authors. It might seem like it wouldn’t matter, but people really do pick up on changes in tone. Additionally, you can end up with different authors finding different things worth mentioning, which could lead to your customers having a false impression of a product, or of your business. You can TRY to set a strict policy on content writing, but the truth is you will always be better having one author for everything.

Is it engaging?

Websites don’t need to be cracking jokes or asking you how the family is, but they do need to draw you in. A sense of enthusiasm and, if possible, warmth, makes your business much more viable to most people. If you sound bored with your business, your potential customers will be bored too, and you’ll miss out on sales.

Is it factual?

We all like to assume that what we’re reading is a fair reflection of reality, but sometimes mistakes are made. And occasionally people are tempted to say something untrue to boost their prospects. It just isn’t worth it though. It only takes one person to notice something awry and that’s a bad review which could seriously dent your reputation. Make sure that everything on your website is true to the best of your knowledge, and deal immediately with anything that turns out not to be, whether accidental or not.

That should give you a good idea of what to be getting on with when you update your web copy. We do write copy for websites upon request, so if you’re unsure how best to promote your business, don’t hesitate to contact us via the box on our contact page, or through the usual number – 023 9298 8855.

Until next time!

Zarte