Wahoo! You finally launched that website you’ve been dreaming of!

Thinks are looking prettyyy around here, and clients and customers should be lining up around the block any minute now.

I said ‘any minute now’

*crickets*

So what gives?

You’ve already made sure:

✅ All your links are all working

✅ You fixed that weird glitch that was happening on your checkout page

✅ Your contact form inquiries are no longer ending up in your spam instead of your inbox

So where’s the steady stream of add-to-cart notifications you were anticipating?

Well, it could be your copy! (A.K.A your website words.)

In order to rule it out, it may be worth asking yourself if you’re making any of the following copy faux-pas…

Top 7 website copy mistakes that are costing you sales

Mistake #1

You design your site first, then write your copy second

DIY-website builders have come a longgggg long way in offering users the fastest, most pain-free experience in getting their site up and launched to the world.

You have all these gorgeous, professionally-dreamed-up layouts and templates available, so it’s entirely possible for you to polish off an entire site in just a couple of hours!

But if there’s one thing I want you to know about building websites, it’s this…

Building a website that actually serves your business is about more than just picking a pretty template and filling in the blanks with your own content.

DIY’ers aren’t alone in this, btw! Even pro-level designers do it!

You can spend hours and days creating a website layout you love (so much that you are now completely married to it ) and so any copy you write has to fit within that design. No matter what.

But it’s pretty hard to write organic, flowy, impactful copy that truly speaks to your ideal audience, when you have a strict container it needs to fit in to, right?

It’s like writing a Haiku…

Have you ever tried writing a Haiku? (Enough said!)

So, when it comes to writing copy that converts (meaning, it gets your visitors to actually take the action you are hoping they will on your site) it’s best to have your website words nailed down before you ever go to start dragging and dropping content on the page!

Mistake #2

You write your website before you know who you’re speaking to

Imagine writing a letter to someone you’ve never met and know absolutely nothing about…

Awkward, right?

It would be pretty hard to talk about anything other than the fluffy stuff.

How’s the weather?’

‘Catch any good movies lately?’

‘Did you hear the one about the Rabbi and the Priest?’

Now think of your website as writing a letter to the person you are most hoping to work with!

You want to do as much digging and planning as possible, learning everything you can about them, right down to the language they use to speak about the problems they are facing, so your words will actually resonate.

You want your copy to basically scream their name when they read it (without actually saying their name) vs. having copy that feels a little too ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and ‘to whom it may concern.’ ✍️

Pssst! Need help planning out the content and copy that will live on your home page?

(The first impression visitors will have of your site?)

Grab a copy of my Home Page Content Planner! This planner was created exclusively for students of my Square Secrets Course, but today I’m sharing it with you for free!


Mistake #3

Your website words are all about you

You know when you’re watching a Rom-Com and they cut to a super cliche ‘bad first date’ montage where one of the dates spends the whole night talking about themselves?

Don’t be that date.

Every last bit of copy on your website (even your ‘about’ page!) needs to somehow point to your client and their intention or reason for visiting your site.

Impressive list of stats? Snooze fest.

Sharing stories of successfully helping people who were in the exact same boat, feelin’ all the same feels they are feeling this very moment? Now we’re talking!

Your ideal clients need to be able to ‘see’ and identify themselves in everything you write, otherwise they quickly will add your business to the pile of people who don’t seem to truly understand how to help them.

Find a way to relate every little thing back to your client’s journey, goals, fears, wants, problems, objections, pain points, and honestly just the super relatable WTF moments they might be having around your topic.

Then you can guarantee visitors will feel as if they are finally being seen and heard, and will trust you to take them to the next level on their journey to solving that thing.

Mistake #4

You write about what they get rather than how they’ll feel (A.K.A Features vs. Benefits)

It’s super easy to nerd-out about the fancy features your product or service offers.

It took every last drop of blood, sweat and tears you had in you to get your offering to where it is today, and you are dang proud to show it off!

But besides boring potential buyers all the way to that ‘close browser’ button…is it possible the industry jargon you’re using is causing confusion? Instead of the wow effect you were going for?

You’re a pro, and you know your industry inside and out, but someone just starting out in their journey may not even know they need the feature you claim to be selling.

Say you’re a web designer writing your ‘services’ page…

You get to the part where you list out all the things included in their web design package and it includes super-techy terms like “third party scheduling software integration, Search Engine Optimization, CSS customization, and SSL certification management…”

Your client is not a designer (that’s why they are hiring you), and all those big words are suddenly making this feel too overwhelming.

Someone who two seconds ago was super excited about finally being ready to hire a designer is now questioning whether they can do this…or if maybe they should put it off a few more months (or find someone who makes them feel like they can do this.)

Your potential clients aren’t on the market for a genius, but they are looking for someone who ‘gets’ them, who really seems to care the most about them, and can tell them in their own language how you plan to solve their problems.

So find a way to create hype around your features by focusing on the benefits!

Third party scheduling software integration…’

Becomes…

‘Easy online appointment scheduling (no more playing phone tag with clients to get your books filled!)’

Mistake #5

Your copy is too long

Remember in High School when you are learning how to properly write a resume?

If there was one thing they wanted to drill into to you to prepare you for the workforce, it was this…

If you hand the recruiter or HR person a 10-page resume of all your accomplishments, listing out every award and participation trophy you’ve ever received (all the way back to that spelling bee you won in the 3rd grade)…you’re probably not getting hired.

Why?

There’s 30 other people with identical resumes sitting on that desk, and nobody is willing to wade through your 10-pager to try to find what it is that sets you apart and makes you the right one for the job.

The same is true of your website!

If it’s not obvious by skimming, it will be totally lost on your site visitor.

So what’s the secret to keeping attention spans intact long enough to wow potential client’s and customers?

  • Bullet points are your friend! And so are…

  • Clear headers: if a visitor was skimming, and only read the big, extra bolded stuff, would they understand what’s going on? Or what it is you do/offer?

  • 1-3 sentence paragraphs: Swap wall-to-wall text for super short, thoughtful to-the-point paragraphs and easy to digest sections! When you’ve written your copy, come back a day later with fresh eyes and ask yourself ‘what can I simplify? What’s just fluff?’

Mistake #6

Your copy leads nowhere

Your main navigation isn’t the only thing on your website deciding where people will go next!

Solid copy is just as vital for directing visitors on their journey!

Look at your website words on each section of the page…does that section somehow cause your site visitor to:

  • Understand something: do your words help your reader to realize something they needed to realize, setting them up to feel more ready to buy your thing? (ie. if you’re a web designer, driving home the importance of needing a website that does xyz for their business)

  • Feel some sort of emotion: are they tired they are of feeling lost or ‘less than’ when it comes to your topic? Does your copy help them imagine how they’ll feel when that thing is no longer an issue for them? Do your words create urgency for them to finally get off the fence and be free of the problem they are hemming and hawing over?

  • Act on that emotion: does that section of copy include a call-to-action to take the next right step on your site?

If it doesn’t move visitors towards the next right step (or at least lead into a section that does) it doesn’t really need to be on the page.

Just one more reason why writing your copy before you get your heart set on a certain layout or design is so important!

When you rely on a fixed template to dictate what you write and where, you’ll usually just end up hopping from section to section and thought to thought. There’s no real compelling storytelling happening, or room to lead anyone on a journey!

But when you write your copy first, you can create a clear-as-day, intentional journey through your whole website, keeping people engaged all the way to that book or buy button!

Mistake #7

You got a little too cutsie with your site navigation

Okay, so I know I literally just finished talking about how you need to speak the way your ideal audience speaks, but you don’t want to leave any room for doubt what will happen when a visitor clicks a certain link in your site header.

Examples?

Calling your blog ‘Musings’ instead of ‘Blog’…‘Come hang’ instead of ‘Contact’…‘Treat Yo’Self’ instead of ‘Shop’…

Anything that could cause unneeded confusion (because simply put, confusion kills conversion!)

So when it comes to the most important CTAs on your site, it’s best to go with more universal language.


/

Wish someone would show you step-by-step what content to include to on your site’s home page?

DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF MY HOME PAGE CONTENT PLANNER

  • Fill-in-the-blank prompts to help you write your home page copy (A.K.A your website words) as quickly and easily as possible

  • Need-to-know guidelines for the most important sections of your home page

These are exact steps I take when planning out the content for every Squarespace site I design, and just one of the content page planners created exclusively for students of my Square Secrets Course.

But today, I’m sharing access to my Home Page Content Copy Planner for free!


/


/

You’ll Also Love…

/

Honesty hour: your website copy is costing you sales