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HOW TO

Costly Web Copy Pitfalls
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-08-13

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    Costly Web Copy Pitfalls
    by Vanessa Selene Williams

    One secret to a site that sells: Look at your site from your customer’s perspective. Another secret: Watch out for these common web copy pitfalls.

    Welcome to…nothing
    Look at your site’s web copy. Does it begin with “Welcome to…?” If so, get rid of it. It means nothing. It doesn’t speak to your customers. It’s just a waste of your customers’ time and space. Rather than the worn out phrase, “Welcome to…” try a statement that captures the essence of your company, explaining it in terms that’ll benefit your customers. Instead of “Welcome to Crazy Dave’s CD Emporium,” try “Crazy Dave’s CD Emporium, where you can find quality CDs and crazy prices.”

    Where do I go?
    If you track your site’s metrics, look at your customers’ paths. How many customers get past the home page? If it’s less than desired, there might be a problem with your site’s navigation. If you’re one of those people with mega-content sites, add an internal search to help your customers find there way. If you’re a smaller site, add navigation bars that update automatically when your site’s structures changes or evolves.

    “It’s all about me.”
    Your site is supposed to be about your customers not you. Let’s face it: Your customers don’t care about your Nobel Prize or that you were the first person to sell a condominium on Jupiter, they do care, however, about how your expertise can help them.

    Quick tip: Visit your site. Does the copy contain more “we,” “me,” and “I” statements than “you” and “your?”

    Marco…Polo
    Have you ever visited a site to be sold on the product, then when you needed to ask a quick question, you couldn’t find their contact information? The solution: Put at least an email address or phone number on each page, preferably at the top or bottom. Then put more detailed contact information on your contact page.

    Rarely read but really important.
    Just the presence of terms and conditions and privacy policies instills confidence in your product. It also eases the minds of your more anxious customers.

    Vague, iffy, testimonials
    Testimonials are the easiest and perhaps the best way to capture your customers’ attention and confidence. But simple statements saying that your product is good, won’t work. Detailed testimonials praising how much your product improved their life work best. Another way to give testimonials more selling power, get a picture. Even better, get a picture with you customer using your product or benefiting from your service.

    Vanessa Selene Williams an independent writer who writes for businesses and corporations. She currently offers 30-minute and 60-minute critiques and consultations. To learn more about Vanessa and her services visit her online at http://corp.vswilliams.com or email her at mailto:info@vswilliams.com.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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