5 Ways Copy is Hurting Your Website
Website copy is critically important when it comes getting your visitors to dive deep, get more connected and take action. It can feel difficult to figure out the best words or how to articulate what your organization does. Or you might be struggling with prioritizing what it is that you need to say because you do so many incredible things.
Here are five mistakes you may be making on your website. Read this blog post and review your website to see if you need to make any adjustments.
Mistake #1 – Making it About You
It’s a natural thing to want to sing our own praises. Afterall – you do great work and should shout it from the roof tops. However, instead we want to make it about our visitors.
Encouraging people to donate or sign up for our services means we have to meet them where they are and not talk AT them about how great we are. The easiest way to think about this is starting with your ideal customer or donor. Think about what their motivations are and what they care about. What is their pain point and how do you solve it.
For those you provide services to this might be a little easier. For example, let’s say you’re a pet adoption organization. Your website copy should reflect on the reasons why people are looking to rescue. It could include things like:
- Reminding them of memories from pet adoption when they were kids.
- Talking about how pets can provide anxiety relief.
- Sharing how pets can be great companions for seniors.
Whatever you think will resonante most with visitors, make sure your website copy reflects that.
Let’s say you’re reaching out to donors and you know that your ideal website donor is 35 – 50, female, has a two rescue animals, two kids and works from home for a Fortune 500 company in sales or marketing.
This information can be used to craft the language on your donation page, setting a variety of levels that speak to their motivations. You can also use this to craft copy on the homepage talking about family adoption stories or how pet adoption has made an impact on their kids.
Remember people aren’t going to make the decision to participate with your organization right away so each page the visit helps them get closer and closer to conversion.
Mistake #2 – Not Tying it To Your Goals
No organization does just one thing so it can be tricky trying to figure out what to put on your home page especially. Remember that your website doesn’t need to stay the same all the time. In fact, it should be changing in line with what the priorities are for your organization.
While, in theory, you can’t have too much copy on your website, it’s the way you prioritize the copy that matters. In editorial terms, you don’t want to bury the lead. Keeping the most important copy at the top is helpful.
This can also be useful when thinking about your menu navigation. The far left and far right elements are the most obvious to the human eye. It may need to change as priorities change throughout the year. For example, events, specific giving campaigns, enrollment periods, etc.
Mistake #3 – Using Too Much Jargon
Remember what was stated in mistake #1? You know more about your organization than most pepole do. If you think you aren’t using jargon, you probably are. In general, you want to write at a third grade level and in words that anyone can understand. It will help people process the information more quickly and easily and make decisions about their next steps. My favorite editing tool is the Hemingway Editor. It helps you with readability and grammer to make it easier to process.
This becomes even more important with more technical or sensitive topics. It can feel like you need to have very scientific approach to your writing to ‘sound’ like you know what you’re talking about. Remember to go back to your ideal audience first and see if that style of alignment is going to connect with them. If not, consider changing it.
Mistake #4 – Ignoring the Design
Humans are now scrolling websites, stopping to read when they think they’ve found something interesting. If you don’t lay out the text you’ve so carefully crafted in a way people can scroll then it was all for nothing. Break up your text with:
- appropriate H1, H2, H3 tags.
- graphics or icons.
Anything that can call out the important elements of your content so people can quickly identify what they’re looking for and dive deeper.
Mistake #5 – Relying Too Much on AI Tools
AI tools are all the rage and can be a great time saver and way to research. Using an AI tool to help you generate outlines, ideas, etc can be great. However, they won’t be able to duplicate your tone or personality. Be sure to rewrite the copy AI tools generate to ensure it still resonates with your audience.
Go back to ideal donor or audience that piece of content or page on the website is for. Yes you can ask AI to write for that type of audience, but again it won’t be in your voice.
Copy on your website is critical to getting the right people to take action. Just as importantly, it is helpful in allowing people to determine that you aren’t the right organization for them. While this might seem counterintuitive it helps you bring in more of the right people and not waste time on the wrong ones!