3 ways to make your website work harder

By Erika Napoletano

Make your website work harder by correcting these 3 copywriting mistakes today.

Your bounce rate? Abysmal. Your conversions? Embarrassing. The culprit? Copywriting mistakes. The good news is that all of these mistakes are completely fixable.

As a small-business owner, your website can be one of your top employees. It should be generating business, serving your customers and keeping people coming back for more.

Copywriting Mistake #1:
You’re missing a brand story.

From the moment someone lands on your site, do they get a clear impression of the type of company you are? Some companies are fun-loving, others trusted partners. People do business with people, not hex colours. You need to give your business a personality.

A distinct brand personality does two important things:

  1. Polarization: Distinct brand personalities attract like-minded people to your products and services while simultaneously sending those who aren’t your ideal packing.
  2. Trust: By being open about who you are as a company, you’re instilling a sense of trust in people who already believe what you believe, making every click easier—from “try a demo” to “get yours today.”

How to fix it: Every person, company and brand must have solid answers to the following four critical questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why are you different?
  4. Why will your ideal customer care?

Once you’ve answered those, think about how your brand talks. What it would order at a bar. What it likes and dislikes. Use the four answers to those questions along with these humanizing details to lift your web copy out of Blahsville and into a clear personality that can tell a great story to the right customer.

Copywriting Mistake #2:
You’re not giving visitors a reason to stay.

What good is a brand personality without a clear message? The first thing we all ask when we land on a web page is, “What’s in it for me?” If your page doesn’t have a clear message telling your site visitor what it’s about and why it’s his lucky day for having landed there, you know what’s going to happen? Nothing.

How to fix it: Every page of your website should have a single, concise message. Create a list of pages on your website and establish a clear message for each one. I do this by asking my clients: “If a web visitor only had seven seconds on this page before he had to decide what to do next, what’s the one thing you’d want him to remember?”

Now, you have a message. Let’s make sure you use that message to create action.

Examples of sites with clear, concise on-page messaging:

Copywriting Mistake #3:
You’re not telling visitors what to do.

It’s not about being bossy. Telling your site visitors how to get what they want is just good customer service. Are you telling your site visitors what to do next? Every page of your site needs a clear and highly visible call to action (CTA). It’s frustrating when you land somewhere that looks interesting and you can’t figure out how to learn more or how to get your hands on some of the magic.

How to fix it: I have a simple exercise I do with every copywriting client. I ask:

  • What is the main message this web page must convey?
  • What are the three most desirable actions for a site visitor to take on this page? List in order of priority.

Now, you have a clear and concise message with calls to action, which will enable you to craft copy that leads visitors to take the desired action. Smart use of buttons and graphics can make taking that action easy as pie.