10 Common Copy-writing Mistakes

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Is Your Small Business Making these Ten Common Copywriting Mistakes?

Many small businesses write their own website content because they believe it’ll save them money. While it does mean no payments going out to a copywriting agency, it also means that their content – and therefore their online presence – relies on amateur writers. This can be a seriously false economy, because almost all companies that produce all or most of their own content tend to make these common mistakes.

Speaking to themselves only

Inexperienced writers tend to write in the way they like to hear (or read). They forget about their audience – their customers – and so the copy becomes more like an inner monologue, appealing to no-one who actually matters. A copywriting agency will find out who the audience is and will know how to pitch the copyright at them.

Neglecting SEO

Most copywriters nowadays have a decent grasp of SEO so that their content is visible online. Even if an individual writer isn’t too SEO-savvy, they probably work with an agency that has SEO experts to drive traffic (and sales) right to the site. Getting the SEO just right takes time and expertise, so it’s worth investing in it for the increased conversions.

Assuming too much prior knowledge

Professional writers always have the audience in mind so they tend to avoid industry jargon or, if they have to use rather esoteric terms, they have the knack of explaining them in the same breath. Using too much jargon or assuming that your audience is as knowledgeable as you are is a big mistake because if visitors have to stop to grab a dictionary every two minutes, they’ll just stop reading.

Writing pointless headlines

Your headlines attract human readers as well as search engines, so there’s no point in crafting a witty header if it doesn’t tell people (and engines) what the post or article is about. It’ll be skipped over for headlines that actually do the job.

Using inconsistent content

Consistency builds trust and brand recognition, but it’s not always easy to create consistent copy and material across different platforms and in different channels if you’re not an experienced or professional copywriter. Many companies and brands have a different tone or “voice” across the various platforms they float content on and this can work against them.

Not making content mobile-friendly

Most content now is accessed on mobile devices – tablets, smartphones and so on – so websites and their content need to work for mobile readers. Using larger font sizes for older readers, definite chunks of content with obvious, easily-scannable headings and simple images is the only way to go or you’ll be left behind.

Not selling your product fully or properly

You might have the most amazing or ground-breaking offerings known to man, but if you don’t tell your audience exactly how they’ll benefit if they buy your products, then you’ll both be losing out! Let them know why they should be flocking to you; ideally, you need to bring in someone who’s a tagline and header guru so you get your message across instantly.

Doing what everyone else does

You don’t want to do exactly what all the others are doing. True, you can learn from others, but when it comes to your own content and website, you need to go one step further or do things a bit differently. Otherwise, you’ll get the same results as everyone else, when you can do better!

Not matching your content to your design

Images reach the brain and get processed many times faster than words, so they’re just as, if not more, important. Your images and photos will be the first thing that draws readers in so make sure they mesh nicely with your written content or people will leave your site with a “disjointed” feel that blurs your message somewhat.

Failing to A/B test your headlines

Again, this could be a job for a professional agency. Too many people rely on so-called gut instinct when they create and choose their headlines. They are invariably swayed by what they’d prefer to see, when their preferences might not match most other people’s. You can test your different headlines on different platforms to see which one draws in the biggest number of readers and likes and over time you’ll get a feel for which words and which styles work best.

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