Is Your Copy Clear or Confusing?

Confused man

One of the easiest ways to answer this question is by studying the behavior of your visitors.

While they may not be thinking about it, your visitors are constantly sending you subtle signals about the effectiveness of your website, from the time they spend on each page to the way they interact with your content, and more.

Let’s discuss what some of those signals are, why they may be happening and how you can adjust your approach to better align with your business goals.

High bounce rate

Unless the goal of your website is to quickly give users a specific piece of information (i.e. – a recipe, a quick answer to a question, etc), having a high bounce rate isn’t good.

While bounce can be related to a lot of different things — including page speed/load time, bad links, low-quality content, not being optimized for mobile, etc — poor, confusing or misleading copy can also be a contributing factor.

If you feel this may be the case for you, try updating the copy in the hero section of your page, as well as the Title Tag and/or Meta Description, as you want to ensure message match between the external link and the copy at the top of the landing page.

In addition, here are some simple copy rules you can follow for clearer, more effective copy:

✓ Be clear, not clever

✓ Get specific, not vague

✓ Use conversational copy, not jargon

✓ Keep sentences short & sweet, not clunky & long

✓ Use customer-centric copy, not feature-centric copy

If you need more tips on how to enhance your hero copy, check out this article I wrote in collaboration with Harry Dry of Marketing Examples.

Getting the wrong kind of leads

If you’re getting leads, but they’re not a good fit for your business, it’s very likely that your copy is confusing or unclear.

One way you can remedy this is by making it very clear who is a good customer for your product/services and who is not.

For example, adding a simple chart juxtaposing the difference between an “ideal” customer and a non-ideal customer, something like “We’re a great fit if…” and “We’re NOT a great fit if…” and so on.

You can even create a dedicated piece of content (i.e. blog post, landing page, free download, etc), like the example below:

Example of "self-qualifying" copy

Another way you can help to filter out ill-fitting leads is by including “barrier” information.

For example, a minimum price you require to work on a project, a specific time investment that’s required for a course, results people can expect (to filter out people who have wrong or unrealistic expectations), and so on.

Decent traffic, but poor conversion

If people are coming to your site, but not taking a desirable action (i.e. – subscribing, buying, etc), it’s very possible that your copy or UX could be the culprit.

If you look at your site and realize that you’re doing any (or all) of the following…

✗ Asking visitors to do too much

✗ Not asking visitors to do anything

✗ Not giving them a reason to read or take action

✗ Making it too difficult for them to find what they’re looking for

…Your copy and/or UX likely needs an update. If you’re tackling this on your own, make sure your updates follow some copywriting best practices, including:

✓ Focus on your “one reader” (the people from your target audience)

✓ Drive toward ONE primary call-to-action

✓ Use copy that grabs attention and engages the reader

✓ Make sure the most important content is near the top of the page and easy to find

Beyond copy, poor UX (including the arrangement of the content either on a specific page or across your entire website) could also be deterring conversions if the experience is not easy to navigate and as a result, visitors can’t find what they’re looking for.

If you suspect this may be the case, I would recommend getting in touch as your challenges may require more than just a quick fix:

Visitors ask the same questions over and over

If visitors are constantly chatting or emailing you with the same questions over and over again, I can almost guarantee you that there is a problem with your copy or your UX.

One tell-tale sign is the type of question visitors are asking. If you’re getting a lot of general questions, like…

  • What is this?
  • What do you do?
  • How does it work?
  • Who is it for?
  • How does this help me?
  • Why should I pay for this?
  • How is this better than (alternative)?
  • Where can I find (thing they’re looking for)?

…Poor, confusing, or even MISSING copy may be the problem.

If this sounds familiar to you, check out my article here or this one here which teach you how to translate these types of questions and how to adjust your copy and/or approach accordingly.

Visitors can’t find what they’re looking for

If visitors are bouncing quickly, asking “where can I find ____?” or if heatmaps are showing that they’re clicking around but ultimately leaving, it’s likely that both your copy and UX are part of the problem.

Why does this happen?

You may know what kind of content or products your customers are looking for, but you may not know how to arrange it in a way that’s easily discoverable, digestible, and persuasive enough to drive action.

It doesn’t matter if you have the most valuable content on the planet. If the information is not presented in an intuitive way, visitors either won’t find it or they’ll pass right by it.

Remember, you only have a few seconds to capture a visitor’s attention and get them to stay, so making sure you’re hooking them with engaging copy and the right information/content at the right time/location is crucial.

“My copy IS confusing! Now what?!”

You’re NOT alone.

The majority of the businesses I work with struggle with this exact challenge, so it’s nothing to be alarmed about and it’s certainly fixable.

If you’re on a budget, try implementing some of the tips I mentioned above and see how far you can get.

If you’re ready to invest in a website that’s more effective and optimized to deliver the results you’re looking for, reach out to me directly:

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