7 Copywriting Mistakes That Plummet Conversion Rates
7 Copywriting Mistakes That Plummet Conversion Rates

Creating amazing copy is the backbone of your sales pages and is what leads to higher conversions which means your business is going to make more money online. If you have managed to get your target audience on your landing page, that is only half the battle won.

You then need to convince your customers that your product or service is exactly what they need to solve their burning problems. This means using the right words in the right places at the right time.

Something as simple as a great headline could make all the difference in the minds of your visitors. Did you know that 90% of readers who mentioned that they read the headline also read the actual sales copy?

This means that you need to aim at converting your viewers into buyers from the first second they land on your page. Every word counts.

To figure out what works and what does not, it takes a lot of experience and a lot of testing. To speed up the process, one thing we can do is to first cross out a few common copywriting mistakes you need to avoid.

#1 Forgetting what matters to your customers

Companies that are known for their cheap prices tend to use that as their lifeline when advertising and it never gets them very far. This is because customers tend to get more attached to the concept of time rather than money.

So, if you are going to advertise a ‘cheap meal’, it will not work as well as say a slogan like the one below.

Compare McDonald’s meal prices with most restaurants and you will quickly realize that their menu card is the very definition of cheap but that is not the adjective they use in their ad copy and with good reason. 

Customers build relationships with brands that become a valuable part of their day and brands that trigger an emotional response. You do not want to buy something simply because it is cheap – what is the point of that?

That rings especially true when it comes to wants rather than needs. You will often notice that needs (washing powder, salt, etc.) may be able to get away with the ‘cheap’ advertisement route but when you are selling wants (beer, fast food, clothes, etc.), people want more than just a cheap option.

They want a connection with your brand and simply saving a few dollars is not going to help build that connection. When creating a tagline, headline, or ad copy – remember that you need to evoke emotion.

Good examples of this in action would include:

  • Because You’re Worth It. – L’Oréal
  • It’s what your right arm’s for. – Courage Beer
  • Finger-lickin’ good. – KFC

#2 Forgetting to address your customer’s pain points

A whole lot of products that are similar to your own are going to promise your audience the exact same benefits your product is promising them. So, instead of harping on about how your burgers are the ‘most delicious in all the land’, try focusing on your customer’s pain points rather than what you think they want.

A good example of this pointer is what MuchRack does on their landing page.

customer pain points

Instead of talking about how a public relations software can benefit your business in general, MuckRack focuses on solving some of the most common PR problems. This includes finding the right journalists to pitch to and being able to monitor the news using automation.

These are far more convincing reasons to invest your time and money in their software than let’s say a sentence talking about how they will shoot up your conversions.

#3 The devil is in the details

Something as ‘insignificant’ as the word you use in a sentence can make all the difference. For example, Woven, a scheduling tool, made a very small difference in the above text by adding the words ‘the most powerful’ (“The calendar with scheduling tools.” vs. “The calendar with the most powerful scheduling tools.”). A tiny difference can do your company a world of good.

The adjectives you use in your copy can change the way your customers react to what is mostly considered bad news for them (like a shipping charge). The word tiny or small is what can help sway your more money-conscious customers into buying the product or taking the plunge.

You have to think about the way words can be used and what your users normally associate with those words so that you can positively influence the way they think about your brand.

A great case study that proves my point would be the one from Visual Website Optimizer. Their client Scandinavian Outdoor Store performed a quick split test on their headline copy. Their original headline (translated from Finnish) was simply ‘Men’s Clothing.’

They changed that to ‘Order Men’s Clothing With Ease For Bargain Prices’ (translated from Finnish). This change in the headline copy to include a few power words had a much larger change on conversion rates – 127% to be exact.

Other than the example given above, some other persuasive power words would be:

  • instantly 
  • new
  • guilt-free
  • affordable
  • bonus

You could even affect the way a reader engages with your copy by simply adding a sentence that prompts action. This could be something like ‘Get Instant Access’ or ‘Join The McDonalds Family Now!’.

Obviously, these words and sentences need to be tested time and time again to figure out what works best for your brand, which brings us to our next point.

#4 Not A/B testing your copy

The best way to know what is working and what is getting your audience to travel further down your sales funnel is A/B testing pretty much everything, but today, let us talk about copy.

Figure out where you are going wrong

You can A/B test multiple aspects of your copy in parts like the headline, the CTA, the actual copy, product descriptions, and more. To decide what is worth A/B testing on your landing page, you should first take a look at the way your landing page visitors are behaving.

This means using software to track how long they spend on the page, how far down they scroll, which links they click on, and at what point they convert into buyers (if they wind up converting that is).

This will allow you to figure out which element of the landing page copy needs improvement. At what stage did you go wrong? When did the visitor abandon your page?

Define your ‘A’ and ‘B’

The answers to these questions will help you figure out what you need to do next. Now that you know what element of the copy needs improvement, come up with an alternative piece of copy. If you are A/B testing your headlines, come up with a new headline.

This will be the ‘B’ to your A/B test while the original is your A. Ofcourse this logic only works if you have an existing page that is bringing you conversions. If your site is brand new, you will have to create two alternative options for your A/B test.

Select a dependable A/B testing tool

Now that you know what needs testing, you are going to need some help. There are multiple options to choose from and most tools will price you depending on how much traffic you are bringing in.

A few options worth considering include:

After you have narrowed down on a tool, you can then start testing your copy. In the end, you should have a pretty good understanding on what will bring in more conversions. 

#5 Not writing for a specific target persona

Creating copy for a specific target persona is way more important than trying to please everyone. This is a very common copywriting error as many brands try to please everyone that comes across their landing page and could have even the slightest interest in their offer.

This means you need to create your copy with your ideal customer in mind rather than trying to get every Tom, Dick and Harry to convert into a buyer – it simply won’t work.

Deputy’s scheduling software is a good example of a page that has got it just right. Since they target multiple industries (healthcare, call centers, hospitality, etc.), they have taken the time to create landing pages for each industry. This means that each landing page will help them target that industry’s pain points rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach which can only lead to a loss of leads.

Deputy target persona
Industries Deputy is targeting
target persona
Landing page for healthcare industry
Increase conversions rates with target persona
Landing page that focuses on call centers

The point is you do not want to waste your time trying to make everybody a buyer. Instead, focus on connecting with one particular group of people and personalize your copy to that target persona.

 

#6 Don’t beat around the bush

Your audience is not going to appreciate fancy words that they do not use being thrown in. You want your landing page to be relatable rather than annoying or confusing.

The same goes for long boring copy that has nothing informative or worthwhile within it. If you are simply trying to reach a certain word count – it shows. You want every word on your landing page to pack a punch so that your reader gets as much as they can out of every second of their time. Writing with no goal in mind is as detrimental as having no copy at all.

Stephanie Joanne does this really well on her business coaching business website. Her business model is targeted towards people that want to start an online business of their own.

She has landing page copy that feels like a friend is talking to you and she has even thrown in a few chat acronyms on some of her other landing pages.

It is easy to understand what she is offering your business, it is relatable, and it is easy to read. Tick those boxes and you’re golden.

Using unnecessarily long copy or confusing words also annoys customers. No one wants to have to read an ad twice simply to be able to understand it.

Return on time invested is the time your potential customers put into reading your landing page copy. If they do not feel like it is jam-packed with information, odds are they are not going to read long enough to reach your CTA. You want to make every second worth their while.

#7 Not including a proper CTA

Not including a relevant Call To Action is an annoyingly common copywriting mistake. After you have put tons of effort into your website copy, you do not want to have a visitor who wants to buy your service not know where to go.

Having a bold CTA in plain view is a great way to guide your visitors in the right direction. It does not have to be something too fancy either. A simple, straight-forward CTA can work amazingly well if it is designed by someone talented enough. Infinite Recovery, a Texas Drug Rehab center, do this really well on their homepage:

increase conversion rates with CTA

You will also notice that their CTA includes the words ‘Get Help Today’ which is relevant to the rest of their website copy as well. If someone is looking to overcome addiction and the entire copy on the page is referring to that, your CTA better reflect the same notion.

This rule can be extended to any industry. Make sure you take care of the copy when you are creating your Call To Action. It is not just a bright button, it is the last few words your customer sees so you want it to be great and to make sense.

Having a poorly worded CTA can mean a decrease in your conversion rate even if the rest of your copy is fantastic. iNECTA is another business that makes sure that their CTA is relevant to their industry and their offer. Here is a quick look at their landing page:

Both of these CTAs work perfectly for their respective industries but could not be interchanged. As an ERP software for the food industry, iNECTA uses their CTA to offer customers a free demo of their services while Infinite Recovery, a drug rehab center, prompts website visitors to get the help they need.

Two very different industries with two very different CTAs which is exactly how it should be. People often think that a CTA simply means a button that has the words ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ but this could not be further from the truth. Your CTA is an extension of your copy and you should treat it that way.

Test different word combinations, colors, positions, and fonts till you get it just right.

Wrapping up

Creating compelling content is the first step to organic business growth and is what is going to convince your website visitors that they can depend on you for answers.

A great landing page is a foundation you build on as a brand. You cannot sell products, increase the number of sign-ups, and grow your company if you do not appeal to them with the right message. Hopefully, this article helps you avoid those pesky copywriting mistakes and create some great landing pages that you can use to score new buyers or at least send them to the next stage of your sales funnel.


Burkhard Berger

Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his path from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on www.awesomex.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures. Feel free to follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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