We all know that writing website copy can feel like a minefield at times, especially when you’re striving to create content that resonates with your ideal customer. Honestly, it’s easy to make mistakes. In this article, we’ll explore eight common mistakes small business owners make while writing their own website copy, and more importantly, how to fix them.
Note: I’m going to be using an Insurance Broker for some of the examples.
1. Not Making Your Website Copy Personal and Unique
Creating personal and unique copy is absolutely essential if you want to stand out from the crowd. Just think about it: no one wants to read the same, cookie-cutter content they’ve seen a million times before.
Generic copy is one of the biggest website copy mistakes you can make.
So, how do you make your copy personal and unique so it resonates with your audience?
Know your audience: Understanding your target audience is the first step in crafting personalized content. You must know who your clients are and what they need. This could include knowing their age, profession, and lifestyle, but also digging deeper into their goals, fears, and aspirations.
Use a conversational tone: Writing in a conversational tone helps your audience feel like they’re having a one-on-one chat with you. It’s friendlier and more engaging than a formal, stuffy tone. So, use contractions, ask questions, and write like you’re talking to a friend (because, to be honest, that’s what you want your clients to feel like!).
Address your audience directly: Use “you” and “your” in your copy to make your readers feel like you’re speaking directly to them. This simple change can make a world of difference in how your audience perceives your message. For instance, instead of saying “Clients can save money on insurance premiums,” say “You can save money on your insurance premiums.”
Share stories and anecdotes: Including stories and anecdotes in your copy can make it more relatable and engaging. People love stories, so use them to illustrate points and make your content more memorable. An insurance broker could share stories of clients who found the perfect coverage or how they helped someone in a challenging situation.
Highlight your unique selling points (USPs): To make your copy unique, you need to focus on what sets your business apart from the competition. As an insurance broker, you might have a handpicked selection of insurers, a personalized approach to finding the best coverage, or an exceptional customer service record. Emphasize these USPs in your copy to show your audience why they should choose you.
2. Not Being Specific When Addressing Needs and Pain Points
Addressing the specific needs and pain points of your audience is undeniably vital when crafting website copy. It shows you’re in tune with their concerns and have the solutions they need.
How do you address needs and pain points effectively, to avoid making website copy mistakes?
Identify the pain points: First and foremost, you need to know what your audience is struggling with. For an insurance broker, this might include things like high premiums, confusing policy terms, or inadequate coverage. By identifying these pain points, you can tailor your copy to address them directly.
Offer tailored solutions: Once you’ve identified your audience’s pain points, it’s time to show them how you can help. Offer specific solutions that cater to their unique needs. For example, if your clients are worried about high premiums, explain how you can find them the best coverage at the most affordable rates by shopping around and negotiating on their behalf.
Showcase your expertise: To truly address your audience’s needs and pain points, you need to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field. As an insurance broker, you can do this by explaining complex policy terms, providing tips for choosing the right coverage, or sharing industry insights. By showcasing your expertise, you’ll build trust and credibility with your audience.
Use clear, concise language: When addressing needs and pain points, it’s crucial to use clear and concise language. Jargon and complex sentences will only confuse your readers and make them lose interest. So, be straightforward and use simple language to explain how you can solve their problems.
Include examples and case studies: To further illustrate how you address needs and pain points, share real-life examples and case studies. These can be stories of clients you’ve helped, challenges you’ve overcome, or successes you’ve achieved. By sharing these examples, you’ll prove that your solutions work and that you’re the right choice for your audience.
Keep it relevant: Finally, always keep your copy relevant to your ideal customer profile. If you’re targeting small business owners, for example, focus on the specific insurance needs and pain points they face, like protecting their assets, covering employee injuries, or dealing with liability risks. By keeping your content relevant, you’ll ensure that it resonates with your audience and drives the desired action.
3. Having an Inconsistent Brand
Maintaining consistency across your website copy is definitely crucial for strengthening your brand. A consistent brand identity makes it easier for your audience to recognize you and trust your message. So, how do you maintain consistency in your copy?
Develop a brand voice: Your brand voice is the personality and tone that comes across in your writing. To create consistency, establish a brand voice that reflects your brand values and speaks to your ideal customer profile. For example, an insurance broker might adopt a friendly, helpful, and reassuring tone to connect with their audience.
Create a style guide: A style guide is a set of rules and guidelines that outline how your brand should be presented in writing. This can include things like grammar rules, formatting, and word usage. By creating a style guide, you’ll ensure that your copy remains consistent across different pages and customer profiles.
Use consistent messaging: Your messaging should be consistent throughout your website copy. Make sure that your value propositions, unique selling points, and key messages are the same, regardless of the audience you’re targeting. This will help reinforce your brand identity and make it easier for your audience to remember you.
Be consistent with visuals: Visual elements, such as images, colors, and fonts, also play a role in maintaining brand consistency. Ensure that your website’s design is cohesive and aligns with your brand identity. This will create a unified look and feel that complements your written content.
Stay true to your brand values: Your brand values are the core principles that guide your business. As you write your website copy, make sure that it reflects these values consistently. For example, if your insurance brokerage values transparency and honesty, ensure that your copy is always clear, straightforward, and free of misleading information.
Review and edit: To maintain consistency, it’s essential to regularly review and edit your website copy. This will help you catch any inconsistencies and keep your content fresh and up-to-date. Consider having someone else review your copy as well, as they might spot inconsistencies that you missed.
4. Ignoring Customer Feedback
Listening to client feedback is seriously important for improving your website copy and growing your business. After all, your clients are the ones who interact with your content and can provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. So, how do you use client feedback for continuous improvement?
Encourage feedback: First things first, you need to create an environment where clients feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. Include a feedback form on your website, or invite clients to leave comments on your blog posts or social media. Make it clear that you appreciate their input and will use it to improve your services.
Actively seek feedback: Don’t just wait for feedback to come to you; proactively ask for it. Reach out to clients through email, phone calls, or in-person meetings and ask for their opinions on your website copy. This shows that you value their perspective and are committed to making improvements.
Analyze the feedback: Once you’ve collected feedback, take the time to analyze it and identify patterns or trends. Are clients consistently confused by a specific section of your copy? Are they praising a particular aspect of your content? Use these insights to make data-driven decisions about how to improve your website copy.
Implement changes: Based on your analysis, make the necessary changes to your copy. This could involve rewriting sections, adding new information, or removing outdated content. Remember, the goal is to create a better experience for your clients, so be open to making adjustments as needed.
Communicate your changes: After you’ve made changes to your website copy, let your clients know what you’ve done and why. This shows that you take their feedback seriously and are committed to continuous improvement. Plus, it encourages them to continue providing feedback in the future.
Monitor and measure the impact: Finally, keep an eye on the impact of the changes you’ve made. Track metrics like engagement, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction to see if your improvements are having the desired effect. If not, don’t be afraid to make further adjustments.
5. Only Looking at Demographics
Looking beyond demographics is honestly essential when crafting website copy that speaks to your ideal customer profile. Demographics like age, location, and income are important, but they don’t paint the whole picture. To truly connect with your audience, you need to consider their behaviors, preferences, and motivations. Here’s how you can dig deeper:
Create buyer personas: Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on real data and research. They help you understand your audience on a deeper level by considering factors like their hobbies, values, and challenges. To create buyer personas, gather data from surveys, interviews, and market research, and use this information to build detailed profiles of your target customers.
Map out the customer journey: The customer journey is the series of steps a person goes through before making a purchase. By mapping out this journey, you can identify the touchpoints where your website copy needs to address specific behaviors, preferences, and pain points. This will help you create content that’s relevant and engaging at every stage of the journey.
Leverage psychographics: Psychographics are qualitative factors that help you understand your audience’s attitudes, values, and motivations. Use psychographic data, such as survey responses or social media insights, to tailor your website copy to your audience’s mindset. For example, if your insurance broker clients value security and peace of mind, emphasize how your services can provide that.
Conduct keyword research: Keyword research is a powerful tool for understanding your audience’s search habits and preferences. Use tools like UberSuggest or SEMrush to identify the terms and phrases your audience uses when looking for information related to your services. Incorporate these keywords into your website copy to ensure it’s relevant and visible in search results.
Analyze user behavior on your website: Use tools like Google Analytics to analyze user behavior on your website. This can help you identify patterns, such as which pages are most popular, how long users spend on each page, and where they’re dropping off. Use this information to optimize your website copy and create a better user experience.
Test and iterate: Finally, continually test and refine your website copy to ensure it resonates with your audience. Run A/B tests, gather feedback, and track key metrics to identify what’s working and what needs improvement. By continually iterating on your copy, you’ll create content that truly speaks to your ideal customer profile.
6. Complicated Website Copy for Products and Services
When it comes to presenting your products and services on your website, simplicity is absolutely key. A clear and easy-to-understand presentation helps your audience grasp the value of your offerings and make informed decisions. So, how do you simplify your products and services in your website copy?
Focus on benefits, not features: Instead of bombarding your audience with a list of features, focus on the benefits your products and services provide. For example, if you’re an insurance broker, highlight how your services can save clients time, money, and stress. By emphasizing benefits, you’ll create a more compelling message that resonates with your audience.
Use plain language: Your website copy should be easy to understand, regardless of your audience’s level of expertise. Avoid jargon and technical terms, and opt for simple, everyday language. This will make your content more accessible and engaging, and help your audience quickly understand the value of your offerings.
Organize your content: Break up your content into clear, logical sections to make it easier for your audience to digest. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists to present information in a structured and organized manner. This will help your audience quickly find the information they need and make your content more user-friendly.
Use visuals to support your message: Visuals, such as images, icons, and infographics, can help simplify complex information and make your content more engaging. Use visuals to illustrate key points, showcase your products or services, or explain processes. Just be sure that your visuals are relevant and support the message in your copy.
Eliminate unnecessary information: When crafting your website copy, be mindful of the information you include. Only share what’s relevant and necessary for your audience to make a decision. Cut out any fluff or redundant information to keep your content focused and easy to understand.
Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP): Clearly communicate what sets your products and services apart from the competition. This could be your expertise, customer service, or innovative solutions. By emphasizing your USP, you’ll make it easier for your audience to understand why they should choose you over others.
7. Not Keeping Up with Industry Changes
Staying up-to-date with industry changes is undeniably important when crafting website copy that resonates with your audience. By keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry, you can ensure that your content remains relevant, accurate, and valuable. So, how do you stay ahead of industry changes?
Follow industry news and trends: Regularly read industry publications, blogs, and news websites to stay informed about the latest developments and trends. This will help you identify new topics to cover in your website copy and ensure that your content remains fresh and relevant.
Subscribe to industry newsletters: Sign up for newsletters from leading industry organizations, experts, and influencers. These newsletters can provide you with valuable insights, research, and updates that you can use to inform your website copy.
Attend industry events and conferences: Participate in industry events, conferences, and webinars to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. These events can also provide opportunities to network with other professionals and gather insights that can help you improve your website copy.
Join online forums and communities: Engage in online forums and communities related to your industry. This will allow you to connect with others in your field, ask questions, and share knowledge. By participating in these discussions, you can stay informed about industry changes and gain insights that can help you refine your website copy.
Monitor competitor websites: Keep an eye on your competitors’ websites to see how they’re adapting to industry changes. This can help you identify new trends and opportunities, as well as areas where your own website copy may need updating.
Update your copy regularly: As you learn about industry changes, update your website copy accordingly. This will ensure that your content remains accurate, relevant, and valuable to your audience. Make it a habit to review and revise your copy regularly, so it stays current and reflects the latest industry developments.
Invest in continuous learning: To stay ahead in your industry, invest in continuous learning and professional development. This could involve taking online courses, attending workshops, or earning certifications related to your field. By constantly expanding your knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to create website copy that speaks to the latest industry trends and changes.
8. Ignoring Statistics
Monitoring the effectiveness of your website copy is absolutely vital for fine-tuning your approach and enhancing your content. By keeping an eye on crucial metrics and examining user behavior, you’ll be able to pinpoint what’s working and what needs a revamp. So, how do you leverage analytics to refine your approach? (tech lingo coming up)
Establish measurable objectives: Before diving into analytics, figure out your desired outcomes for your website copy. Are you looking to boost engagement, drive conversions, or increase brand awareness? By setting well-defined, quantifiable objectives, you’ll have a benchmark to gauge your progress and achievements.
Select suitable analytics tools: Numerous analytics tools are available, such as Google Analytics, which can help you monitor your website’s performance. In all honesty, Google Analytics can be confusing to understand, so if you have a WordPress website, use the SiteKit plugin which allows you to easily view the analytics inside your website. Opt for a tool that aligns with your objectives and delivers the insights necessary to improve your website copy.
Monitor essential metrics: Identify the metrics most relevant to your objectives, like pageviews, bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rate. Regularly keep tabs on these metrics to assess the effectiveness of your website copy and detect areas that need enhancement.
Examine user behavior: Use analytics to gain insights into user interactions on your website. Are visitors spending significant time on particular pages? Are they clicking specific links or calls-to-action? By understanding user behavior, you can recognize patterns and trends that will assist you in optimizing your website copy.
Perform A/B testing: A/B testing is an influential method for measuring the effectiveness of different versions of your website copy. Develop two or more variations of a page, headline, or call-to-action, and employ analytics to track which version performs better. This will help you fine-tune your copy and make data-driven decisions about what resonates best with your audience.
Segment your audience: Employ analytics to segment your audience based on factors like demographics, location, and behavior. This enables you to analyze the performance of your website copy for distinct groups and tailor your content to better accommodate each segment.
Act upon your insights: After examining your data, use your insights to make informed decisions about refining your website copy. This might involve re-writing headlines, updating calls-to-action, or rearranging your content. Remember, the goal is to create an improved experience for your users and achieve your desired outcomes.
Continually monitor and optimize: Finally, keep a close watch on your analytics and perpetually optimize your website copy. This will help you stay ahead of trends and ensure that your content remains pertinent, engaging, and effective.
Wrapping it Up
Writing website copy that genuinely resonates with your audience is a vital component of a thriving online presence. By paying close attention to these typical pitfalls and applying the suggested techniques, you can produce content that is distinctive, customized, and targeted towards your ideal clients.
Don’t forget, the secret lies in regularly fine-tuning your methods and listening to feedback. Through these efforts, you’ll establish a solid brand identity and nurture long-lasting connections with your customers, leading to sustained growth and prosperity for your business.