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There are a few common issues companies face in their digital marketing that go beyond poor marketing. They also limit cash flows.

In this episode:

  • 0:22 – Overview: The 5 common issues
  • 0:47 – Issue #1: Headlines
  • 1:18 – The power of headlines, according to copywriting legend David Ogilvy
  • 1:42 – Issue #2: First Person Copy
  • 2:15 – Example of bad copy
  • 3:00 – 3 Simple steps to make your copy work for you
  • 3:45 – Issue #3: Lead Generation
  • 4:10 – Example of good and bad forms
  • 5:10 – Issue #4: Social Proof
  • 6:30 – Issue #5: Visual Flow


The issues are poor headline use, first person copy, no lead generation or capture, weak social proof, and a lack of visual flow. We’re going to look at each briefly, see what they’re all about, discuss how they are used properly and improperly, and understand why we want to get it right.

First we have headlines. Think of the last time you held a newspaper – what did you do? Your eyes scan the page and look at the titles of each article, searching for something to jump out and grab you. If nothing does, you skip to the next page. Now what does that mean for your business? If your website has weak headlines when a prospect lands on your page, they’re going to jump back over to Google and find the next options, which is probably one of your competitors.

Copywriting and advertising legend David Ogilvy once said:

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Imagine the potential that means for your business. If you could get more people just read your headline and want to move on to read the rest of the body copy about whatever you offer, following that headline.

That moves us to our next subject: first person copy. This is essentially the “me, me, me” approach to communication. I wouldn’t blame anyone for this, because most of us are taught to speak this way for whatever reason. But, it isn’t best for our business. Just look at the “About Us” page. These are prime examples of this. As the prospect, we don’t care about facts like how old the business is or how many employees they have. They might seem interesting and might be telling a story, but unless it is really riveting and connects with the prospect and what they are seeking to get in their interaction, you’re really wasting their time and they will try to find someone else who can provide them information they seek in a more timely manner.

I’ll give you 3 simple steps to make your copy work for you. First, make sure you’re talking in a language your prospect understands. It could mean avoiding jargon and industry lingo; or, it could mean just adding personality to whatever you write. Second, don’t brag about your qualifications. Instead, focus on what you can do for your customers and the benefits they receive. Finally, avoid making it all about you. Be wary of saying “us” and “we”. Try to phrase your writing with “you” and “your”. Make it customer-oriented.

The next topic is lead generation. As a business, you know the importance of leads. Leads are vital for your continued growth and profitability as a business. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to generate leads online. We often make attempts by adding “contact us” forms, but these fall short. Let’s look at a common example. We have massive forms with a ton of variables, and no greater call-to-action than “contact us”. It’s daunting, it wastes their time, and it wastes your time. Fewer fields would make it more attractive, easier to read, and return more results for you.

Let’s look at good examples, also. You start with a great, big headline. Something that offers value like a free quote or free information that a customer would be seeking. You get the basic information that you need and you finish it with an attractive button, not something that just says “submit”. The difference between these two types of forms extend far beyond the visual appearance. Companies see a difference between 25% to over 1,000% in lead conversion, just by making adjustments such as this.

Social proof is next. It’s the thing that builds your credibility and trust online. Now, you might think of your customers and say, “they don’t really need this; they already know who we are in the industry – that’s all that maters.” In reality, everyone is fighting to be more credible and be seen as the industry leader. The fight never ends.

There’s a couple of different ways you can look at social proof. The first is “expert opinion”. This is where a credible expert or industry leader authority gives approval of your business and offerings. The second is “user social proof”. This is where the customer provides approval of your work. You might see this through testimonials, case studies, or reviews. And finally, there’s crowd social proof. For this one, think of something like Facebook. Social proof is born out of 100’s of followers and their activities with your company. Whatever form works for you, and it might be a combination, the point is to leverage others’ opinions about your business and doing so in a credible and honest way.

Finally, we will briefly discuss “visual flow”. There are many elements to visuals on a website. It goes beyond just pretty looking designs. We know an ugly website when we see one, but do we know one that has an actual, visual flow?

One example of this is in the “F-Layout”. You can see in the image (on video at 7:00), our eyes start at the top-left where our logo most likely is. Then, they first carry over to the right across the page. Then we jump down to position #3, just below where we started. Again, we go through about 3/4 of the page to the right. Then, our eyes continue to carry down the rest of the page.

Now this seems kind of simple, but it is pretty important when you’re trying to help your visitors navigate through your website so they don’t have difficulty trying to buy your product or service. You make it as easy as possible for them and then sales happen. That is something we all know, but this can be an element we overlook.

Those are the 5 common issues with websites that may be causing you to lose profits, lose leads, and hinder you being the industry leader in your field. I hope I helped you become aware of these issues and get ideas on how you can change things to help your business. If you found this helpful, please share this with others in your organization or network.



David J. Bradley is the Best Selling author of Getting Digital Marketing Right and Managing Director of Primal Digital Marketing. He is an entrepreneur dedicated to the growth of his clients, his team, and himself. To learn more about David, click here.