In How to Write Seductive Web Copy, Henneke Duistermaat highlights 6 mistakes to avoid when writing copy for the web.
- Avoid superlatives. Quickest, cheapest, fastest might sound good to you but to your reader it sounds as though your gliding over the truth. Use superlatives only when you can prove the statement, if you have a third party endorsement, or if you use them as a question e.g. Is this the cheapest property in Perth?
- Avoid gobbledygook. If you can’t explain what you mean by ground-breaking, innovative or state-of-the-art, don’t use the phrase. Get to the point and say what you really mean.
- Missing captions. Captions under a photo are a great place to convey your message. Don’t miss the opportunity.
- No calls to action. If you’re selling something on the web then every web page should have a reason for being. That usually shows up in a call to action like a Subscribe or Make an Inquiry button. If it’s not clear to your reader what to do next, re-work your copy.
- Overusing adjectives. If an adjective doesn’t add meaning, get rid of it. If it doesn’t trigger a sensory reaction or paint a word picture, it shouldn’t be on the page.
- Hiding behind words. Copy that sounds corporate is also inaccessible. It deprives the reader from developing a relationship with you the author. Write the way you talk. When people hear your voice in your writing they’re much more inclined to come along for the ride.
I’ve made every one of these mistakes. How about you?