Three Mistakes to Avoid in Website Content

In 1991, there was one website on the Internet; today there are nearly a billion—that’s a heckuva lot of content. Per theNielsen Norman Group, users decide whether or not to exit a webpage within 10 seconds. If they do stay, they are likely to leave in the subsequent 20 seconds. Once they reach 30 seconds, they are likely to stay much longer. Here are three tips to help convince your website visitors to read on:

What’s In It For Me? That’s what your website visitors will ask themselves; your content writer’s job is to tell them. Advertising icon David Ogilvy once said, “Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits.” This is particularly true when marketing to a nontechnical audience. Your IT guy may need to know all the tech specs of a new server but chances are, you want to know how much faster and more reliable it will be. Benefits, benefits, benefits. ‘Nuff said.

Visitors Don’t Always Land on the Home Page: Unless otherwise specified, every page of your company’s site is available via Google and other search engines. Depending on a user’s keyword search, and a host of other factors, you cannot predict where visitors will enter your site. The point: Will they be able to instantly identify the nature of your business no matter where they land? Let’s take the fictitious CPA firm of “Smith & Brown.” On its home page, Smith & Brown does a bang-up job of identifying itself as an accounting practice, but its other webpages simply bear the firm’s name with no reference to its industry. A site visitor arriving at a subpage will have to waste two seconds (or more) determining if he is in the right place—that is two of the ten seconds Smith & Brown has to persuade him to keep reading. The moral? Ensure every page of your site displays your company name and type of business. This can be as simple as adding a brief descriptor on each page, such as “Jones & Watson, Trademark Attorneys .”

How Many Leading Providers Are There? This last point is a personal pet peeve. As a content writer, I review lots of websites. I am amazed at how many businesses in the same industry describe themselves as “leading providers.” By definition, they can’t all be leaders. Just for fun, I did a Google search of “leading provider of automotive parts.” Needless to say, I got millions of hits. I scanned  through a few pages of search results and sure enough, virtually all of the companies listed were self-proclaimed leading providers. Simply stating you are a leading provider won’t make it so or believable. Support your claim directly or indirectly, or choose another point of differentiation. This falls under the heading of positioning and branding which is a subject all its own.

I hope these points are useful. If you have any questions or need some advice, feel free to email me at

Andrea Kluge
Freelance Copywriter

Author: Andrea Kluge