Is Your Business’s Website Driving Customers Away?

Are people running from your web copy?
Are people running from your web copy?

Recently, the website of an acquaintance caught my attention. The acquaintance and her family are venturing into the catering business and put together a well-designed website. However, looking over the website, several things stood out to me, and not in a good way. While each page offered the ideal length of content, it was full of grammatical errors, run on sentences, missing or incorrect links, borderline libelous information and it didn’t have a call to action. Avoid their mistakes by following these five tips.

1. Write relevant copy. Your copy should tell potential customers who you are, what you do and how to contact you. Most importantly, you need to have a call to action. People want to build relationships with their favorite brands, whether the brand is a large multinational corporation or a small local shop. But, they won’t do this on their own; you have to prompt them to act.

  • What’s your story?  Give your customers a glimpse behind the curtain. Offer an entertaining anecdote about how the business started, and explain your mission statement. Not only will this familiarize your customers with your brand, it’ll also help you to find your tribe—your legion of loyal advocates who will drive the success of your business.
  • What do you do?  An overview of the services that you offer, and how they differ from the competition, will give your customers an idea of what to expect from your company.
  • Contact information. Your customers want to know how to get in touch with you. Including an email address, phone number and links to the brand’s social media pages are all essential. It’s also helpful to include links to the company founder’s or CEO’s social media pages. After all, they’re often the face of the brand and embody what the company stands for.
  • A call to action. What do you want your customers to do after reading your website? A strong call to action will encourage your customers to patronize your business.

2. Keep it positive. Your webpage is your opportunity to establish your brand’s key messaging, and explain what sets you apart from the competition. However, this isn’t the place to attack the competition. Your page is about your company, not about your competition’s shortcomings. Remember, the customer service you provide is what sets you apart from your competition. Strive to offer high quality service every time and the difference will speak for itself.

3. Keep it factual. Defamation is serious business, whether you’re talking smack about a person or a company. While the 1st amendment allows us the right to free speech, we not free to make libelous comments that will damage the reputation of another person or entity. Making bold negative statements about another company—competitor or not—can land you in legal hot water. It also makes you look desperate. Don’t do it—it’s lame, desperate and puts your brand in a negative light.

4. Check for typos. Never underestimate the power of proofreading. While many people will overlook a typo or two, they may stop reading if your copy is full of them. Typos not only make your content difficult to read, they also impair the effectiveness of your brand’s overall messaging. While it’s helpful to hire an editor to proof and finesse your content before it goes live, if you’re just starting out or short on funds, have a friend take a look at your copy. Not only can they point out any egregious mistakes, they can also give you feedback on your overall messaging.

5. Check your links. Before you push your site live, always, always, ALWAYS check your links. Your potential customers are web savvy and will click out of your site if your links don’t go where they’re supposed to.

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