5 copywriting blind spots that can cost you sales

Copywriting blind spot

Beware the copywriting blind spot!

Did you know that a typo could cause a prospect to go from, “Wow, I need to hire this person” to “Never mind…”

A copywriter I know just faced this situation. Her site is well written, she is incredibly experienced and has great testimonials. But there was one, highly unfortunate typo on her services page.

When I talked to the prospect he said, “If the copywriter can’t get her services page right, how can I trust her to write my sales pages?” Hiring the copywriter – heck, even talking to her – was a no-go.

Obviously, the typo was in the copywriter’s blind spot – and it cost her at least one customer.

This situation got me thinking about all the other “blind spots” that turn away prospective business.  For instance:

- A stale, outdated blog that hasn’t been updated for months (or, in some cases, years.)

Is your sporadic blog publication schedule messing with your site traffic?  According to a MarketingProfs post by Christian Gulliksen, “If your publication schedule gets sloppy and [readers] don’t see new content when they expect it, they’ll simply stop visiting.” If part of your blog’s purpose is to soft-sell products and services, you’re missing out on some huge marketing opportunities.

How can you fix this? Either make blogging more manageable by cutting down on the number of weekly posts, or hire out the content creation. It’s true that some companies may not benefit from a blog (gasp!). Just be very sure your company fits into this description before you decide to stop blogging – and figure out another (sustainable) way to drive traffic and engagement.

- Poorly-written content.  

If I see a page that’s obviously overoptimized – or it looks like a fifth grader wrote the content – I won’t work with the company. My reasoning? Why should I expect good service from a company that cares so little about their readers/prospects? You may say, “But Heather. Content is what you do. Aren’t you being a little harsh?” Nope, not at all. Think about it – when’s the last time you purchased from a spammy-looking site? Yeah. I thought so… :)

Is this your copywriting blind spot? Fix the content. Immediately. Yes, it will cost money – but you will make that money back (and more) in increased conversions. Do it. Do it now.

- A particularly bad content mullet.  

There’s nothing that screams, “Hey, we’re not on the ball” than a site (or even just a page) with outdated information. I’m guilty of this one myself.  I neglected to update a date for my next local SEO copywriting training.  I got a message from a prospect calling me out on it – and then I never heard from them again. Oops. I blame my content mullet for the lost sale.

If you’re “too close” to your site, have someone comb through your pages and list any content mullets. This could be someone who works with you, or you could hire a consultant to help (typically a smarter move – a consultant can often bring up solutions you may not have considered.) Chances are, you’ll have quite a few mullets to fix.

- Posting your services rates online.  

I know that some folks may disagree with me, but posting your service rates may be costing you sales. Why? Prospects are looking for reasons NOT to work with you. If they think you’re too expensive (or sometimes, too inexpensive,) they may not contact you – even if your prices are technically within their budget.

If people are hitting your “rates” page and never contacting you, consider trying a different method.  Your price list could list a per-service range rather than a set price. You could add more (or different) testimonials to your rates page. Or, you could delete your rates and see what happens.  You may find that it’s easier to land clients when you can explain your value via email or the phone.

- Auto responders that are outdated and/or full of boo boos.

When’s the last time you checked your auto responder content for format errors, typos or general weirdness?  The scary thing is, those “set it and forget it” marketing pieces can go out to hundreds – even thousands – of qualified prospects. If they don’t look top-notch and have obvious errors, it will reflect poorly on your company.

Worried about your marketing materials? Have a team member sign up for your auto responders and check for errors. Alternatively, you could hire a copywriter to do the same thing – and she could punch up the content at the same time.  This way, you’re guaranteed that everything is correct, professional and will convert like crazy.

And “converting like crazy” is definitely the name of the game.

Wondering if your site is sporting a content mullet? Wondering how to make your content better for Google and your readers? I can help – and for much less money than you’d expect.  Check out my SEO Content Review for more information.