Homepage Horrors: 7 Spooky Copywriting Mistakes And How To Fix Them

fall is looking mighty different this year.

And you’d like your homepage to be different, too.

You’re not entirely sure what you’re doing with your website copy.

You’ve gotten some good feedback, but it could be converting better.

Yet — you don’t have time to weed through courses and articles about best copywriting practices — wondering if they even apply to you as a therapist, coach, or healer.

You can’t spill your life story all over the internet, right? 

7 (halloween-themed) mistakes you’re making on your homepage and how to fix them

plus: how to know when you need to call ghost busters a copywriter.

Mistake #1: buried alive with Bulky and Boring Walls of Text

You can have the best writing skills on the planet, but if it’s looking more like a research brief than a conversational document, you’re guilty of burying your copy in too much text.

Most clients are looking you up on their smartphone. What looks like a short paragraph on a desktop can take up an entire screen on a mobile device! Boo! Spooky! Click away!

HOW TO FIX IT: Break up your copy to have a mix of headings, subheadings, and (short) paragraphs. Don’t be afraid to throw in some bold or italics or CAPS to also break up the text, too.

Mistake #2: like a witch’s cauldron, you’re too wishy-washy

chances are you’re POSSiBLY BEING too ambiguous, maybe, perhaps?

An approach of curiosity and openness builds rapport with clients. In session, this shows up as “I wonder if…” or “Maybe you’re experiencing…”

This doesn’t work with website copy.

You need to be direct and confident in your language. This ensures the client resonates with your voice while also agitating their pain points. As a result, they are motivated to take action and book a call with you.

HOW TO FIX IT: You’re overusing phrases like: maybe, perhaps, probably, chances are, might be. Remove these ambiguous phrases from your copy and rephrase with declarative, certain language. If you must use them, have it be to change tone or make a point.

Mistake #3: hold on — IS THIS A RIDDLE? or a home page?

Are you wondering if your home page is working? (Um, obviously, ‘cuz you’re here.)

Do you ever stay up at night obsessing over what you’ve written? (Probably.)

Do you question if you have too many cat-mom mugs? (NEVER.)

Feels familiar? Well, cut it out.

Questions are stellar for your intake sessions, but not for instilling confidence in your copy. Your client needs to know you get them with clear, direct statements of their inner world, experiences, and stressors.

HOW TO FIX IT: If your homepage is filled with questions, turn them into statements. The tone of your homepage will shift — and it will be a good thing! Use questions sparingly and to break up the rhythm and tone of the page. (Also, buy another cat mug. I won’t tell anyone.)

MISTAKE #4: YOUR call-to-action IS A dead-end SCAVENGER HUNT

It’s essential for your homepage to guide your client to take action to work with you. This is the heart of conversion copywriting.

Whether to schedule a consult call, book a session, or opt-in to your email list, you need to make it crystal (ball) clear to your client what to do next.

You don’t want too many call-to-actions because that confuses the reader, and feels like this:

Which should I choose!?

HOW TO FIX IT: Have clear buttons, in simple language, that direct the client to take the next step to work with you. If you have a longer homepage, make sure those buttons are spread throughout the page so they are easy to find.

MISTAKE #5: invasion of the copy snatchers (you don’t sound like you)

You want your copy to mimic how you speak. Stop sounding like a Janet from The Good Place, a TV show therapist, or a overly cheerful coach. It’s time to sound like you.

Time to ditch the jargon, cliches, or overly formal tone. It can help to have someone outside your field help spot the sections where you sound stuffy.

HOW TO FIX IT: Have your copy sound like your speech. Bring in more conversational phrases – or slang. Ditch the jargon + play around with sentence structure, symbols, and punctuation. Defy some grammar rules! Ya get me?

MISTAKE #6: look away! (not another brene brown quote!)

Oh, the horror! I beg of you — no more quotes by philosophers or public figures (no matter how awesome they are) in your above-the-fold sections.

You have 3 seconds to get your readers’ attention — and help them know if it’s worth reading more or clicking away.

This is precious, valuable space on your website — and you’re filling it with someone else’s words? Whyyyyy?

FIX-IT-NOW: Delete that quote and put in something (anything!) else there. If you’re not sure, even the phrase: [Service] for [Niche] is a good start. Once you nail this, make sure you add a tagline, too.

MISTAKE #7: the case of the missing professional (dude, where’s your photo?)

When you’re doing your copy right, your clients get a feel for you with your tone, writing voice, and words. But the human brain needs images, too. Most importantly: your awesome face.

It’s important to pair your copy with your smiling face. Having a photo of you on your home page helps make your copy resonate even more powerfully with your reader. It allows them to connect the dots — and imagine being in the room (okay, Zoom room) with you.

HOW TO FIX IT: No more phantom therapist. Add an engaging, professional headshot to your home page. (No selfies, please. Yes, we can tell.)

When should you hire someone to help with your homepage?

If you encounter any of the following obstacles, it might be time to hire a copywriter or copy coach to guide you:
  • You aren’t clear on your niche–or the specific pain points and desires of your ideal client.
  • You have a hard time breaking away from technical or academic writing.
  • You don’t know how to connect the dots between your client’s experience to your services.
  • You don’t have the time, energy, or desire to write (or refresh) your copy yourself.
  • You have a hard time being concise in your writing.

Let’s make your copy to die for

Schedule a consult call to see how we can banish some bad copy.

clear the cobwebs off your website

schedule an exploration call.

HALLOWEEN PUNS NOT INCLUDED

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I’m an aspiring minimalist at heart.

I love watching the tiny home documentaries.

I embrace a capsule wardrobe.

I crave white space and uncluttered countertops.

But There are 3 areas where I fail at “less is more”:

Continue reading “To Have, But Not To Hold: Capture Your Ideas + Combat Writer’s Block”

Dear Therapists, Have You Outgrown Your Copy?

As a kid, I was part of a lip-syncing garage band.

I use the term “band” very loosely.

Our dads were actual musicians, so to say we were a true music ensemble feels a tad irresponsible.  Nevertheless, we used our dads’ back up guitars, drum set, and mic as props to give the illusion we actually knew what we were doing.

Deeply entrenched in 90’s culture, our band was aptly named The Kidz. Imagine a cardboard sign, block letters in red sharpie, uneven eyeliner, all filmed on a shaky camcorder. We won on commitment, not creativity. Continue reading “Dear Therapists, Have You Outgrown Your Copy?”

Marketing Mindset: How to Feel More Comfortable Being Seen

When it comes to marketing, it feels like everyone makes it look so easy.

Self-promotion or having to “sell yourself” makes you feel like a fish out of water – and just as slimy as one, too.

In an ideal world, your work speaks for itself. Continue reading “Marketing Mindset: How to Feel More Comfortable Being Seen”