About the Author: Lianna Patch is a copywriter and editor from New Orleans, LA, specializing in web content, arts coverage, and humor your mom wouldn’t get. More at www.theenglishmaven.com.
How better to get feedback on your new site than to ask a copywriter + editor? Colin recruited me to take a look at 52businesses.com and write a blog post review of the site copy—so here goes.
Content and Relevance
All of the site copy pertains to 52businesses and its mission, so A-plus there. As the team builds more businesses, the content on the site will (hopefully) grow accordingly.
Right now, the blog seems like the most robust part of the site, which is great, because this is a project that deserves lots of documentation. The every-so-often updates from Destination Hackathon are a nice touch, and putting a face on 52Businessses by introducing the founders and interns is also an excellent idea.
52Businesses is a serious idea with a playful execution—or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the team’s enthusiasm comes through in its writing.
There’s also a little audience targeting going on, whether intentional or not. Casually tossed-around phrases like “killer tourism industry innovation” and “huge disruptive potential” make it clear that this endeavor is not aimed at your grandpa, or even your mom.
Readability (the Nitty-Gritty)
On a sentence level, the copy could be tighter. There’s some messy sentence construction, particularly on the “About” page, where several sentences contain more than one idea.
Here and there, copy errors can interfere with reader understanding, like the suggestion that readers “Stay tuned for live updates from straight Bob” in the Week 2 blog post. I imagine that this sentence was supposed to read “straight from Bob,” but at first glance, it made me think that maybe there are two team members named Bob who are identified by sexual orientation.
Paragraphs could be broken down more to make pages and posts easier to read. Most online readers tend to skim, so placing important information on a line of its own is always a good practice.
I also noticed some random capitalization, dash, and comma use, but that probably just bothers me because fixing that stuff is part of my job.
Call to Action
This was the biggest issue I found on the site—or actually didn’t find. Great copy includes a solid call to action: something that urges the reader to take the next step. A call to action answers the questions: Why does what we’re offering matter to our reader? What will they get out of taking that step?
Besides the site footer, which has an email signup box, there seems to be only one call to action on 52businesses.com. It’s at the bottom of the “About” page, but you’d never know unless you looked for it.
The call to action is meek (“Please follow our journey” doesn’t exactly set a fire under my chair) and buried at the end of a paragraph. I’d change it to something that clearly explains the benefit of keeping up with 52businesses, and emphasizing it within the text.
I don’t think any of the things I’ve touched on above will keep 52businesses from success. Instead, they’re opportunities to improve the impact of an already intriguing idea.
So, “please follow” 52businesses! And by that, I mean: Strap in for a wild ride on a big bus.