Writing for the web can be tricky. You want to provide enough content to help your website visitors find answers to their questions, but not so much that they are overwhelmed with information. Here are some common mistakes when writing content for a website:
Too much text: Research shows that website visitors will typically stay on a web page for less than fifteen seconds. That’s not a lot of time to get your message across, so it’s important to present your information in a concise way. This can usually be accomplished in a couple paragraphs (per page). If you want to expand on or offer additional helpful information, consider putting it in your blog posts instead of your website pages.
Large blocks of text: Web readers prefer information in “bite-sized” pieces instead of large blocks of text. Use short paragraphs, bulleted/numbered lists, and sprinkle in some highly relevant images throughout to hold the reader’s attention and allow them to scan your information easily.
Excessive jargon: Those in your industry may appreciate industry-specific terminology, but your audience probably doesn’t. Communicate your message clearly and in simple terms, sans the industry jargon.
Grammar and spelling errors: A website with errors is its own worst enemy. Most visitors will consider these errors to be unprofessional and a direct reflection of the way you do business. It’s harsh, but that’s the way it is. That said, most people find writing only slightly more tolerable that having a tooth pulled. If you are writing your own content, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes look at your finished product before you publish it to catch any errors you may have missed. You can also use a free tool like Grammarly, which will catch most grammar and spelling errors.
Self-centered content: If you are an SMB, you know that it’s all about your customers. Make sure your content reflects that. Rather than “I” or “we” statements, focus on how your products or services can help the customer. For example, instead of “I create stunning websites,” try “Learn how to get a stunning website that attracts customers.”
For the especially writing-challenged among us, it might be best to source this job out to a freelancer or the copywriter at your web design firm. While this will cost more up front, it will help you generate more leads from your website in the long run.
Thin text: If your website only has a couple of sentences per page, you are shortchanging yourself in a couple of ways. First, minimal content is frowned upon by search engines, and you won’t rank as well as you could in search results. Secondly, once a visitor lands on your site, they will likely not be able to find all the information they are looking for. This will likely cause them to bounce over to a competitor site.