4 time-beaten phrases to avoid in your web copy

2 min read

As you sit quietly reading these lines, a business owner has just decided to save a few quid by writing their own web copy.

Brimming with confidence and cheap coffee, they splatter their screen with words and phrases primed to knock readers sideways.

Innovative – BOSH! Dedicated – BASH! Reliable – DOUBLE BASH! Any minute now, the office phone’s going to ring with more enquiries than one could ever handle, right?

Well, not quite. Because unbeknown to their keyboard-tapping fingertips, they’ve just produced the same ol’ generic guff you’ll find on most business websites.

In fact, I’m willing to bet you my Deluxe Travel Scrabble set they’ve used meaningless phrases just like these…

1. Whatever you need, we can help

Aah, the ‘whatever you need’ line. It’s the kinda thing you’d say to a grieving friend, not to someone shopping for a USB cigarette lighter.

I mean, are you really going to help me with anything? Because if you are, I’ve got a lavatory that’s seen better days. Rubber gloves included.

2. We are dedicated to your success

Dedicated? That’s a little strong, isn’t it? Honeybees, Arctic terns and German shepherds are dedicated, not a used-car dealer looking to empty my purse on first encounter.

It has that too-much-too-soon feel, doesn’t it? Like whoever wrote the copy drank a bathtub of caffeine before putting pen to paper.

3. We’re a friendly and reliable team

By using bargain-bucket words like ‘friendly’ and ‘reliable’, you’re inadvertently planting seeds you’re the exact opposite.

It’s like when a kid says “it wasn’t me” you know full well it was. The same psychology is at play here. That’s why it’s best to leave out the obvious stuff and get on with saying things your customers really want to hear – like how you can improve their lives.

4. Your global solutions provider

If there was ever a phrase fit for the scrapheap, it’s this one. A couple of things here. First off, ‘global’ – it’s a little vaintastic (new word), no? A bit smugalicious (another new word).

The only reason to justify why it’s used is to compensate for the water-weak word that follows: solutions. A copywriter’s kryptonite. Every product or service in existence is a solution. I’m off for a walk.

Tom Davies is a freelance copywriter based in Brighton.

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