Savvy Speaks: Web Copy Turnoffs

Savvy Speaks: Web Copy Turnoffs
The Savvy Sisters - Wed Dec 15, 2010 @ 03:30AM
Comments: 7

With good reason, many feel a website is the hub of a company's presence. Yet some sites do their company a disservice, especially when the copy on them makes prospects and customers cringe or click away. Here are our top pet peeves when it comes to web copy -- and suggestions for how to get visitors smiling and coming back for more!

Jamie Wallace

Jamie

The biggest turn off for me is copy that talks at me instead of to me. This type of offense comes in two flavors which, in the worst cases, are combined into a one-two punch that leaves any chance of making a connection KO'd on the mat:

1. Features without Benefits: These sites are all about how fabulous a product or service is, but say little to nothing about the benefits to the customer. Never forget the WIIFM rule: every prospect who visits your site wants to know one thing - "What's In It For Me?" Don't write copy with your products in mind; write your copy with your customer's best interests in mind. How will your product make her life better?

2. Missing Personality: B2B companies often shy away from showing any personality because they feel it makes them look less professional. Big mistake. The goal shouldn't be to avoid projecting some humanity, but to combine personality with professionalism. It's possible to have both, and the companies who manage it are able to connect with prospects on both logical and emotional levels - and that's a powerful and winning combination.

   

Heather

Heather

I am not a fan of sites that are over engineered with flash and text that jumps around on the page. Text placement and readability are key to getting your message across to readers. Many times when I work with clients we are able to take existing text and simply through formatting and layout have a big impact to the amount of lead gen their website delivers. I previously did a post on this topic and would suggest giving it a read if you think your layout / format could be an issue.

Michele

Michele

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to website is when they are written and designed in a way that aligns with how a company is organized - instead of the way visitors need to find information.

I'm a big fan of the book Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, and there are five questions he thinks every home page should answer:

  • What is this?
  • What do they have here?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I be here—and not somewhere else?
  • Where do I start?

Ideally, I think every page on you website needs to answer these question (or make evident where a visitor can go to get this info). You never know where a visitor will enter your site!

Kate

Kate

The biggest mistakes I see companies making with web copy are:

1. Putting too many words on the page

2. Making it hard for visitors to find what they are looking for

3. Forgetting the call to action

Keep this checklist top of mind when creating web copy:

  • Say exactly what you do as concisely as possible, front and center on the home page; if it's not obvious what you do from your company name, consider adding a tagline to your company logo that makes it crystal clear
  • Make navigation simple, obvious, and standard to what others in your industry are doing
  • Place a call to action very visibly on each and every page, with a phone number, email address or link to your contact form page (or other CTA action, such as signing up for a trade show or live demo)

Of course, there's a lot more, but these make a great start!

Stephanie

Stephanie

I'm shocked when I visit a site's home page and can't figure out for the life of me how the company helps its customers. To play off Kathryn Roy's fabulous eBook, Seven Infectious Diseases of B2B Marketing -- and their Cures, I'm calling this Alzaboutmeitis. The typical symptoms of the copy on such a page include:

  • Assumption that everyone knows what you do and the value you deliver
  • Overrun with meaningless goobledygook and technology terms or product names
  • Failure to use phrases and wording that resonate with prospects and customers

The cure to this disease is quite simple:

  • Explain in plain English what your company does and how your customers benefit. And do it in as few words as possible (while, of course, incorporating the language your prospects and customers use).
  • Test the site with folks who know nothing about your company and see if they immediately get the gist.

Join the conversation!

How can B2B marketers improve their web copy?

Comments: 7

Comments

1. Lisa Gottfried  |  my website   |   Thu Dec 16, 2010 @ 02:46PM

Great suggestions!

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