December 23, 2019 4 common web writing mistakes

By Nick Boylan

person using Macbook

As digital technology evolves our online world, consequent changes are made to how we write for the web. A part of writing engaging and high-quality web content is knowing some of the pitfalls to avoid.

To ensure that your written content is shining bright, we’ve put together a list of four common mistakes that can come with writing for the web. By recognising some of these, you’re able to help your business with some exceptional web copy that performs strongly in terms of SEO. With such copy on your website, you’re able to better engage existing and potential customers, and generate more revenue for your business.

1. Not structuring your copy for everyone

Over 4.4 million Australians currently have a disability, which is one in five people. According to further study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, these figures are only expected to rise in the future. You might be developing some great messaging for your website, but if you’re not structuring it for accessibility, you’re missing out on engaging your entire audience.

To ensure that your content is accessible, you must adhere to web accessibility guidelines, which are known as WCAG2.0. These can help you craft your content for those who have accessibility issues such as vision impairment, and access your websites via a range of assistive technologies.

The guidelines are split into three different levels: A, AA and AAA. AA is the most common best practice for websites, and mandatory for all government sites. Important takeaways from the guidelines include:

To check if your page’s written content is meeting the WCAG2.0 guidelines, you can utilise the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.

2. Excluding a strong call-to-action

To drive your customers decisions in relation to your products or services, you need to make sure your written content has a clear call-to-action (CTA). It can be detrimental to your great copy if you leave out a clear next step for your user to take.

These phrases are powerful and action-inducing, persuading a user to click through to find out more, download an eBook or sign up for a subscription service. Rather than explicitly saying these actions, CTAs may use phrases like “explore more” or “sign up for more information” to give an actionable and engaging prompt.

While CTAs are not exactly news, this an area where personalisation is starting to have an impact and do more with what we already had. In fact, studies from HubSpot show that personalised CTAs have a 202% better conversion rate than standard CTAs.

By utilising curated data analytics on your customers, you can tailor a CTA to a particular demographic or audience. For example, first-time customers would be better suited to receive a CTA that allows them to sign up for your product or service offering. For existing customers, their CTA could be tailored more towards updates with blog topics or new services they may have missed.

Personalised content is a trend we expect to develop in the coming years, so incorporating this into your CTAs is a great place to start. By understanding your target audience and what they need, you can segment your CTAs by information such as membership status, what pages they have viewed the most and where they’ve stayed the longest. That means a customer who has been with your business for over five years will get a different CTA than someone who is visiting your site for the first time.

This CTA tailoring makes each user feel more important, personalising the experience for their needs and increasing their likelihood in following that CTA, to make another purchase on your products.

3. Missing longtail keywords for future tech

Another common mistake for those writing web content can be missing out longtail keywords, especially with voice search dominating our digital world. In fact, ComScore’s research shows that 50% of our searches will be done via voice technology as early as 2020. One way you can avoid missing out on the voice search wave and conquer writing for voice search is swapping shorter keywords for longer keywords and phrases.

Why longer? Because conversational language is what helps voice search thrive, and consequently helps your web content sparkle. For example, if you’re looking for a coffee shop in Melbourne, you’d typically type “best coffee Melbourne”, but who speaks like that? On Siri or with Google Assistant, you would ask “where can I get the best coffee in Melbourne?”

This means you need to incorporate longer keywords that answer these questions, rather than the short and sharp method that you may have used in the past. With longform keywords, you can tap into the more conversational style of language that’s having SEO success.

4. Assessing what you have and changing direction

Writing for today’s web content demands can be challenging without the right resources around you. Sometimes you’re stretched too thin with other responsibilities to see what gaps you may have in your web copy, or don’t have time to update what you currently have on your website.

Performing a content audit is a great way of stepping back and understanding what problems you might have, and importantly knowing how to move forward with greater success.

Bringing in any of our Avion team members is a great way to receive a high quality and thorough content audit, without sacrificing your valuable time that could be spent on other tasks. We’re able to perform these audits for businesses of various shapes and sizes, across a wide range of industries with the same level of expertise.

If you want some further assistance in guiding the pitfalls of writing for the web and want to know where your business can improve, contact the Avion Communications team today.