Average copy like this – which I just made up – is quite literally all over the internet, and it's a massive shame. Well, it's a massive shame if you're the company with the average copy. If you're a competitor with an amazing website and stunningly crafted web page content, it's great news all-round.
So, let's examine what's crap and lifeless about this copy (there's your first clue).
1: It couldn't be more generic: chocolate is exciting, dynamic, passionate stuff. Fantasies are made of it. In the world of confectionery, almost nothing else on Earth holds quite the same allure. The conclusion? It's a crime against chocolate – or whatever it is you happen to be selling – to let it down so badly.
2: Too many We's: without even having to count, chances are you'll have noticed that 3 sentences begin with We and We is an annoyingly frequent feature in this writing. What about the customer, for example? Aside from the fact that starting multiple sentences in the same way can be boring to read and can be perceived as a sign of amateur writing, it sounds self-centred. As a caring firm with customer service at the heart of what you do, you do not want that.
3: Shift in POV: while it's actually not a crime to shift POV amid writing any kind of copy, in this case it feels and looks wrong. Why? Because when we started reading the copy, it was in third-person, as if written by an authoritative third-party. A good start! Then, things went weird...in the second and third sentences, it changed back to first-person (as if written by an employee or owner) and in the fourth sentence...oh dear, it was sort of a harrowing mix of the two where the writer didn't know what they hell they were doing (there isn't enough time to examine how wrong that went here!). Confusing for the reader and strange – sort of like banging them over the head with half a brick or something. The problem for customers who read this is that they cannot always determine what is wrong about the copy. All they know is, something doesn't feel right and they are not compelled.
4: Too much bespoke: company owners who aren't experienced writers often have a habit of repeating themselves and being overly enthusiastic in all the wrong places. Wasting space with information the reader already knows (or very likely knows) is very bad news. At best people will find themselves mildly irritated. At worst, they'll think you think they're stupid.
5: Statements that cannot be backed-up: in this case, fictional company The Chocolate Fiend are chuffed to bits about being considered one of the UK’s leading bespoke chocolate makers. And so they should be! If you could see the fictional website that I haven't created showing their equally fictitious portfolio, you'd see that they have supplied many famous brands with bespoke chocolates. Well done The Chocolate Fiend! The problem is...this is the Homepage. The start of everything. The reader might already know that The Chocolate Fiend are well-respected and reputable, but at the same time – assuming we're talking about a medium-sized firm who don't advertise on TV and are not yet a household name – they very well might not. Had The Chocolate Fiend said they had won a recent and impressive bi-yearly award, the reader would have been intrigued from the start. It would have been instant credibility, and a very good thing.
Emphasis on the would...
6: Stating the bleedin' obvious, as Alan Sugar might say: highly trained staff? Possibly a little unnecessary considering the nature of the business the firm are in, but fair enough. Clunky sentences and poor quality writing aside, the same goes for describing what bespoke means. Chances are, if a consumer has arrived at your website and they're looking for bespoke chocolates, they're going to know what that's all about.
7: Lack of rhythm: rhythm is a very, very hard thing to quantify, let alone explain in writing. This is made even more complex thanks to the fact that patterns of rhythm in writing (the structure of sentences and how a reader interprets those stops and starts, if you want to get technical about it) are extremely elaborate and only an experienced writer can tell the difference between right and wrong and actually explain why it is right or wrong (and even that can sometimes be very hard). Rhythm matters in everything, from the work Christmas party when you're cornered and forced to disco-dance (no!), to talking on the phone. Balls the rhythm of your writing up and you're in big trouble. Hence, hiring me as your copywriter (yes, it's time to be a bighead) is an easy way to ensure that you not only sound human, but feel human to your reader, too!
8: Spelling mistakes. Nothing more needs to be said.
Looking to turn-around your web page content? Then all you have to do is get in touch.