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5 Common Content Problems and Solutions

By | October 24, 2012

Even the best copywriters can fall into some poor writing traps. Before you can fix the problems in your content, you need to know what the problem is. Here, I’ll explain some of the most common problems found in bad copy and the best ways to fix them.

1. Problem:  “We” Content

Count how many times you say “we” in the content on your website. Is it a lot? Company-driven copy might impress you, but it’s turning off potential customers. This is because they don’t care about the company, they care about what the company can do for them.

Remedy: Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What can you tell them about your products and services that will impress them?

2. Problem: Feature Driven Content

It’s understandable that depending on what you’re selling, you might need feature-heavy content. For example, electronics or software generally need all the features specified. However, people make decisions based on emotional responses. Are people going to emotionally connect with the fact that your laptop computer has 2 GB of RAM? Probably not. But they will connect with benefits.

Remedy: Find out what benefits are going to drive your customers to buy your product. Will your product make them smarter? Will it make them richer? It’s your job to turn features into benefits whenever possible.

3. Problem: Long-winded content

Sometimes we end up writing long-winded content because we just don’t understand what our customers want, so we end up giving them all the information at once. Or some copywriters might suffer from English major syndrome where they write for the web the same way that they’d write a term paper.

Remedy: People aren’t going to read endless blocks of useless content, so you need to break the information down to the bare essentials. Keep it short, keep it simple and make sure it still makes sense and provides valuable information.

4. Problem: Hyped-Up Content

When people come to your website, you don’t want them questioning whether your offer is valid or not. And if it seems too good to be true, then they’ll think it probably is. You can spot hyped up content by the number of exclamation marks, all caps text and language that makes you wonder if the offer is real.

Remedy: The easiest thing to do is to avoid exclamation marks unless they’re absolutely necessary. Also, try to keep your content as real as possible and write about products and services like you would talk about them.

5. Problem: Keyword Stuffed Content

Content that is aggressively stuffed with keywords is a quick way to increase your bounce rate. The excessive use of keywords makes it hard for the visitor to understand and it also sends the message that your company has no regard for your customers.

Remedy: Keyword optimization should take place with the reader in mind. In addition, make sure you read everything after it has been optimized. If keyword insertions make things difficult to understand, then your potential customers aren’t going to stick around on your site.

What do you think? Are there common copy writing issues you’ve spotted on websites? Share them with us!

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About Caroline Bogart

Caroline Bogart is a Senior Copywriter / Online PR Strategist at Fathom, and has been working as a copywriter with the company since 2009. She is a graduate of Miami University and John Carroll University, with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master’s degree in communications management. Previously, Caroline was a marketing communications specialist at an industrial engineering and manufacturing company. Her marketing and copywriting background in the manufacturing industry enables her to craft conversion-friendly technical and non-technical content for her clients. When not helping manufacturing companies like Akron Brass Company, Diebold and others achieve success; Caroline gets her creative juices flowing by baking and crafting.

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