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Common Web Copy Mistakes that Reduce Conversions

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#1 – Making Unbelievable Claims

How many times have you watched a commercial or an infomercial on your television and realized that the advertisers have gone much too far with the hype for their product?

You often see people (in fake testimonials even) saying that the product is some amazing creation sent from the heavens that will make your entire life better for less than the price of a full tank of gas.

Thinking how ridiculous this all sounds, you decide you have had enough television and you promptly get back to work on your marketing website. On a quick read through of your sales copy, you suddenly realize that your marketing hype is just as bad as the rubbish you just saw on that commercial.

There is a fine line between hyping your product enough to get people excited and going overboard on all of the unbelievable claims. Unfortunately, far too many fledgling Internet marketers (and master marketers alike) fail to notice where that line begins and where it ends.

Even some of the biggest names in the online marketing business have been known to make the mistake of over-hyping their product at least once or twice, so remember that you are not alone.

Above all else, if you want people to spend time at your website and eventually purchase your product, you need to be able to draw them in with compelling copy. So do not even think about inundating your guests with all kinds of crazy, unfounded claims about what your products can do.

Simply give your visitors the skinny on what your product does, what it is designed for, who it is designed for, and why a person should consider purchasing it.

While you have to give some hype to your product in an attempt to make people make an impulsive decision to purchase it then and there – never go so far as to make outrageous claims like your articles were written by God himself or that you discovered the instructions to your mind blowing affiliate marketing program in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Note-Book.

That kind of copy just makes you look foolish and will not contribute to sales in any way whatsoever.


#2 – Long Blocks of Text

Writing great sales copy takes a different kind of mindset. Sure, you probably made it through high school or college without a hitch by writing all kinds of different essays, but an academic paper is a far cry from compelling sales copy.

While the differences between the two types of writing would create a list as long as my leg, one of the most obvious discrepancies between the two formats of text is the length of sentences and paragraphs.

Academic writing usually focuses on longer paragraphs chocked full of information while sales copy should be based on smaller bits of information all broken up into bite sized morsels.

If you are making any mistakes with your sales copy – you have sentences that are too long, paragraphs that look daunting due to their size and a distinct lack of bullets on your page. As a sales copy writer, it is up to you to convince people to buy your product – not scare them away because they refuse to read long chunks of text.

Even though long paragraphs and sentences is a problem that plagues a lot of copy, it is an easy fix for just about anyone. All you have to do is go through your copy word by word and fix it all.

Sounds tough right? But amazingly enough, more often than not, you can go through your copy quickly and shorten it into more easily digestible portions.

If your paragraphs are more than four sentences, just divide them in half to make two paragraphs. If your sentences are too long, remove any extraneous words that you do not need.

Finally, if you want to really make a mark on the customer with your sales copy, you need to include a few bulleted lists. Bullets make your text stand out and make your page as a whole much easier for your potential clients to scan. So, if you have a list or two that is in paragraph form – just break each sentence apart and turn them all into bulleted lists for maximum effectiveness.


#3 – No Solid Proof

If you are trying to convince someone to buy one of your products, what do you think they are likely to look for in your copy? Do you believe that a prospective client will take you on your word that your product will be perfect for them?

While everyone would be able to trust all of the online marketers if this were a perfect world – it is far from it, so it takes much more than just your word and your word alone to convince a possible customer that they should buy a product.
Oftentimes, it takes a whole slew of testimonials to back up what you are saying if you really want to make sure that your product will sell.

When you are starting off in the world of Internet marketing, it may be extremely hard for you to break into the market with your product. You feel your copy is compelling enough to entice people to purchase your wares, but for some reason nobody is biting yet.

The most probable reason for lack of sales from newly established online marketing businesses is because they have no solid proof behind their claims. All any potential customers have to go on is what the website tells them – and if you (as the salesman) are the only source of information, many people will simply never purchase anything.

So, how do you change your sales copy to include testimonials from satisfied customers or actual solid proof that what you are selling will actually work? There are a couple of easy ways.

First, you can offer your product for a short time at an amazingly low price or for free if your customers will leave you a positive review that you can put on your site to attract more buyers.

This is a great way to get your name out there and get some solid evidence that your product works.

Alternatively, if you are still having trouble attaining customers, you should start putting up actual screenshots of how your product helped get you more business, more page views, or more money on one of your other websites.


#4 – Spelling, Jargon, and Large Words

As an online web marketer, you owe it to yourself to become a master in your field. Not only will this mastery help you make more informed decision on what products will and will not sell, but you can also use your status as the reigning online marketing guru to help you create a persona that people can trust (and subsequently buy products from).

However, far too many online marketers take their mastery a bit too far and end up confusing their potential customers which can have devastating results on their overall profit margins.

In order to create an online persona that allows you to be heralded as the master in your field, you have to write sales copy like a master – which means that it has to be perfect and easy to understand.

Therefore, you need to spend a lot of time on your grammar and your spelling, as mistakes in those areas (of which there are plenty in sales copy from around the web) will make you look foolish in no time.

Write your copy in a text editor with a spell checker and make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors before you post your text.

Another problem that occurs when trying to create a feeling of your mastery is that many marketers begin to use business jargon or long words. The use of either of these two types of words or phrases in your sales copy can cripple sales, as it alienates many potential customers who simply do not know what you are talking about.

Furthermore, even if a person is in tune with your jargon, they may refuse to buy a product from you because the use of unnecessarily long words or marketing jargon can make you sound pompous and arrogant – and nobody likes to support people who come across like they are better than everyone else.

You want to establish a friendly, conversational tone with your audience – but you end up driving them away.


#5 – Putting in Too Many External Links

As an online marketer, the difference between making a sale or having a potential customer simply turn around and leave your website without purchasing anything is almost solely due to how good your sales copy is.

If you are really serious about making money online through sales then you owe it to yourself to learn how to write compelling copy.

While you could hire someone to do it for you, if you are a small startup you really do not have any funds to spend frivolously – which makes it even more important for you to learn to write excellent sales copy yourself.

In order to teach yourself the best techniques to write sales copy that will actually generate results; you first need to learn about some of the common errors that others have experienced.

One of the most prominent errors that we see far too often on many people’s websites is that they link to way too many external sites. When you are trying to sell someone a product, no matter what that product is, the last thing that you want is to divert your potential customer’s attention away from the product at hand.

You need to focus their mindset on what you are selling and how they can get it. Anything else could easily distract your customers and lead to a lost sale.

Luckily enough, this common mistake is very easily rectified as long as you know the basics of HTML. If you coded your site or blog yourself, all you have to do is look through the HTML and remove the troublesome links to external sites.

On the other hand, if you hired someone else to design your website for you, you can still easily remove all of the offending links. Just open your website’s code in a text editor, do a search for <a href> tags that contain links to other websites and remove them.

Now that you’ve learnt about the common mistakes, try to eliminate them as much as possible so as to increase your conversion rates!

All The Best!
Zai Adi

3 Responses to Common Web Copy Mistakes that Reduce Conversions

  1. Paul January 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    After reading this post I’ve come to a realization that I might be making too many bold claims on my sales copies. In my case it wasn’t some infomercial that I saw on TV that prompted me to do this, but it was rather watching all those incredible sales pitches they make on internet marketing forums when they sell their systems. I thought the best way to make sales was to hype up and let the fools buy in, but now I realize that my method is probably a short term solution. Well you know that they say, live and learn.

    • Zai Adi January 17, 2013 at 12:06 am #

      I agree Paul!

      Even up to this date, people are still using bold claims on their sales pages. It will always work for newcomers in my opinion but not for veteran and seasoned marketers.

      But even when it does work for newcomers, I noticed that the refund rates are quite high. That’s because these people realised that they were fooled into buying from these bold claims. When this thing happens, the credibility of the marketer will be affected greatly. So like you said, this strategy is just a short term solution. For me, someone with good conscience won’t even dare to go near such tactic.

  2. Shay January 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    I agree that large words are a turn off and tone down the links. So true.

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