Can You Find the Mistakes in This Web Copy?

wrong way

Image thanks to geralt

Yesterday, I posted some web copy and asked what was wrong with it. The company is pure fiction, but the copy is adapted from an actual web site.

I have changed the names and altered the details of the site to avoid embarrassment, but the website copywriting mistakes are real.

Find the web copywriting mistakes

Here it is again.

A badly designed web site can have a negative impact on your site’s effectiveness and the money you earn from it.

After the initial consultation phase of your project, Wow Wow Web Design will create your web site using professional design tools. There are people who will offer to produce graphics for you at highly discounted rates. However, the quality of their design may be poor.

Whether you need a big web site or a small one, we can provide all your design needs.

No work process

There’s a general statement about an initial consultation, but no indication what happens after that. Talking about your work process is good, but spell it all out. Take people through what you’ll do and when. Let them know how you charge (all at once, in stages), what the process is like and how many designs a client will receive,

No differentiation

Why choose Wow Wow over any other company?

They don’t seem to specialize in any particular industry, or type of work.  Are they wizards of Blogger? Or only do WordPress?  What if you need ecommerce tools? Will they tell you if they’re not a good fit? How transparent are they about their work process?

How will you know if they are a good fit for your project? Professional design tools sounds good, but which ones?  If a client needs changes or updates further on, how will those be handled?

Do they offer tools that let you easily make small updates yourself? A project dashboard?

They’re not remarkable in any way.

No trust/value

They point out that cheaper alternatives may lead to poor results, but give no proof that their services are better. There’s nothing there about the designers themselves either. What is their background?  How long have they been doing this? What do their clients say about them?

No tribe

What is their market? What kind of fish are they trying to catch?  Do they specialize in large companies? Or would they rather work with smaller businesses?  Plumbing suppliers? Artists? It’s impossible to tell.

Who is their perfect client? They don’t seem to have one.  It looks like they’re trying to sell to everyone. Which means they’re selling to nobody.

Yes, that’s a lot to ask for from a few paragraphs, but the clearer you are about your value, your specialty, your point of difference, and your preferred clients, the better your results will be.

What Every Web Marketer Ought to Know in the New Year

I’ve decided to follow Darren Rowse’s lead this holiday week (if you’re going to imitate someone, start at the top!), and post a series of “best of” posts looking back on the past year.

It won’t be completely comprehensive, but will point you to some worthwhile content and help you focus your marketing efforts for the new year.

Each post will have a theme: web marketing, headlines, email marketing, marketing mistakes (and fixes), and freebies.

Today’s theme is web marketing. I’ll add the links to the rest of the theme posts as they go live.

Here are some posts with tips on better landing pages, getting more clicks from your CTAs, and common web marketing mistakes.

7 Little Things That Can Mess Up Your Web Site

What Do Landing Pages Have in Common with Grade School?

Get More Clicks on Your Calls to Action

Image: ilco

The Worst Way to Get Signups for Your Webinar

webinar_worldleI got an FYI email yesterday from a newsletter I subscribe to. It offered me a free download of a social media webinar.

I thought, “Cool, sounds like useful information and I can use it for ‘Freebie Friday’. I’ll download it, watch it, and spread it.”

Lots of obstacles

I clicked on the download link. Instead of a download, I got taken to a page asking for:

  • my full name
  • my email address
  • my company name
  • my title
  • whether my company was business-to-business or sold to consumers
  • what kind of business I had, and
  • my biggest marketing challenge.

Whew! That’s an awful lot of fields to fill in. I don’t want to submit all of that information for a webinar. There are too many barriers. I smell “big sales pitch” and it stinks.

Sorry, I’m not filling it in, and I’m not spreading your webinar either.

The right way to get webinar signups

  • Cut the fields to the bare minimum
  • List the top 3 reasons to subscribe
  • Tell them it’s free
  • Explain how (just click here, fill in your name)

Create content that spreads easily

  • Encourage pass-alongs
  • Skip the sales pitch
  • Be helpful.  Include useful information (that people will want to forward)
  • Use easy-to-understand words. This one offered lessons from memetics. I have no clue what that means.

Yes, they did get me to talk about their business, but probably not in the way they intended.

What tips do you have for spreading your webinars (or any other free content)?

5 Things That Drive People Away from Your Web Site

fleeing1. Autoplay video.

Let your visitors make the decision whether they want to watch or not. The videos can also slow down your site.

2. Pages that load slowly.

Cut the Flash presentations and the splash pages with “enter” buttons; they slow people down. People want information, not commercials. The exception to this is if you’re a filmmaker, film editor, or web video producer. In that case, you’ll need Flash to show off your skills. Just make it a voluntary click (not an auto play), and put it on a clips page (rather than the home page).

3. Sign in forms.

Don’t make it harder for visitors to find information. If you want to keep paid content separate, or need a user login for accounts, that’s fine, but don’t try to capture information from everyone who visits. You’ll drive people away.

4. Hard to find contact information.

If it looks as if you’re hiding, your trust level will go down. Put your address, email, phone number, etc. where people can find it easily.

5. Poor usability.

If visitors have trouble finding what they want, and broken site search, they’ll leave in frustration.

Photo: orin obtiglot