The Five Worst Copywriting Bloopers
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Good copy can distinguish your website – 38% of your website visitors will leave if they find your content unattractive. For a lot of prospects, your firm’s website is going to be their very first impression of you and your company. It’s crucial to make that first impression the best you possibly can.
If you’re struggling to convert leads or have a high bounce rate, your website copy might be at fault. Be wary of these five common copywriting mistakes I often see advisors make on their websites.
1. It’s not compelling and specific
This copywriting blunder is to-the-point: The copy is not interesting and/or not specific enough to your firm. Visitors develop a first impression of your website in only 50 milliseconds; that means you have an insanely short amount of time to grab their attention, keep it, and convince them that the services you offer are worth their time.
A vital part of this? Brand personality. If your copy could be pasted onto any other firm’s site, that’s a telltale sign that it’s not compelling enough. Similarly, if it doesn’t pull a reader in and encourage them to find out more about your company, it’s not compelling enough either.
Consider the homepage of Nurture Financial Planning above. The banner is hyper-specific to the firm and its audience: medical and dental professionals in California and New York. Within a few seconds, visitors gain a ton of information. The copy at the bottom of its page, too, is brief and effective. It quickly sums up key components of the firm’s philosophy
Altogether, this example is both compelling and specific. The language catches attention while also communicating what makes the firm unique and worthwhile.
2. The average person can’t understand it
Your website should be client-centric, so develop copy your prospects can easily understand. These are the most common mistakes advisors make:
- Overusing advisor-speak. You’re a financial professional. You’re used to talking in financial language. But when it comes to your website, you’re not marketing to your colleagues; you’re marketing to regular people who are seeking financial services because they don’t have the industry knowledge you already hold.
It’s downright confusing. You don’t need to use big words or complex sentence structures to prove yourself. Readability is key. For instance, the ideal readability level for newspapers is 8th grade. Your website should shoot for 6th-8th grade level copywriting.
Fialkow Financial Planning does both things right in this example: Its sentence structure is simple and the copy isn’t overly long or elaborate. More than that, it returns to the most basic foundations of the financial industry. It recognizes the questions that its audience might have and works to answer those questions in simple terms on a dedicated FAQ page.
3. It’s not SEO friendly
Ensuring that your copy is SEO friendly is crucial for lead conversion and ranking high in Google searches. Your copy should always be written with SEO in mind. These are just a few key strategies to optimize your writing:
- Define your niche market. If your writing isn’t specific to the audience you’re trying to reach, assume that prospects will have difficulty coming across it in a search. Again, use the language of your intended audience.
- Incorporate visual content. Your website shouldn’t just be blocks of text – make use of all the different types of visual content available to you, including pictures, infographics and videos. When you use a visual, include “alt text” for an even bigger SEO boost. (p.s., Looking for more examples of visual content? Check out my other article, Five Advisor Sites with Great Visual Content.)
- Use keywords. Keywords are heavily associated with SEO practices. They’re important, but don’t overdo it to the point of your writing sounding unnatural and hurting your copy.
- Link internally. Internal linking, or linking back to other pages within your website, is great for rankings and website usability.
Here’s an example of the merits of good SEO. When your target audience conducts a search specific to them, such as “financial advisor for physicians in California,” your firm’s website should rank higher and raise the likelihood of prospects looking at your site.
4. You’re not using a problem-solution format
Among consumers, 87% think more positively about a brand if its content is personally relevant. This rings true for financial services, too. Prospects want to see you address the specific problems they face and how you intend to solve it.
Cultivating Wealth does a great job of this. This firm, which specifically serves women, summarizes its client’s areas of focus and the firm’s financial philosophy about each area. It takes into consideration what prospects are worried about, and answers those pressing questions without ever having direct contact.
Include a call-to-action with that some problem-solution format. Your CTAs should offer something particularly valuable to your prospects that also address those individual problems, even if it’s just a newsletter about financial strategy.
5. It’s all about you
It’s your website, so should tell people about your business? Not entirely true. Being customer-centric is ranked as being the most important characteristic in creating a digital business culture.
Prospective clients do want to hear about your company, but it should always tie back to what you offer and how you serve your clients. Focus less on your firm’s credentials and experience and more on how you leverage both of those things to address clients’ problems.
The homepage of Kristin A. Boelte & Associates, LLC is entirely client-centric, focusing more on the “you” than the “we.”
When you shift your copywriting this way, you communicate your firm’s genuineness and credibility. It builds a positive relationship with prospects; if every aspect of your copy relates to your dedication to clients, you will gain more.
These copywriting blunders will drag down your firm’s potential and correcting them will solidify your digital presence and improve your website. Again:
- Be compelling and specific;
- Increase readability;
- Write SEO friendly;
- Utilize problem-solution format; and
- Make it client-centric.
By implementing these practices, you will see a positive difference in how prospects react to your website.
Samantha Russell is the chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten (a digital marketing and website development company for financial advisors). Samantha helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video.