There was a time when copywriting used to be in the realm of advertising and marketing.
These days, when you are writing for websites and blog posts, in many instances you are copywriting.
This is because if your content is being used for content marketing, it is meant to generate leads and sales.
Copywriting is slightly different from content writing. In copywriting, you don’t just inform and engage, you also prompt your readers to take an action (CTA – Call to Action).
This is a necessity whether you are writing a blog post, a landing page, an email marketing message, or one of the main pages of a website.
After reading your copy people must act. Even if they leave your website or blog without taking an action, enough impact must be made so that they remember the website, remember what the website stands for, and when the time comes to seek more information, or even to do business, they come back to the website.
Therefore, copywriting mistakes can be costly.
Copywriting mistakes can adversely impact the way people react when they read your copy.
Mistakes can negatively affect your search engine rankings.
They can deteriorate your conversion rate.
Your CTA gets affected if you commit copywriting mistakes.
Frankly, there can be hundreds of mistakes that you can commit when writing copy for a website, or a landing page, or a blog post, but there are at least some common, and significant mistakes that you can avoid making your copy effective and profitable.
Below I am writing 5 common copywriting mistakes that you can avoid when writing copy for your own website or for your clients.
1. Writing unnecessarily long expressions
Copywriting needs to be crisp.
People should be able to read your sentences effortlessly and fast.
If they have to make an effort, they lose concentration and after a while, they lose interest.
For example, there is no need to write “It has been brought to our notice”, when you can simply write “we have noticed”.
Further, there is no need to write “Ask me a question” because when you ask, you are anyway asking a question, so you can use “ask me”.
Why is this an important copywriting mistake that you must avoid?
Why do you write your copy? You write so that people respond favorably to your copywriting.
Every small thing matters. You don’t want to distract them. You don’t want to bore them.
Do you know that sometimes people get bored even when they don’t realize it and then leave your page?
Although on the Internet there can be zillions of reasons why people get distracted and leave your page, one of the biggest reasons is that long sentences and words with multiple syllables bore them, even unknowingly.
Write short sentences. Get rid of as many unnecessary words as possible. Avoid using words with more than two or three syllables.
2. Using unnecessary or meaningless expression
You must have come across expressions such as “#1 software” or “the best app development service”.
Do your readers really get impressed that you’re calling yourself “the best app development service” without backing it up with a believable proof?
Instead of using such hyperbolic language address the core problems of the people reading your copy.
How do you intend to solve their problem? Not by being “the best app development service” but by your ability to understand their problems and offering them the right solutions.
Some copywriters also use expressions that are called “intensifiers” such as
“Totally free” (what is partially free?)
Really, totally, and absolutely are completely unnecessary. In fact, I shouldn’t have used completely unnecessary myself but I wanted to make a point.
3. Not understanding the reader’s perspective
There must be a direct connection between
- What you say as a copywriter.
- What your reader wants to read as someone who is dealing with the problem and is looking for a solution.
You may think that it’s obvious, but many copywriters make this mistake: there is no connection between what is being written and what the copy is required to achieve.
It always helps to prepare a persona. Make a list of all the problems and solutions your prospective reader has in mind when he or she comes to your web page.
Don’t hold yourself back. Make as many points as you can think of.
Since your copy needs to be focused you don’t need to tackle all the points, but whatever you want to tackle, underline.
Keep the list in front of you when you are writing your copy so that there is a direct match between what you are writing and what your reader wants to read.
4. Ignoring the importance of headlines
When you are writing for the web, headlines solve multiple purposes.
They are good for your search engine rankings.
They make your copy easily readable.
When people come to your website or web page they first see your headlines.
Most of the people skim through your content so write your headlines keeping such tendencies in mind.
When your headlines fail to make an impact, most of the people skip reading your remaining copy.
Don’t just create headlines for the sake of creating them.
Using the product name or the service name as your headline doesn’t make much sense.
Instead of saying
“The cloud hosted accounting solution”
you can maybe opt for
“Anywhere access to your accounting system, from any device, through any browser”
In just one headline you have captured almost all the benefits of using your cloud hosted accounting solution.
The headlines must represent the gist of what you are talking beneath them.
For example, the headline
“Ignoring the importance of headlines”
tells you that not taking your headlines seriously is a grave copywriting mistake.
5. Having multiple CTAs on a single page
CTA stands for call to action. This is especially important when you are writing copy for a landing page or an email campaign.
Every landing page or email campaign has a central purpose.
Whenever you construct a landing page or send out an email campaign, it is intended to achieve a singular task.
The task might be selling clothes.
Maybe you want to build a mailing list and for that you are inviting subscribers to submit their email IDs.
Or maybe you want them to download your case study or white paper.
Maybe you are an architect, and you want people to fill up your contact form for an appointment or an online consultation.
These are different focuses.
Sometimes on the same landing page or in the same email campaign, people are asked to download the brochure, or contact or fix up a consultation appointment.
Multiple choices confuse the readers and recipients.
On every landing page or in every email campaign, use a single expression for your call to action.
If you want them to download your white paper, whenever you use the CTA button, prompt them to download the white paper and exclusively talk about the white paper.
If you want them to contact you, then for every CTA button prompt them to contact you.
Don’t club multiple calls to action in a single campaign.
In case you have multiple calls to action, use multiple campaigns.
How to make your copywriting effective after avoiding these mistakes?
Write for the reader.
Keep search engine optimization in your thoughts but don’t get overwhelmed – remember eventually it’s the humans who read your copy.
Write according to search intent.
Search intent, on the Internet, is the intention with which people use queries on Google.
You may like to read What Is Search Intent And How Knowing It Improves Your SEO
My personal approach is always writing from the reader’s perspective.
What is the reader going to get out of my copy?
What information am I providing?
How is that information helping the reader?
Take for example this blog post.
What was the primary purpose of this blog post?
It was highlighting the 5 main copywriting mistakes that you should avoid.
There may be scores of other mistakes, but these are the important mistakes I want you to avoid.
This was the purpose of this blog post.