Copywriting tip – How to really annoy your customers

Keeping customers sweet is one of the main goals of website copywriting, usually by giving them valuable information. Logically then, the best way to annoy someone and ensure they don’t become a customer, is to fail to provide the information they want.

A man who has been angered by dishonest website copy

Dishonest keyword optimisation and dodgy website copy could leave your customers feeling like this

The “Demo Scam”

Perhaps the most infuriating example of failing to provide accurate information up front is what I call the “Demo Scam”. To see it in action, try Googling for an item of free software to perform a specific task, such as “free video converter software”. You can almost guarantee that the top 5 results link through software tools which will do the job admirably. Unfortunately they are also unlikely to be free.

These webpages have been keyword optimised for the term “free video converter software”, but the actual download is for a 30-day demo. This optimisation means that even experienced Googlers who try to exclude demo software from their results by using keyword switches (with a query like “free video converter software -demo”) will still end up on these pages.

Worse still, the landing page may not clearly reference the time-limited nature of the download. The website visitor has been tricked into visiting the website with a promise (free software) that will not be honoured. The visitor is then forced to “work” to find that information for themselves – another no-no for website copywriting.

For the website owner, attracting visitors in this way seems reasonable because:

  • It increases website traffic
  • The visitor may decide to purchase the product after reading about the product features and benefits

The reality is:

  • As soon as the visitor realises your website is not offering what was promised, they’re off to a competitor instead
  • By making and breaking a promise within seconds, your brand immediately loses credibility and trust
  • No matter how good your website copy is, no one will buy in these circumstances

The temptation to lure visitors to your website through dodgy keyword optimisation is strong. The more visitors to your site, the greater the chance of making a sale. But like most shortcuts, the long term cost outweighs any short term benefits. It is essential that your website copy is concise, accurate and only makes promises on which your business can deliver.

If you need help with your own website or blog, Tech Write’s copywriting services could be just what you need. Send me a message today to find out more.