Creating the right content for your website is difficult. Maintaining it up to date and relevant is even more complex. Between Google constantly changing their rules and you updating your texts to speak better to the needs of your audience, your web content might suffer along the way. Here are seven errors you may be making on your website, and how to fix them.
1. Excessive focus on your own business
It’s your business and your website, but it shouldn’t be all about yourself. A prospect comes to your website not to read about your impressive history, but to discover how you can solve their problem. You have just a few seconds to get their attention. Focus on explaining how you can make their life easier, not on your own unique services or over-the-top features.
2. Using too much industry jargon
In the travel and tourism industry we regularly use lots of jargon, from ABF (American breakfast) to WL (waitlist), but it doesn’t mean it has any place on your website. As we’re familiar with it, we may assume clients or travellers use the same abbreviations or symbols, but most of the times they don’t. Your website will come across as distant and won’t connect emotionally with them. You want to show prospects how your services will let them escape everyday living, not give them a lesson in tourism acronyms.
3. Writing for a search engine
Another writing error you might make is to create the content thinking too much of the almighty Google and other search engines. Your texts won’t sound natural and useful for your (human) readers, and on top of it Google picks up keyword stuffing too now. You need an immediate revision if the text on your travel website sounds like this: We sell cheap flights. Our cheap flights are available up till last minute. If you’re thinking of buying a cheap flight, please contact our cheap flights specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Overload of features
Just like in the first point, if you focus on describing your features instead of the benefits for a client, you concentrate on your business more than on the help you can provide. If all they see are your features, the readers are left wondering, ‘OK but what’s in it for me?’. They mean, what’s the benefit. Explain how they can relax or catch up on work in the comfy lounge of your hotel, instead of giving long explanations about the features of the lounge. Go back to your customer personas and see what’s important for them, then stress on that to catch their attention.
5. Writing for an audience that’s too general
A business usually fails to narrow down their ideal target audience for fear of losing clients. But if your audience is too broad, then you might not get clients because they may not identify with your message. For example, if you’re a travel agency selling city tours in Rome and you’re marketing your experiences to anyone visiting Rome, then you may not impress too many website visitors. However, if you promote dog-friendly experiences with locals, or vegan gastronomy tours in Rome, you’ll have a much more narrow target, but a more engaged one. Because what you offer speaks directly to their needs and their values.
6. Writing like you do for print
Nobody reads on a website like they do a printed document or a brochure. Websites are for scanning, scrolling and getting the point in a matter of seconds. Split your chunk of text into short paragraphs. Include bullet points for lists and relevant information. Create one-sentence paragraphs for higher impact of your message. Use long sentences, which explain in detail a benefit or paint a vivid picture of the experience you offer, when the prospect is willing to read more. Then alternate with short sentences. They pick up the rhythm and prove your point.
7. Forgetting the call to action
Remember, your website is your marketing tool. Each page that you publish, no matter how informational, ultimately has a business purpose. And that is to lead your prospect through the sales funnel. Tell them what to do next. If you target early browsers, prompt them to sign up for your newsletter to be informed periodically. If you target a prospect ready to buy, invite them to sign up for a free trial, or to directly book their experience. But always put a call to action on each page on your website, including at the end of the blog posts.