Tell-tale signs of bad website copy

Communications, Content, MediaHQ.com, PR Tips
July 9, 2019
by Rachel Carey

Writing good website copy is tough work. Writing about your product or services in an informative, engaging and enticing way isn’t always easy.

It takes practice and knowledge. The trick to writing good copy is to have great writing skills, good knowledge of your market and a thorough understanding of what your audience is looking for and what they need to hear to buy your product or service.

One of the best ways to write good website copy is to understand what bad copy looks like. To help we’ve put together four tell-tale signs of bad website copy you should watch out for.

It doesn’t say anything

This is one of the biggest issues website copywriters face, make sure their words mean something.

More often than not we see websites that have a lot of content but say very little. The writer has written what they thought they should say or thought sounded good, not what they actually wanted or needed to say.

One of the tell-tale signs of this is language that is more style over substance. These type of phrases don’t mean anything and they add nothing to your content.

Redundant words and content does nothing to help your brand and takes up valuable website space.

Every piece of copy on your website should serve a purpose and every single word should mean something.  

It’s not answering questions

website copy

Above all else your website content should be informative. If it’s not answering questions your audience has about your product or service then you’re in trouble.

Clearly a good FAQ page should answer questions, but so should the rest of your website.

Good website copy should go through your products and services, the different features you offer and how they work.

When writing content for your website it’s always a good idea to ask yourself, “what would I look for and what questions would I need answered?” Make sure you’re explaining your company properly.

The less questions your audience has after reading your website the better.

It’s overcomplicated

Simple website content is allowed. There is no need for overcomplicated, jargon filled content cluttering up your website.

A good website describes what the company does, how they do it, why they do it and who they do it for. This is done as simply and concisely as possible.

One way to tackle this use of jargon or extra words is to do multiple drafts of your copy, always refining and retuning as you go.

It might even be a good idea to get someone from outside your company to read your copy before it goes live. Make sure they fully understand what you’re talking about and what you’re trying to say. If they have any questions after reading your copy you know the areas you need to work on.

It doesn’t tell a story

‘About us’ or ‘Our Story’ pages on websites aren’t just filler. They provide your audience with vital information about who you are as a company and what you stand for.

This section shouldn’t be a list of mundane facts about your company or a timeline that gets your audience from A to B.

It should show your personality and tell your story. Go through the ups and downs of your company detailing all of the heroes, villains and turning points in your story.

If you’re struggling with how to tell your brand story our CEO has written a guide for storytelling for business. You can request a copy of our Storyteller’s Manifesto here.

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