We all make mistakes, but what if those mistakes are preventing your business from reaching its full potential?

When it comes to copywriting for your small business, it’s easy to fall into common errors that mean your copy isn’t quite as effective as it should be. For example, you may be using the wrong language for your target audience, or you could be forgetting to include an enticing CTA. Even copywriting experts aren’t immune to the odd mistake.

The good news is, these issues are usually minor and are incredibly easy to fix.

If you’re writing copy for your small business, check out the common copywriting mistakes below so you know what to avoid in the future.

Common Copywriting Mistakes

Not understanding your audience

Not having a really good understanding of your audience can mean that your copy misses the mark. The aim of good copy is to persuade your potential customers to take action – in order to persuade them effectively, you need to be in tune with their pain points and problems, wants, needs and desires. Only then can utilise these to create copy that targets them directly.

Take this as an example – if you’re offering products or services to those with a small budget, you’ll want to avoid using words like ‘luxurious.’ Instead, you might opt for ‘affordable’.

Great copywriting simply means being in tune with what your audience wants and needs. Avoid guess work when it comes to your target audience – instead, put time and effort into getting to know them before you start writing.

Writing too much

When we’re writing copy for our website, it can be tempting to pack it full of everything you think your audience might need to know.

However, studies show that actually, humans have very short attention spans, especially when researching online. We want information readily available to us, without having to search through pages and pages of writing to get it.

Your job when writing copy for your website is to tell your potential customers what you think they need to know in as few words as possible. Consider what your key message is and try to convey that in concise, clear bursts of information. This makes it incredibly easy for your readers to find the information they’re looking for. And, the easier you make it, the more likely they are to stick around.

Avoid lengthy paragraphs and sentences and break up copy with regular subheadings and list features.

Overusing complex jargon

When you’re an expert in your industry, it can be easy to forget that not everyone is! Stuffing your content full of jargon can make for a complex (and potentially boring!) read for the average customer.

Replace jargon with clear explanations and simple language to ensure that your copy is accessible to everyone that may come across it – expert or not. If your copy is easy to understand and provides potential customers with the information they need, they’re far more likely to take the next step.

common copywriting mistakes to avoid

Focusing on Features

While showcasing the features of your product or service might seem like the logical thing to do, it’s not particularly persuasive when it comes to encouraging your customers to make a purchase.

Instead, the main focus of your copy should be the benefits of the product or service you’re providing. Highlight those benefits and ensure they appeal to your target audience specifically.

For example, if you’re offering a dog walking service, promote the idea of a happy, cared for, socialised pup rather than a 60-minute walk. If you’re Personal Training services, showcase the feelings of achievement and confidence your customers will benefit from, rather than listing services and prices.

Focusing on features is fine, but promoting the benefits is what will convert your customers. Check your copy for anything feature-focused and add in some benefits to sway those sat on the fence.

Failing to address objections

Not everyone is going to fall for your products or services hook, line and sinker. Plenty of people will have concerns or objections – the good news is, this is completely natural! Put yourself in their situation – how many reviews do you read before investing in something? Do you question whether you really need it? Whether it really is the best on the market? We all do it to protect ourselves from making a purchasing mistake.

The role of good copywriting is to address those objections and quell them as much as you can, removing those concerns and allowing your potential customers to follow through on a purchase with confidence.

For example, if you’ve priced your product slightly higher than average for that market, potential customers may feel that they might be able to get something similar elsewhere for less. Address this concern. While you know there may be cheaper options out there, those cheaper options can’t compete on quality.

This reassures customers that they’re not just paying more for the same thing, they’re paying for quality products or services that will give them more for their money in the long run.

Pre-empting any concerns or objections your target audience may have and addressing them in your copy is a great way to ensure buying barriers are avoided before they become a problem.

Not utilising your USP

When you’re writing copy for your business, you want to come across as professional and credible. Occasionally, this means your copy becomes a bit stuffy and uptight. While professionalism is always important, it’s okay for your business copy to feel a bit freer.

After all, you’re a human being trying to make connections with other human beings. If your copy sounds robotic and over-edited, it can be difficult for others to relate to it. Instead, consider your business personality and brand and focus on your unique selling point to really bring your copy to life.

For example, if you’re a business operating in the Black Country, serving local customers, you may pop a bit of Black Country slang into your copy. This lightens up the tone and is something your target audience specifically can relate to. They’ll understand that your business is dedicated to serving them and them aloe – a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing.

Don’t get too caught up with copywriting formulas and professional jargon – the more human and unique your copy feels, the more it’ll appeal to your target audience.

common copywriting mistakes to avoid

Copywriting with The Edwards Company

Copywriting mistakes are easy to make, and we’ve all been guilty of it at one point or another. The important thing is learning from those mistakes and applying those lessons to your current business copy to ensure it’s doing what you need it to do.

If you feel like your business copy is just missing the mark, redraft with the tips above in mind for more engaging, targeted content.

Or, if you think your copy would benefit from the support of a professional, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our brilliant copywriting team who will be happy to help.