10 Reasons Why People Aren’t Reading Your Website Copy

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Whenever I’m scrolling through one of the Marketing-related Facebook groups I’m apart of, I always save interesting posts for later to a folder called ‘Work’ with the (empty) promise of sifting through the comments.

This morning, while I was procrastinating and avoiding my chores (who the hell wants to spend their morning washing windows?) it occurred to me that I’ve literally never looked at what I’ve saved, so I headed over to Facebook to see what Past Me was interested in reading more about.

As soon as I came across a post asking “what types of things do you HATE to see on websites?” I knew the responses had to be made public ASAP. I can’t let you guys go on with your lives without knowing this info! Keep reading to learn the 10 things that people hate to see when they click on a website.

“Unnecessary clicking to get to what I want”

Please, for the love of God, don’t make it hard for your reader to do anything. It should be painfully easy for them to contact you, read more about you, learn what your services are (and at least a general idea of how much they are), and — if applicable, of course — pay you.

“Excessive ads”

This one drives me up a freaking wall. There’s nothing worse than trying to read a blog post with 17 colorful, moving ads trying to grab your attention from the sidebar or the footer. And if it’s a video pop-up ad? Forget it. I’m clicking out of your website and never returning. Plus (and here’s the real tea) website ads don’t even offer a good payout unless you have hundreds of thousands of views—so, for the average website, they’re not worth pissing off your readers.

“A hard-to-find contact form”

Making your contact form hard to find is quite literally leaving money on the table. I’m a huge proponent of having a contact form, or at least a hyperlink / call-to-action button to directing to contact, on every single page of your website. You never want to make it difficult for someone to reach out to you — especially if you’re a service provider hoping for new leads to come in from your site.

Related: The 5 Questions Your Homepage Should Answer

“Pop-ups that are hard to click out of”

OMG. Cringe. This one feels so shady to me. You know the ones this commenter is talking about, right? Instead of a normal pop-up, they put the tiniest little “X” in the top corner, practically hidden from plain sight, making the viewer feel like the only way out is to sign up for whatever lead magnet they’re pushing. Honestly, borderline unethical.

“Not being able to immediately tell what the business actually does”

When I read this person’s comment — “I have to be a detective to figure it out.” — I felt that in my soul. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a website and feeling like a freaking Private Investigator trying to discover what they even do. Consider this your sign to make sure what you do, who you are, and who you help is abundantly clear to your reader on the homepage of your website.

“Having to scroll forever for the recipe!”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by a recipe blogger you found on Pinterest. (Both of my hands are sky-high, to be clear.) Please, I’m begging, someone tell me why I have to read about how someone’s grandmother discovered raspberry jam, which season I’m supposed to be eating muffins, how to crack an egg, the best place to buy a whisk, why avocado oil spray is better than Crisco grease, and 14,000 other things before I can access the freaking recipe.

By the time I scroll to the bottom of the page, I don’t even remember what I wanted to cook. If you’re a recipe blogger reading this post right now, please do us all a favor and add the coveted “jump to recipe” button to the top of your post.

“Giant blocks of poorly-written text”

Yikes. Haven’t we all realized by now that people only like content that is easily digestible? I see this issue in email marketing a lot, too — people often forget how much mobile optimization matters. When you’re adding copy to your website, you should always consider three things:

  1. The reader’s attention span.

  2. How it’s going to look on mobile.

  3. Whether or not you actually need all that text.


“Lack of information!”

Double yikes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you only have eleven seconds (!!!) to capture your reader’s attention.

If those 11 seconds are spent searching high and low for the information they want, only to come up with nothing, you can kiss that viewer goodbye. Click here to download my (free!) checklist of exactly what to include on your homepage so this doesn’t happen to you!

“Things misspelled”

If you know me at all, you know how much this one irks me. I simply *can’t* with people who don’t proofread. Your website is your business’s virtual home, and one of the most important representations of your brand. If you can’t put in the time to make sure everything is presented correctly, how can people trust you to pay enough attention to detail in the work they’re contracting you for?

“Obvious, cringe-y stock photos”

Tea! I can always tell when I’m looking at a stock photo from the first page of a free stock website. It’s like they didn’t even try to find a good one.

(Side note: if you’re feeling self-conscious about your stock photos now, check out Haute Stock — they’ll save your life with thousands of stock photos that look stock-y.)

So, how many times did you think “OMG, same, that’s so annoying!” when you read this post?! At the very least, I think we can all agree that it should be a crime to not include the ‘jump to recipe’ button on Pinterest.

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to SAVE it for later!

And if you’re feeling self-conscious about your website now… don’t worry! I’ve got your back. You can book a website copy audit with me here if you want to go over your site with a professional (hi—me!), or if you want to forego the whole ‘write my website myself’ thing, I can help with that, too.

If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:

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To get in touch with me directly, send me a DM or email sara@betweenthelinescopy.com. Have a great day!

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Hi, I'm Sara—Website Copywriter & Marketing Mentor.

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