website copywriting mistake

Let’s say that you’re designing or redesigning a website for your business (either yourself or with the help of a pro). You blocked off months to design, build, review, and test it. But inevitably, it’s taking longer than expected, and you’re getting dangerously close to your product launch that needs to happen in two weeks. So what do you do? You push yourself or your developer to get the job done, and then you throw together some copy to fill in all the placeholders. The problem? Because you haven’t had enough time to learn how to write good copy, you’ve just made the #1 website copywriting mistake.

Want to win over new customers, boost your sales, and reduce your bounce rate? Learn how to write a killer “about us” page that tells visitors why you’re the business for them. Download our free “about us” page template.

What is the #1 website copywriting mistake?

The #1 website copywriting mistake most businesses make is focusing on themselves. You may be making this mistake if your website contains copy that looks and feels like this:

We’re a marketing company based in Boulder, CO, that offers digital marketing, SEO, and website development services.

At first glance, this copy may not seem that bad. After all, it’s clear and concise. And it tells people exactly what this company does. But that’s the problem. It tells people what the company does. In other words, it focuses too much on the company and not enough on how the company can help potential customers.

Related: 9 website copy mistakes you need to stop making

Why is this a problem?

Why is focusing on your business the #1 website copywriting mistake? It’s something potential customers don’t care about. Yes, we hate to break it to you, but it’s true. Even your most loyal customers may not care much about you as a company.

So what do they care about? Whether you can help them and how well you can do it. After all, most people don’t go searching for businesses online because they need a new brand crush. They’re probably doing it because they have a problem and they’re looking for a way to solve it. Isn’t that why you Google things online?

Because your potential customers are looking for solutions, copy that talks about your business’s history, values, and accomplishments isn’t going to resonate with them. And it’ll make you miss out on new customers and sales. That’s why instead of writing copy that talks about your business, you want to frame your copy in terms of the benefits you offer.

How can you transform the digital marketing copy above into something that truly speakers to potential customers? Focus on the benefits for customers and use second-person pronouns (for example, “you”):

We help you become visible online so you can boost your traffic, gain subscribers, and grow your brand.

That’s how you avoid the #1 website copywriting mistake most businesses make.

Related: 13 practical tips for writing insanely powerful website copy

3 critical places where you’re making this website copywriting mistake

Your home page

People who land on your website’s home page need to know what you do. But this doesn’t mean you need to waste your prime real estate on copy that focuses on describing your business. Even customers who are looking for businesses that do what you do don’t want to see copy like this:

We’re the biggest event rental company in British Columbia.

Instead of copying and pasting text from your mission statement or most recent press release, focus on the high-level benefit you offer. Tell people what they can get from you or how you can make their life better.

For example, here’s an alternative to the example above:

Throw the party of the year with British Columbia’s largest selection of event rentals.

Want a real-world example? Check out how Square’s home page copy keeps the spotlight on benefits for customers.

website copywriting mistake

Your about us page

Okay. You believe us when we say that you’ve got to focus on your customers on your home page. But this doesn’t apply to your about us page, right? After all, it’s called an “about us” page. Isn’t the point of it to talk about your business?

Not entirely. This is another common website copywriting mistake.

It’s true that your about us page should help people understand what you do as a business. But again, this doesn’t mean you should devote lots and lots of space to describing your company’s history and accomplishments.

Instead, focus on how your business exists for the purpose of serving potential customers and solving their problems (even if these aren’t the only reasons you’re in business). Write about what they’re interested in and how they’ll benefit from buying from you.

You can still include biographical details or information about accomplishments. But frame these in terms of how they benefit customers. For example, check out these options:

Not so great: All instructors at our gym are former Olympic champions.

Much better: Top the podium this year by training with former Olympic champions.

You can also take a look at how Hello Alfred emphasizes the benefits of its services even on its “our story” page.

website copywriting mistake

Your landing pages

By now, you can probably guess that you also need to avoid focusing on your business when you’re creating landing pages for products or services. But what you may not realize is that this common website copywriting mistake manifests in a different way on landing pages. In particular, although most people don’t place a company bio or mission statement on a landing page, many businesses write their landing pages by focusing on features instead of benefits.

Take a look at the example below.

Our fitness tracker has the following features:

  • 24/7 activity data
  • Sleep pattern analyzer
  • Waterproof screen

This copy might work with a customer who has already decided to buy a fitness tracker and is simply looking for one with a specific feature. However, it won’t work for people who are undecided about getting one or unsure if they should buy from a competitor instead.

Engage readers on your landing pages by focusing on what they’ll get out of using your product or service. Will they make more money? Save time? Experience less stress? Tell people why buying from you is the key to making their lives better.

See this alternative to the example above.

The data you need to achieve your goals and live a healthier life. With it, you’ll have the power to do the following:

  • Optimize your workouts with comprehensive metrics
  • Improve your sleep with detailed analytics
  • Track your activity anywhere you go – on land or in water

See how Melanie Duncan stays laser focused on benefits on the landing page for her Pinterest course.

website copywriting mistake

Boost your conversions by avoiding this website copywriting mistake

As a small business owner, you may feel like you need to put yourself on the map by making sure people understand what you do. It’s true that people need to know what you’re all about. But you don’t want to do this by making the copy on your website all about you. Avoid making the #1 website copywriting mistake by focusing on your customers instead of on your business. Tell your customers what’s in it for them if you want them to play a role in helping your business grow.

Want to win over new customers, boost your sales, and reduce your bounce rate? Learn how to write a killer “about us” page that tells visitors why you’re the business for them. Download our free “about us” page template.

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The #1 website copywriting mistake most businesses make + free “about us” page template
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