If you are looking to improve your writing online, you are in for a treat! We have curated this post to help you identify and avoid the seven most common digital copywriting mistakes that are often seen online. This will help you drive more leads, convert more customers, and make more sales on your business online.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
Making mistakes is a part of life, it is growth, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you learn from them. The main goal of this post is to help your learning curve be a lot faster than normal.
The truth is, the internet needs good writers. In our world today, where over half of the population can write whatever they like on the internet, one of the best ways to make you and your business stand out is to have the best communication and cleanest copywriting on the block. Your audience will thank you for it with their wallets.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Goal
One of the biggest digital copywriting mistakes I have probably made in the past is writing a piece of copy without having a goal in mind. You must keep in mind that people have short attention spans and they get bored easily. You don’t have a lot of time to make a good first impression so you need to make sure that every word you put out on the internet counts.
Think about something that you’re marketing for your business right now. What’s the first thing you’d like your potential customer to take? What’s the one thing that they could do that would help move towards success for your business? Think about what that is for you and then make sure that every word you are writing works towards that goal.
There are many types of goals that you could aim for with your writing. Here are some ideas to get you started:
To attract customers and get them to buy from you, you should first aim to prove that your product, business, or service is valuable. Give and give to your customers over and over again without asking for anything in return. They will thank you for it with their loyalty.
Now that you have already provided your potential customers with a lot of value, it’s the right time to ask them something in return. The best thing here is to ask for their contact information. Having this will allow you to follow up with them and continue to stay in touch with them so you can turn them into customers eventually.
Pleases and Thank Yous go a long way with customers, especially on the internet. Show your appreciation to your customers, show them how grateful you are for having them pick you among other businesses to choose from. Show them that you care about their experience, this will make them want to keep buying from you again and again.
Keep your writing straightforward and simple. And make sure that every word you choose works toward an ultimate goal. This will keep you on the right track.
Mistake #2: Writing For the Wrong Audience
Who are you writing for? Because I guarantee that it’s not for yourself. Oftentimes, I see companies online talking way too much about their experience, talking from their perspective. This might be unpleasant to hear, but your customers couldn’t care less about your company’s history or what you did to get to where you are now. They just want to know if you can provide them the service or product they need. Think about the people who need your product or service. What’s their experience? Why do they need your help? What are they looking for? People go to you because they need something and they think you might be able to help them. Don’t waste their time talking about things that don’t matter to them. Be forward, get to the point, and give them what they need.
Another way people mess this up online is by having a poorly translated website. Remember that the way you communicate with your customer matters, even if it’s not in English. Lots of businesses are trying to reach more audiences who speak in different languages. If you’re going to do this, make sure that your translation is accurate. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not. If you need to communicate with your customers in a language that you don’t personally speak, don’t just pot your words in Google Translate and call it a day. I’m telling you, this is not enough. Utilize the internet and find somebody who natively speaks the language you’re trying to communicate in. Have them look at what you’ve written so you can make sure that you are actually saying what you are trying to say.
Mistake #3: TL;DR
If you don’t know this yet, TL;DR stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read. The internet moves fast. Your audience and potential customer doesn’t have a lot of time to consider what you have to say before they move on to the next thing. If you want people to engage with your content online, you need to write in a way that respects their attention span. Here are a few key things to remember:
Get to the Point
Filler language is a waste of everyone’s time and your customer will not appreciate it. Show them that you respect their time by not wasting any of it. Get to the point.
Don’t Bury the Lead
Say you’re doing an online giveaway to gather email addresses for potential customers. Lead with the value that they are going to get from engaging with your business. Start with the thing that matters to them.
Wrap it Up
Give your customer exactly the information they need to make an informed decision and that’s it. Keep your writing concise and to the point, and you will have a lot more success reaching the people you want to notice you.
Mistake #4: Answering the Wrong Questions
To find out what your customers need, you need to look at the world from their perspective. Put yourself in their shows and try to understand why is it that they’re coming to you for help. For your customers to reach an informed decision, they will need to find out something specific about your business.
Example – for a coffee shop, that could be the shop hours; for an esthetician, that could be the different services that you provide; or for a birthday clown, it could be what type of clown you are. Whatever type of business it is that you have, there is something specific your customer needs.
Oftentimes, businesses bury that information somewhere on their website, and it’s so hard for the customer to find out the things they need to know to decide on your business. Find out what that crucial piece of information is for your business, and then make sure you make it easily available to your customer.
Things to keep in mind:
- Be clear about what your business offers. That may turn out to be exactly what your lead is looking for, or it might not be. Either way, help your customer make the right decision by being crystal clear about what it is that you offer.
- Avoid giving your leads an onslaught of information. Your goal should be to help them, no to beat them over the head with your words. Remember, TMI equals TLDR.
- In this day and age, there’s no need to guess at what your potential future customers need. Use the internet and social media to get to know your current customers and that will help you attract more people like them.
Mistake #5: Bad Fonts & Colors
You’ve worked really hard on your copy, you’ve carefully chosen your words, and everything is written to work towards a goal. But something is still not working for some reason. If this is the case, maybe the problem now could be your design.
Another one of the digital copywriting mistakes we are going to talk about now is bad design as it can seriously detract from your message. Bad design can draw your reader’s attention to the wrong thing. It can even make your viewer feel uncomfortable, and you don’t want that.
Design elements like font and color choices evoke emotion. The best way to make this work for you is to think about how you want your customer to feel. Use your design to create that feeling for them. Here are some tips to keep you on the right track:
Always Keep it Readable
Bad color choices will make your texts hard to see. It will become unappealing and the readers won’t have a second thought at closing that tab. When in doubt, stick to light background colors and dark colors for the text. The same concept is applied when it comes to font choices. Readability should be the top priority.
Use Multiple Styles (but do so carefully)
This depends on what you are writing, but it is recommended to use about 2-5 different fonts and colors. Using different styles draw focus and attention to your readers. Just be careful not to go overboard or it can become distracting.
If you have a website, it should comply with the American Disabilities Act
Depending on your business type, it should be in compliance with the ADA regulations, this may even be a requirement for your website.
Mistake #6: Too Pushy
Another digital copywriting mistake is being too pushy. You have to think about the push and pull between you and your potential customer, just like dating. If you come on too strong, you’ll scare them away. Use your writing to draw your lead in. People are smart, and they can tell when a business is trying too hard to get their money.
Give your audience and potential customers all the information they need to make a decision, and then back off. Give them the space they need to decide on their own pace, but this is not to say that you couldn’t engage with your leads repeatedly. Because you absolutely should. Just don’t push them too hard to do something for you. This is particularly true with online advertising. Offer your leads a whole lot of value first and then put your call-to-action in front of them at just the right moment.
If you want to avoid sounding pushy online, you need to keep these two things in mind:
- On the internet, ALL CAPS is shouting. Use it very carefully. Think about how much you shout in normal life. You probably don’t do it often. The same social norms apply online.
- Don’t sound desperate. Why should people want to buy from or work with a business that doesn’t sound confident about what they have to offer? Use your writing to highlight the positive things about your business, your customers will notice this.
Mistake #7: Spelling and Grammar Errors
There’s no excuse but laziness for bad spelling and grammar errors in professional writing. But sometimes, mistakes are inevitable, we’re just humans after all. But some companies seem to go above and beyond the limit of punctuation and spelling mistakes they make online. And this just makes those companies look bad. The issue here is that many people don’t see spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes a big deal. But this post is here to tell you that those people are wrong. Any writing you put out online could be your business’s first impression with someone. The first impression is everything and you need to make sure that it’s always a good one.
Having these errors in your writing just makes your business look sloppy. Think of it this way: If your potential customer sees that your business doesn’t try very hard on their website, why should they think that you’ll try very hard for them? This is important for every type of business, especially for those companies where building trust with customers is crucial. You want your audience to feel confident that you can deliver on what they need, and little things like spelling and grammar errors make it look like you won’t. Your goal should be to fill your reader with confidence that your business is worth every penny you ask for. Don’t give your reader any reason to doubt that.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We are not all born strong writers, and that’s okay. This is what the internet is for. You can outsource and look for someone whose strength is writing. Maybe you know someone who has a full grasp of the English language and can write well. You can ask them for guidance and maybe even let them take a look at what you’ve made. As an alternative, you can look for talented freelance writers online (in Craigslist, Upwork, etc.) and hire them to work for you.
It is okay not to be an amazing writer, but it is not okay to let your business look sloppy and lazy. Outsourcing and asking for a little bit of help can go a long way towards making your business look both professional and reliable online.
Writing online may seem easy but there are some pointers you need to heed to make your business look reputable and trustworthy. I hope you learned something about how to write a digital copy that truly engages your customers and helps put your business’s best foot forward online. Keep these digital copywriting mistakes in mind and your writing online will surely improve.