Trying to Write Your Website? Avoid These Common Pitfalls
Nothing's worse than staring at a blank screen, waiting for just the right inspiration to hit so you can write. Writing your website is a fun endeavor but can also be challenging since many options exist for writing excellent copy. Sometimes it's easier to know what NOT to do than it is to know what TO do.
This post teaches you what to AVOID writing (or forgetting) vs. what TO write. It will help you stay on task and write a creative and helpful website for your reader.
Pro tip: The purpose of your website is to help your site visitor make a decision. You want to be as helpful as you can!
Pitfall #1 - messaging is too vague
How you position yourself and the services you offer on your website helps your potential client know if you are the right fit for them. Many new businesses mistake using vague messaging to be as inclusive of everybody is as possible.
The thought is, if you open up to everybody, someone will become a client.
Unfortunately, this misconception pushes potential clients away.
Clients are looking for help to solve their specific problems. If you do not talk directly about their situation, they will not see you as the person who can help them. Therefore, they will bounce from your website, searching for someone who can.
Don't be afraid to get specific about who your ideal client is.
Their demographic information and their values, strengths, worries, and particular issues you can help them with.
The more they see themselves in the problem you help solve, they will inquire about your services.
Do this instead: clear, concise, and specific.
It is A-okay to define your ideal client and speak directly to them.
Let's say you are a parenting coach. Vague messaging would look something like this...
"I'm a parent coach for all your parenting needs."
Let's make it more specific...
"Parent coach for parents who want to use a gentle-parenting approach"
Let's get even more specific...
"Parent coach for parents whose child has ADHD and want to use a gentle-parenting approach"
It doesn't have to be fancy, complicated, or innovative. Just tell people exactly what you do and who you do it for.
Pitfall 2- Using industry jargon
When visitors come to your website, they will typically scan your written content, looking for things that pertain to them.
You only have 8 seconds to captivate your visitor, so you want to be wise to use words that relate to their experience.
Try to avoid long words or complicated language.
Think about how you would describe what you do to your friend that had no industry knowledge. You probably wouldn't use the lexicon for your industry; you would try to help them understand what you do more casually and answer their questions openly.
Do this instead- stick to a 4th-grade reading level
People don't like to feel excluded from a conversation just because they don't speak the jargon.
Let's say you are a therapist who works with clients dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder, and you were listing out common symptoms on your website.
Instead of saying "dissociative reactions," you could say "flashbacks" or "feeling like you are back in the traumatic event."
Another example would be "persistent avoidance of traumatic stimuli." You could say, "avoidance" or "avoiding places or people that remind you of the trauma you experienced."
The words you write need to resonate with your ideal clients or customers.
Think of how they experience the world and their language to describe the problem you help solve.
Use that language on your website.
Pitfall 3- talking too much about yourself
This one is fairly common.
It's pretty natural to talk about yourself and your business. A great place to share about yourself is on your "About page." While there are spaces on your website you should talk about yourself, you will want to keep it brief and about what your ideal client wants to know.
You may know a ton about astrology, but your business is about helping kids with dyslexia excel in school; you may want to leave that piece out...unless, of your course, you use astrology to help kiddos with dyslexia.
Talking about yourself can come in social proof, such as testimonials or case studies - shared only with your client's permission and anonymously.
Do this instead- talk about your ideal client
Your ideal client is visiting your website because they want to have someone help solve their current issue.
Talk about the benefits and value you bring and how you can help them work through their issues.
It's great to describe your approach, training, and how you got to be an expert. However, you want everything you write about to centralize around your ideal customer.
If they don't care about where you went to college or how many dogs you have, leave it out.
Remember, the point of your website is to help visitors make a decision.
Pitfall 4- missing the next step
I can't tell you how many websites I visit that have no clear next step for me to take.
Again, your website's job is to help visitors make a decision.
You may have already convinced them you are right for them, and they are ready to inquire, book an appointment, or buy a product, but now they don't know where to go because there is no clear next step to get the thing you sold them on.
The next step may be navigation to the next helpful page of your website, visiting a blog post you write, watching a video, registering for a course, and so much more.
Do this instead- have a clear Call to Action (CTA) on each page
A CTA is a call to action, otherwise known as the 'next logic step' in purchasing.
Make it super easy for potential clients by adding clearly labeled buttons, photos, or links that tell them precisely what to do to get the information they want.
Your website is often your first conversation with a potential client. Therefore, you want to write it as both a warm introduction and a helpful guide so they can meet you in person. Avoiding these common mistakes and taking action in a supportive direction will help your potential client feel connected with you, accepted, and compelled to work with you.
Ready to partner up to write your website? Let's hop on a call!