In this post, I’ll be covering the four biggest mistakes I see business owners make when writing their own website copy, and I’ll give you some tips on how YOU can avoid them!
As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, writing your own website copy is more important now than ever. It will give you a strong sense of familiarity with your audience, save you money, and help you get clear on your messaging as a company.
While no move as an entrepreneur is necessarily a “mistake”, because you’ll always be able to learn and grow from any choices you make, these are some of the easily avoidable things that I often see among business owners who are writing website copy for the first time that can really hold them back.
We’re not going to focus on the obvious, like voice, grammar, keywords, and other surface-level adjustments to your copy that can easily be fixed. Because the truth is that the biggest mistakes aren’t in the website copy themselves. They happen BEFORE the writing process, and have nothing to do with the copy you write at all!
What are they? Let’s dive in!
1. Overthinking it
One common mistake while writing website copy is overthinking it. While writing copy does require a lot of thought, it’s easy to obsess over details and micromanage your work.
Sometimes when you’re DIYing your copy, it’s hard to get in the right headspace and you end up overworking your writing until you want to throw the whole thing in the garbage and start over.
The solution: What it really comes down to is mindset. The first module in my course, Website In A Week, is all about mindset, because you need to have confidence in yourself as a writer.
If you go into copywriting second guessing yourself, you’re much more likely to spiral from there and end up endlessly editing and tweaking your work.
Instead, have confidence in the mission your company is on, and build your website copy from a genuine place. In addition to confidence, you need skills and tools. Continue to seek out additional resources that are going to give you faith in your abilities as a copywriter. Look for solutions that are targeted to you.
2. Starting with the design first
Many business owners want to start with the design of their website before they write their copy. But while design is very important to a business’ branding, it’s integral that you start by writing your copy first.
Keep this in mind when considering website design templates. The layout of a template may be beautiful, but if you’re trying to write your copy to fit into your template, you won’t be getting the most out of your website. Instead, the layout of your website should be guided by your copy.
The solution: Start by writing your copy first. It’s really that simple. While you can purchase a template or hire a designer ahead of time, don’t let the design take the lead when you’re creating your website. Think about the customer journey and your key messaging, and use that to guide your copy.
3. Throwing something together to get a website out there
Some business owners throw together a website just to get themselves online, but they don’t circle back to fix their copy as their business pivots and grows.
I love it when people take messy action. It’s good to be proactive, and get yourself in the game as soon as you can. However, you could be confusing your leads + audience if the messaging isn’t as clear as it needs to be.
The solution: Revisit your website copy from time to time. Check to make sure that your messaging and marketing is optimized for your business. Find out what’s working and what isn’t. Especially anytime you pivot in your business or niche, make sure that your website copy comes with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask clients when they’re on calls with you if it was easy to find the information that they were looking for, or if there was anything you could have made clearer.
Unfortunately, you can’t talk to the people who don’t end up choosing your services, and those are the people that you need the most information from. One tool that I use to help with this is called Hotjar, which allows you to screen record your website visitors so that you can see where people are clicking on your website and where they’re dropping off. It gives you insight to the areas that might need improvement or clearer messaging.
4. Start by writing
The most common mistake I see businesses make when writing website copy is they immediately start writing before doing any kind of market research or messaging work.
If you neglect your messaging beforehand, you’re likely going to get caught with writers’ block and copy that doesn’t convert. If you put in the work of getting to know your audience on a deeper level before you write your copy, you don’t need to make assumptions about them or what kind of information is going to catch their attention
The solution: Do your homework. Work on your mindset, do market research, and really dive deep into your messaging BEFORE you start writing your website copy. Please don’t dive right in — it doesn’t do YOU any favors, and it weakens your copy. These are all things that we address inside of Website in a Week!
For this week’s coffee break exercise, I want you to ask someone — a friend, colleague, or family member — to act as if they were an ideal client with the specific problem that you solve. Then, ask them to go through your website and tell you if (1) they think you’ve been able to clearly communicate that you’re the person to solve it, AND (2) if they’ve found their solution amongst your offers.
(If you have a friend or family member who IS an ideal client, even better.)
You want them to go through your website top to bottom and then ask them things like
❔ “Do you trust me?”
❔ “Was it easy to find an offer that matched what solution you were looking for?”
❔ “Was it clear what the next steps were?”
❔ “Is there anything else you wish you knew before booking?”
Use their feedback to make changes OR plan out the new flow of your website.
The 4 Biggest Website Copy Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them): The Bottomline
As entrepreneurs, we’re bound to make mistakes throughout our journey. But when it comes to your website, how to present yourself and your business through your copy can make or break your client experience. This is often one of the first impressions you have on your audience, so why not make it an incredible experience?!
I hope this post helped you learn a few tips on what not to do when writing your website copy, as well as provided you with some inspiration on ways to make it absolutely amazing.
With these tools and exercises, you’re that much closer to making an impact through your business. So have fun, get creative and enjoy every minute of your journey!
Thank you for reading!
If you love what you learned, be sure to connect with me over on Instagram and share your biggest takeaways. I’d love to hear from you! And if you’re ready to get down to the basics of writing website copy, check out the FREE Website Copy Roadmap! See you back here in the next post — and remember, I’m rooting for you, always.
Meet the Host
Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.
Grab my free Website Copy Roadmap and learn my five-step process to writing website copy that connects with & converts dream clients.
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