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-       Most people are familiar with common copywriting mistakes, like grammatical and spelling errors. Even a single spelling mistake can lose you as much as 50% of your sales (yes, really!), which highlights the importance of checking your written content carefully.

However, there are other, less well-known errors that could cost your company dearly. Here’s a quick run-through.

Less Common Copywriting Mistakes

  • Too wordy. Readability is a key aspect of successful web copy. If it’s long-winded, it’s boring to read. And if it’s boring to read, you can guess what your audience will do… that’s right, stop reading!

When visitors leave your web page prematurely, this has a negative effect on your bounce rate, which in turn, can damage your search engine rankings. The final word on the matter? Avoid waffle and cut to the chase.

  • Too dense. What length should a paragraph be? There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but generally, we aim to keep ours below five lines. Anything more and it looks dense on the page. If a reader feels like they’re wading through treacle when trying to access your web content, that’s not good.
  • No sub-titles. It doesn’t matter how excellent your writing is, if it’s not sub-divided, it’ll be tricky to access. Make things easy for your readers and divide the content with relevant sub-titles. This will also help them scan the page more easily, and find the information they’re looking for.
  • Wrong word, wrong place. It’s all too easy to accidentally use the wrong word. For example, using ‘site’ instead of ‘sight’, or ‘effect’ instead of ‘affect’. The problem is that your trusty Word spell-checker can’t help you here. Instead, you’ll need to read through the content carefully yourself, or hire a proofreader to do it for you.
  • Dated references. In a blog, this doesn’t matter so much – as blogs are designed to be more ‘immediate’. However, if you’re creating evergreen content (i.e. content that you intend to be read for years to come) it should be free of anything that might date it. For example, if you  made references to Donald Trump’s election campaign, this might not be deemed relevant in five years’ time!

The Value of Checking Your Work

Humans are fallible, and as such, mistakes can and will occur. That’s why it makes good sense to thoroughly check your content before putting it online! Sometimes it's worthwhile walking away from your writing for a few hours (or days) then returning to it with a fresh pair of eyes. It’s amazing what mistakes you suddenly notice when you’re observing your content from a reader perspective!

If you’re not confident in your proofreading abilities, a good proofreader can offer help  - for peace of mind if nothing else.

Devon Writing Company

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