Websites are difficult to get right. But they’re also important to get right. There is absolutely zero point in investing time or other resources into getting more traffic to your website if people simply bounce off again soon after they arrive.
So what are the most common website mistakes, and are you making any of them on your business website?
To find out, watch the following webinar where experienced conversion copywriter Liz Painter, of copywriting agency Comma Comma, critiques the websites of three small businesses. You’ll get an idea of what works, and what could be improved. Liz also covers the number one biggest mistake that small business owners make when they’re pulling together the copy for their website.
How do you avoid letting your potential customers bounce from your website before they’ve even had a chance to look around?
The design and the pictures you use are both important, but the words on the page are vital too. Often people invest a lot in making their website look good, but when it comes to the words on the page, they re-use content from elsewhere in their marketing.
Or they pull something together in a hurry because they just want to get the website live, or their web developer keeps asking them for the copy.
Does anyone read the words on your website?
One of the arguments I’ve heard for not investing in website copy is that “no-one reads it anyway”. To some extent that’s true – studies have shown that there are a lot of people skimming the words on your website rather than reading them.
But one of the reasons people skim read is because they’re not sure they’re in the right place, so they don’t want to invest too much time in reading.
Another reason people don’t read is when the words on the page are boring, or they’re all about the business rather than the needs of the potential customer. If the text is dense or difficult to read, then people are driven to scanning rather than reading.
How can you make sure people DO read the copy on your website?
If you avoid the most common mistakes, you’ll be way ahead of your competitors when it comes to your website copy.
Mistake #1: Being bland and not communicating your value
An extremely common mistake, especially in business services, is using bland, meaningless words that don’t convey the value of what you do. (That’s two mistakes in one really.)
What’s unique about what you do? What value do you bring to your customers? It can be hard work to figure this out, but it’s the best way to create a website that draws people in rather than making them click away.
Once you’re clear on your value proposition, think about how you want to come across. Do you want to sound like everyone else, or is there a way you can channel what’s unique about your business so that you stand out?
Mistake #2: Talking about yourself and what’s important to you
So many business websites start every other sentence with the word, “We”. When they should be talking about “You” i.e. the customer. What’s important to your customers? What do they get out of your service or product? If you don’t know, ask them. Then focus on that in your website copy.
Mistake #3: Using overly formal language
If you’re in a serious line of work – perhaps something legal or financial – then you might not want to sound like a rap star. But you probably don’t need to be as formal as you think.
You’re marketing to human beings, and if you use overly formal language then people tend to switch off. They don’t want to read a website that sounds like an essay or an academic study. People want to find out how you can help them, in clear, easy to understand, conversational English.
BizSmart aims to help SME and micro-business owners scale their businesses and create value through sound practical business support. We aim to give you insight and clarity and fire up your determination to succeed. You can access blogs like this and more besides through our free SmartRoom service here.