Impactful + On-Brand Website
7 Most Common Website Copywriting Mistakes
1) Not collecting and using social proof
Social proof builds trust, FOMO, and excitement. While testimonials are the G.O.A.T. when it comes to proving that you can successfully deliver on your promise, client quotes and customer reviews aren’t the only forms of social proof.
If you work in a field where confidentiality is key you can still build social proof by including your educational institution’s logo, association or certification logos, and even a quick numbers tally of how many clients you’ve served, how many years you’ve been in business, geographic locations where your products have been bought, etc.
You also need to introduce proof at the right time. Strategically place proof when introducing your offer, after listing your prices, and right before your “last-chance-to-act” closing argument.
2) Touching the surface when it comes to your audience’s problems
The reason your copy falls flat (or sounds like everybody else) is that you’re not digging deep enough into your audience’s problems. You need to go three layers deep. Donald Miller of Storybrand does an excellent job of dissecting how we experience our problems.
Your copy needs to address their:
- External problem – the issues sitting on the surface
- Internal problem – how those problems make us feel (and why that’s an issue)
- Philosophical problem – why we care/the worldview that motivates us to find a solution
If you’re only speaking to the external problem it signals to your reader that you might only be able to solve part of the problem, but you’re not the complete package. Chances are they want to work with someone who gets them, not someone who maybe doesn’t really understand the big picture ins and outs of the issue.
3) Not giving enough information…or too much information.
If you haven’t taken the quiz , go ahead and pop that link open in a new tab and take the quiz. We tend to sell the way we like to be sold. That means if you’re The Director, you’re focused on ROI, quick, wins, hate fluff and the top half of the webpage and headlines are all you’re willing to focus on. If you’re The Socializer or The Relator you’re looking for proof, testimonials, customization, or FOMO. If you’re The Thinker (ahem, me) you’re reading all the fine print and leaving no stone unturned – the pros have to outweigh the risks.
Your job is to balance your copy to appease all four buyer types. I teach my to sweep their copy and layer in the elements that will resonate with each buyer type so that no matter who lands on your page, your copy is stacked and ready to sell.
4) Not addressing your ROI or data points to back up the investment
When you’re just starting out or if you haven’t been collecting testimonials or checking in with your audience post-purchase, addressing ROI (return-on-investment) feels tricky. (Which is why you need to go back to #1 and start now).
And yes, it would be great if everyone experienced “triple the leads/10X growth/100% gains” but sometimes the ROI isn’t quantitative or even a direct result of your work. Maybe your client gained a better sense of self-worth, got a new job, finally found the time to incorporate movement into their daily routine, or finally feel a sense of relief getting the weight of that thing off their shoulders.
You can use industry data points to back up the value of investing in your offer. I use the stat from Thinkific course platform software that only 5% of students actually finish a course.
About the Author
Magi Thomley Williams is a website copywriter and strategist helping client-based businesses turn their websites into lead-generating machines. She’s the person you call when you want your website done right from the ground up!