Landing pages on your website are your way of introducing your company to potential customers. The words used on these pages, therefore, are extremely important as they will determine what sort of impression your company makes and, in turn, will affect your conversion rates. Avoiding some common copywriting errors can help you in your quest to build a highly converting landing page. Your business’s website will appear more polished and professional and you will gain the trust of your readers. This, in turn, can increase your intake of new clients.
Mistake 1: Poorly Written Headlines
The headline is the first things your prospective customers will see. If it is poorly written, your prospects will be less likely to read the copy beneath and will therefore leave the page quickly—provided they even arrive on your page in the first place, that is.
Your readers come to your pages because they are looking for something specific. Your headlines should address their needs and be very to the point.
A good headline will:
- Address the specific needs of the visitors to the page
- Use 65 characters or less to get to the point
- Include your most important keywords
- Be relevant to the copy below it
While headlines that follow these rules may seem boring, they are actually quite effective. Take a look at some examples of poorly written headlines and how they can be improved:
- Example 1: A Chicago-area law firm is focusing on geo-specific areas to attract potential customers who have tax problems:
- No: Uh Oh! Uncle Sam Is in Burbank and He’s Looking for You! This may be eye-catching but it doesn’t really tell someone who is browsing the Internet what the article is about.
- Yes: Looking for a Tax Attorney in Burbank, IL?
- Example 2: Your law firm is creating a landing page that provides information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
- No: So You Are Thinking of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Chapter 13 May Be a Better Option. This headline is too long and too confusing. People looking for information about filing for Chapter 7 do not want to be told “do this instead” before getting their information.
- Yes: What You Need to Know before Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Example 3: Your roofing company is creating geo-specific landing pages to attract clients from various area neighborhoods.
- No: Like Your Joliet, IL Roof, Our Company Is Above the Rest: Attempts to make witty word plays often results in far more eye-rolls than customer conversions. Also, it is not clear that “Our Company” is a roofing company.
- Yes: Joliet, IL Residents Can Turn to a Reputable Roofing Company
Mistake 2: Taking Too Long to Get to the Point
There is a reason “tl;dr” (“too long; didn’t read”) is such a commonly used comment on the Internet. According to StatisticBrain, today’s Internet surfer has an average attention span of 8 seconds and only reads about 28 percent of the words on an average Web page.
Readers are more likely to stick around for engaging and relevant information, but Web copy that says too much without getting to the point will make them leave--quickly. As far as how long or short your articles should be, there is no steadfast rule. Neil Patel and Joseph Putnam at QuickSprout give the best advice: “Only write as much as you need to write, and no more.”
To keep your readers on the site, make sure that all the content is useful, factual, and Going off on tangents, including irrelevant information, or having disorganized, cluttered content will confuse readers and make them leave.
Mistake 3: Making Assumptions that Alienate Your Readers
You can make basic assumptions about your readers based on what you know about your current client-base. The mistake comes when you make bold assumptions that aren’t necessarily accurate.
For example, if you are a law firm targeting local bankruptcy clients, you can assume that:
- They are in financial trouble
- They are dealing with bill collectors
- They feel they are in a hopeless situation
But you should not necessarily assume that:
- They are in financial trouble due to medical bills
- They own a home
- They understand what bankruptcy entails
You can therefore include text that says, “We can help you get back on strong financial footing,” but you would not want to say, “There is no reason you should lose your home because of your unmanageable medical bills” as those who may be in debt for other reasons or who don’t own a home may feel judged.
Make it a point to know the things that your clientele have in common. When you know your audience and write directly to them, your copy will appear more sincere and authoritative.
Mistake 4: Not Making the Benefits of Your Company Clear
Most people who land on your page are there because they have a problem or question. If your copy does not provide solutions or answers but instead merely touts the great things about your company, it is not likely to lead to conversions.
There is nothing wrong with extolling the great things about your business and explaining what separates your business from your competitors but be sure to also explain how these things can actually benefit your readers. We recommend that you always try to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
For example, instead of just saying, “We offer weekend and evening hours” go one step further and add “so that you do not need to take time off of work to meet with us.” Or instead of simply saying, “We do the job right the first time,” add “so you don’t have to worry about spending more money later.”
The more you explain how your products or services can help your readers, the more likely they are to do business with you.
Mistake 5: Not Including a Clear Call to Action
Let’s face it. Your Web copy has one ultimate goal: to increase your conversions.
You may have the best written copy on the Internet; but if there is no call to action, it will be useless. Once you have captured your readers’ attention, you need to get them to contact you so your can help. Including a call to action such as “contact us today to learn more” or “click here to access our online request form” guides your prospects to take this crucial next step.
If your page is short, a simple call to action at the end of the text should suffice. For longer articles, you may want to include a call to action early on as well as in the middle and at the end of your page. Remember, when reading Web copy, most people scan and may only read about 20% of what is on your page. Making the call to action easy to find can increase conversion rates.
Do you agree with the advice given above? Share your opinions in the comment below.