Are You Making These Web Writing Mistakes? - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio
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Are You Making These Web Writing Mistakes?

Writing for the web is different from any other writing you do for your business.

Your readers are scanners. They will decide within the first three seconds of landing on your website whether they are going to continue reading or not. You want them to keep reading, because if they do, they will learn more about you, your company, and the product or service you are selling, and hopefully make a purchase with you.

The words you place on your website can make you or break you. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is, how quickly it loads, or that it comes up on page one of Google search results. If your readers can’t relate or don’t understand what you are saying, they aren’t going to stay.

Keep those readers on your website by filling it with helpful, quality content, and avoiding these eight web writing mistakes:

Mistake #1: Lack of purpose. Long introductory paragraphs on your home page that don’t describe your business are sure to send your readers elsewhere. With short attention spans, your readers are scanning for information, and will leave if they can’t find it quickly. Make sure the words on your page describe what you do, and provide links to more information.

Mistake #2: Using other marketing materials as web copy. There is nothing wrong with “repurposing your content,” or using language from other materials on your website. But text from your brochures, annual reports and catalogs should not be copied and pasted to your website. You will need to tweak it, rewrite it and package it for quick reading on the Web. If you want to include your other marketing materials on your website, make them available for download.

Mistake #3: Writing about your business’s features, not benefits. Yes, you will need to describe what you do, and the wonderful things your products or service can offer. But be sure to explain how it helps, why it helps, and what it means to your customer. Customers want to know how what you offer makes their life easier, or solves a problem that they are having.

Mistake #4: Writing for everyone. We cannot be all things to everyone. As a business, you need to identify your target market, and tailor your writing specifically to them.

Mistake #5: Lack of voice. Your voice is how you “sound” when you write. Depending on the type of business you have and your target market, your voice may be compassionate, humorous, trusting, or reassuring. When you identify your voice, you’ll know how formal or casual your writing should be.

Mistake #6: Not having a blog. Writing a blog for your website offers another resource for your readers. Often, a customer will find your website from a blog article you have written that comes up in their search results. Writing a blog is an important part of your website.

Mistake #7: No call to action. Every page of your website should have a call to action, or an invitation for your reader to do something. It could be as simple as asking your reader to comment on your page, or as forward as asking for the business. A call to action gives you the opportunity to continue a relationship with your potential customer. Be sure every page of your website has one.

Mistake #8: Copy-heavy pages. It’s hard to read small copy-heavy text on a computer screen or tablet. Help your readers get their information fast by using bold words, bulleted lists, and lots of white space in your content. Subheading and short paragraphs also make your content easier to read and scan. If your readers have to work to hard to read your content, they will go somewhere else.

Once you recognize what these web writing mistakes are, it is easy to correct them. Writing useful, purposeful content will keep your readers on your site, and increase your chances of converting those readers to loyal customers.

Laurie Zinn is a Columbus-based freelance writer and owner of Line-By-Line. She helps businesses communicate with their customers through website content, blog articles, email marketing campaigns and social media. For more information about Line-By-Line, visit http://line-by-line.us or contact Laurie at laurie@line-by-line.us.

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