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Don’t Break Your Online Content Vows

by | Oct 18, 2012 | Conversion Rate Optimization, Website Management

As a marketing copywriter, I have 2 very important goals for every writing project:

  1. Educate consumers about the advantages of your product or service and help them understand what problems you solve.
  2. Help them understand why you are the best choice to solve their problems and nudge them toward making a purchase.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so much.

If you read the typical business website you will see that it isn’t easy at all.  Here are a few common mistakes…

  • You describe the product or service instead of explaining how it can solve customer’s problems or improve their lives.
  • You use industry jargon rather than a language your customers understand.
  • You have no call-to-action and readers don’t know what they are supposed to do next.
  • You fail to keep content fresh and relevant which gives the impression of an abandoned site.

Making any one of these, or many other, fundamental copywriting mistakes can mean that rather than having a website that actually works, you have a glorified brochure.

But, oddly enough, it isn’t the major mistakes that bother me. After all, it often requires the experience of a trained copywriter to create content that sells. If someone chooses to write their own website or let their website designer write it, they are making a choice to not use their website as the valuable selling tool that it should be.

It’s the small, yet annoying marketing gaffes that are like nails on a chalkboard for me. These are mistakes that I’ve even seen copywriters make.  To that end, I have written my own set of vows that I absolutely promise I will not break.

Paula’s Marketing Copywriting Vows

  • I vow to never, ever use the phrase “But Wait!”
  • I vow to avoid exclamation marks!! (Oh, oops!!)
  • I vow to never use REALLY BIG FONT in all caps to make a point. (It feels like you are screaming at someone and that is just plain rude.)
  • I vow to not get too hung up on stodgy grammar rules because I am having a conversation and it’s ok to occasionally break them. (Run-on sentences being one example.) However…
  • I vow to not break basic grammar rules. (The ones that make you look just plain dumb like mixing up your and you’re.)

So, there you have it.

The top 5 things that make me roll my eyes and groan when I see them. What are the things you see in marketing copy that drives you nuts?


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