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Monday, November 8, 2010

7 Deadly Sins of Ad Copywriting to Avoid

Posted by @ 6:49 pm

Getting your advertising copy perfect can be a hard task, but it is imperative.

With the holiday sales season only 2 weeks away, now is the time to take a look at your advertising copy and give it a tweak.

To help you out I have outlined below seven sins of copywriting that you must avoid:

1. No compelling headline – how are you going to get people to buy when the first thing they see on the page isn’t inspiring? I would argue that your headline is the most important aspect of the copy on your page. The key is to tell the visitor exactly what you are offering while also making it appealing so they will read on (and ultimately purchase).

2. No attractive benefits – we’ve all heard the adage features vs. benefits. The features are what you, as the marketer, believe about the product but the benefits are really what the visitor wants to know about. They don’t care how your SEO service works, all they care is that it will get them in the top 10 search results.

3. No bullet points – these ties in with deadly sin number 2. Make spelling out the benefits of your product/service easy by using bullet points. This will make it easier for the visitor also. Here is an example of one of our ads. It shows how easy it is for the visitor to see what the product will do for them by using bullet points.

4. Sentences too long – I have to admit this is one of my biggest challenges in writing copy. But the trick is to know when to end a sentence and start a new one. Here is what I was taught: read the sentence out loud and as soon as you run out of breath, that’s when the sentence needs to stop.

5. Hard to understand jargon – This is probably the most common sin in copywriting. But just remember that not everyone who is looking for your product is as educated as you about the product. Spell out the product in layman’s term. However, don’t talk down to them or assume they know your industry language and terminology.

6. Spelling/grammar mistakes – this is the easiest sin to avoid. Don’t assume that a common spelling/grammar checker is going to pick up all the mistakes. Read back over your copy carefully or give it to someone else to check who hasn’t seen it before (fresh eyes).

7. No break in ad copy – Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. How daunting would it be to visit a website and find a page full of text? To be honest I would probably click away. People don’t have time or the patience to read through such a large amount of text (not to mention it would look pretty ugly). Use relevant images to break up the text such as a call to action button or an image of your product.

Are there any additional sins you would add to this list? If so feel free to share them below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (7 - comments)

[...] Click Here To Read Original Post on SEO | SEM News [...]

By 7 Deadly Sins of Ad Copywriting to Avoid « Miami Beach Web Designer - November 8, 2010

[...] ineedhits [...]

By 7 Deadly Sins of Ad Copywriting to Avoid - November 9, 2010

[...] 7 Deadly Sins of Ad Copywriting to Avoid [...]

By 7 Deadly Sins of Ad Copywriting to Avoid « ONLINE CASHFLOW - November 9, 2010

No call to action! How will your customer know he can purchase from you with a simple click of the mouse if you don’t tell him, “CLICK HERE?”

By Angie Carroll - November 14, 2010

Also, proof-read your ads for typos, or you’ll look like a right jackass. Especially if you then include that ad in an article about how to write ads!

By Matt - November 18, 2010

Just finished reading the whole post – you even include it as number 6! Tsk, tsk!

By Matt - November 18, 2010

Thanks Courtney. So true about the bullet points and shorter sentences, not sure why but we humans love to consume text in small chunks.

By Shem, Flexisell - September 6, 2012

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