5 Web Writing Mistakes You Need to Fix in 2018

December 12, 2017
emily amos

Readers are becoming more and more selective with their content online. To stand out, your web writing needs to be bulletproof, and really speak to the needs of your reader.

Businesses may think they’re creating their best web writing, but in reality they’re making common mistakes that cause readers to click away from their website.

2018 is your year to fine-tune your web writing and create the best online content your readers have ever seen from you. Keep reading to find the most common writing mistakes businesses are making online.

Repeating words or sentences

We tend to repeat words we’re most comfortable with. Where a paragraph seems natural to you, it could sound repetitive and unnecessary to your readers. At times, it may be hard to avoid repeating words in your web writing because of the topic you’re covering. In this case, have one or two synonyms you can alternate between so that you don’t have the same word showing up several times in one paragraph.

Adding words and sentences as “filler”

In school, we were encouraged to use unnecessary words or sentences to meet a minimum word count. With web writing, this cannot be the way you write online for your business. Readers have short attention spans, and they’re already experiencing content overload. This means that every word and sentence you place in a blog post or in your website copy needs to have a clear purpose, and be effective.

The goal is to get your point across in as few words as possible. Anything that doesn’t support this goal should be scratched.

Misspelling or misusing words

Nothing looks more unprofessional than misspelled words in a piece of web writing. This reflects poorly on your brand in several ways, as it gives readers the impression that:

  • you don’t care enough to proof your work
  • you’re not as knowledgeable as you say you are

Proof, proof and proof some more. You can’t rely entirely on spellcheck to be your content editor. Print off a copy of your blog post or copy, and read it aloud a couple times. When you’re able to read through the piece without finding a single error, you’re likely safe. It also doesn’t hurt to have another set of eyes to proof your web writing, so send it to a team member, colleague or friend for a final thumbs-up.

Misusing punctuation

Especially when reading online, it is more important than ever to use the proper punctuation. Readers often skim over paragraphs, sometimes only picking up a sentence here or there. If punctuation is misplaced, it can interrupt your reader’s experience when browsing through your content. It can even change the meaning of your sentence to a point where it says something entirely different to your audience.

Punctuation is just another necessary tool to ensure that your content is communicating as clearly as possible to your readers, and getting your point across as best you can.

Using large or vague words

While we may think using bigger words gives readers the impression we’re professional and intelligent, it’s simply not practical when communicating to online readers. Using large or vague words usually indicates that the writer is creating content for themselves, and not for their reader.

It is also worth noting that attention spans online are getting shorter and shorter. An easier read means you’re more likely to keep your visitor browsing your content and website. If they find it more difficult than it needs to be, they’ll click away from your site and find other content—because it’s out there. You have plenty of competition, so don’t make your web writing harder than it needs to be for readers.

Are you guilty of making any of these online writing mistakes? Are there any I forgot? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Download our FREE checklist: Web Content Evaluation ChecklistThis checklist will help you determine whether your content is clear, compelling and concise

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