How to Send People to Sleep Online
If you’re writing the text for your own website rather than using a professional copywriter, there are a number of words and phrases you shouldn’t use.
The list below only just scratches the surface when it comes to tired words and phrases people have become used to reading online.
This is a word you’ll see on millions of websites, but it’s rarely backed up with any meaning. For example “we provide cost-effective data solutions for your business” is a very general statement that doesn’t really tell a potential customer anything at all.
People are sick and tired of being sold to. If your website text has phrases such as “we are the leading plumbers in Glasgow” and “we have built up a great reputation” you’re not only providing text that people will glaze over at, you’re also missing an opportunity to appeal directly to your customer and write from their point of view.
Unique is definitely an overused word. In most cases it’s used, it doesn’t actually apply. An example would be “we offer a unique carpet cleaning service” when in truth you provide the same services and use the same materials as lots of other companies.
The word professional gets used a lot online. Quite often it seems to be used by companies who perhaps aren’t professional but would like to appear to be.
If you’ve got a website and are an established company, people expect you to be professional as you’re taking their money for a product or service.
Think outside the box
“We’re a leading web design company that thinks outside the box”. What if your clients don’t want a website that’s “outside the box” – do they get a say in the matter?
Rather than using a tired old phrase like this, why not get specific and really tell your clients what you mean?
I’m sure you’ll have seen phrases like “we’re experienced in all aspects of joinery” on websites. Again, it’s a very flaky word without much meaning when written in this way.
I’ve done DIY around my house lots of times; does that make me an experienced handyman? Again if you really want to say you’re experienced, get specific and give people the details.
“Our range of bathrooms and kitchens is beautiful and affordable” affordable to whom? Using words like affordable can backfire in two ways; first of all it could cheapen the perception of your product and secondly, your bathrooms and kitchens are more than likely not affordable for a lot of people.
These words and phrases are just an example of laziness when it comes to writing online copy. Whether it’s for your website, email newsletter or pay per click adverts; you should avoid these words that people have read thousands of times before.
If you liked this article you may also want to read my website copywriting guide for beginners.
If you’ve got any other words or phrases to add to the list, please leave them in the comments below.