5 Mistakes that Make Your Copy Sound Spammy

When a new visitor lands on your website, what’s their reaction? Does your website instantly gain their trust? Or does it have the opposite effect: causing the visitor to think you’re a spammer who’s going to rip them off?

A lot of this will be determined by the copy on your website. If your website copy includes the mistakes in the list below, you’ll look like a spammer, and visitors won’t convert into customers.

1. Using spammy words—There are certain words that immediately set off the spam alarm. Limit your use of words like:

  • Amazing
  • Secret
  • Free
  • Millions
  • Opportunity
  • Winner
  • Prizes
  • All New
  • Bonus

2. Having a lot of exclamation points!!!—Nothing screams “scam!” like excessive punctuation. If your copy is littered with dozens of exclamation points, you’ll instantly scare off a lot of new visitors. Contrary to what some people believe, exclamation points don’t make your copy more exciting or interesting. Truly interesting copy doesn’t need to rely on cheap punctuation tricks to make it more compelling.

While we’re on the subject of excessive punctuation, another thing that drives me nuts is the overuse of ellipses. I understand that…ellipses can create a…a more conversation pace…but when you overuse them…it gets annoying…and it looks kind of…spammy.

3. Telling a way-too-good-to-be-true story—We’ve all come across landing pages where the author tells some remarkable story about how the product being sold helped changed his life forever. You see this a lot with supplements, like weight loss pills. The stories always sound way too good to be true, and instead of convincing you to buy the product, they actually raise your B.S. detectors, causing you to get too wary to place an order.

Make no mistake. Stories can be very powerful sales tools. Some of the most famous sales letters of all time used stories to suck readers in and to convert them into customers. However, if your story just isn’t believable at all, it won’t convert readers…it’ll scare them away and ruin your image.

4. Colorized text—Another technique used on a lot of the spammier landing pages is to use different font colors throughout the copy. You’ll see red headlines, important phrases throughout the copy bolded in blue text, and everything else written in black. It looks absolutely terrible from a design perspective, and it instantly feels like spam. I can say with 100% confidence that I’ve never purchased a product from a website that uses the colorized text trick.

5. Stuffing it with keywords—You don’t see this as much as you did in the early days of SEO, but it still happens fairly often. Amateur SEO copywriters will stuff their copy so full of keywords that it’s virtually impossible for a human to read. If your copy reads like this…

Our Houston bike shop is the best Houston bike shop in Houston. Come stop by our Houston bike shop for all your cycling needs. Our Houston bike shop is cheaper than other Houston bike shops, and it features a wider selection than any other Houston bike shop

…then you’re guilty of keyword stuffing. The best SEO copy is copy that pleases both the search engines and your human visitors. It integrates the keywords seamlessly into the content, so that the human isn’t even aware that your page is optimized for the search engines.

Is your copy guilty of these mistakes?

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  • You cover some interesting points. Some of them I definitely agree with. But I'm interested to know; when you say 'spammy', does it really matter? I mean, does it make people bounce out of your article quicker or cause you followers, or to lose sales? Did you split test different ideas to arrive at your conclusions, or is this just your opinion of something that you don't like?

  • True.. There is a tendency, when writing marketing articles, to be overenthusiastic and made such mistakes. But I think lot of common people fell victims as customers with such websites also..