12 Common Copywriting Mistakes You Can Fix in Five Minutes
Copywriting. You either love it or you hate it. It takes a lot of time, it requires a lot of creativity, but when done well, the reward is clear. It can bring your ecommerce business from good to great. However, it’s easy to make mistakes that cost you sales in the long run. The good thing is, most copywriting mistakes are easy to fix in only five minutes. Twelve of the most common copywriting mistakes are:
- Using jargon
- Not optimizing your headline
- Getting too wordy
- Overusing adjectives
- Relying too heavily on stats
- Lacking consistency
- Copying others
- Ignoring mobile copywriting
- Too much product focus
- No personality
- Forgetting SEO
- Not enough editing
When you’re an expert in your field, it’s easy to forget that not everyone who reads your content is. If you use too much jargon, you run into the problem of confusing your customers and potentially losing them altogether. The easiest way to avoid boring and confusing readers with jargon is to write a list of your most used terms before you start writing. After writing, scan your copy for all the jargon in your list, and replace any with more reader-friendly words.
Not Optimizing Your Headline
When writing a headline, it can be tempting to come up with something fun, quirky, and full of puns. After all, it’s the first thing your customer reads, right? However, customers will find your writing by searching for common keywords. If your headline focuses too much on being snappy but sacrifices keywords to do it, people may never find your content in the first place. The easiest way to fix this is by doing some research into what keywords are most popular in your industry so you can use some of them in your headlines as well.
Getting Too Wordy
Long form copywriting is good for search engine optimization. To make your SEO better, it can be tempting to write extra words. However, your readers aren’t search engines. Instead of using filler, every word must count. It will make your writing more meaningful in the long run and help convert readers to buyers. Practice and careful editing will help prevent this mistake.
Common Copywriting Mistakes: Overusing Adjectives
Adjectives are excellent for adding spice to your copywriting. However, overusing them can make your writing busy and harder to follow. Instead of cramming six adjectives into one sentence that describes your product, choose one or two that have the most meaning. Your customers will be able to use those to create a clear visual image of your product.
Relying Too Heavily on Stats
Readers want stories. Stories create emotion and emotion drives sales. If your blog is filled with statistics and numbers, which break the story you’re telling about your product and business, you will remind your customer that they’re being sold to. The thrall they were under will fade and sales can easily be lost. If you want to use stats, don’t gratuitously pepper them in as content. Do thorough research to learn which stats are most relevant to your topic, and don’t use more than two in a single blog.
Most ecommerce businesses use multiple platforms to share copy, including a dedicated blog and social media. Because of this, consistency is important to build a trustworthy brand. Before writing, create a guideline for how to write copy on all platforms. For example, will your brand use emojis and hashtags? Which ones and how often? How long will your blogs be? How often will you post on social media? Do this for every platform you use and give the guidelines to every person who writes copy for you.
When you first start copywriting, it’s a great idea to take a look at similar brands to see how they do their copy. However, avoid the temptation of simply copying the things they do well. Even though a particular style may work for another brand, it might not work for yours. Instead, use other brands for inspiration but come up with a unique take that matches the personality of your business. Your uniqueness will ultimately be what you’re remembered for. If you find that you’re often copying other brands, take the time to compare your copywriting with the article you took inspiration from, and make changes as you go.
Ignoring Mobile Copywriting
It’s estimated that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide own a smartphone. It’s becoming the most popular way to consume content, which includes copywriting. However, one of the most common copywriting mistakes is ignoring mobile writing entirely. To fix this, make sure your copy looks good on both desktop and mobile devices, so your customers can read what you write on all platforms. Use a larger font size, keep your headlines short but strong, use frequent paragraph breaks, and use images to break up walls of text.
Too Much Product Focus
For most ecommerce companies, the point of copywriting is to make a sale. It seems logical that you want to talk about your product. But using copywriting as a poorly disguised ad is more likely to annoy your customers than to generate a sale. Rather than writing about all of the technical specs, check your copywriting to make sure it tells readers what the product will do for them. For example, if you sell a non-stick frying pan, don’t focus on explaining the materials it was made with. Instead, tell your customers how fast clean up is, how they’ll get the perfect crisp on their grilled cheese, or how their pancakes will be perfectly circular every time.
Your copywriting should be more than just words on a screen. It should mean something both to you and to your audience. Copywriting is the best way for a customer to get to know who you are as a brand. If it’s devoid of all personality, customers simply won’t feel the emotional connection that encourages them to give you their money. Choose a tone for your copywriting, be it serious, silly, educational, or just plain fun and go to town with that in mind.
Having lots of copy on your website helps SEO. However, this alone isn’t enough to guarantee great search engine rankings. Take your SEO a step further by using important keywords in your copy, using photos with alt text, and any other SEO tip you know to give you a boost. You can read our tips for good SEO here.
Not Enough Editing
If you give your blog a cursory final read, chances are you aren’t doing enough editing. When you’re done writing, read it over for typos and make corrections. Then read it out loud to listen to how it sounds. Set it aside for 30 minutes. Then read it again with fresh eyes to help catch any other mistakes you may have made. If possible, have a coworker, friend, or loved one read your copy too. Do another polish then read it again, but this time imagine you’re reading it to your best customer: if that person would be bored, keep editing and revising. Take your time to create excellent content for excellent sales in return.
So, are you making these 12 common copywriting mistakes?
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