I’m constantly amazed by the amount of money businesses are willing to throw at web design. To be clear, I’m not suprised, but I am still amazed. Especially in the context of what that money buys them. Generally speaking, web design companies are skilled in two or three areas. Be that back end programming, front end management or graphic design. Which means the site’s copywriting is left up to the owner. Some businesses will then attempt to write the copy themselves, others will hire professionals. Unless you have a professional copywriter on staff, the latter is always the best option. Here’s why.
Because If You’re An SEO Bot – Copy Is Life
You could spend $10,000 on a shiny new website that literally makes you breakfast, but it’s all for nought if your copy isn’t right. Why? Because the Google gods do not assess the visual design when deciding how high to rank your site on searches. They assess structure and copy. Here’s a (simplified) hit list of what the bots who crawl your site look for:
- Bolded and Italicised words.
- Repeated keywords relevant to the business’ industry.
- Links to other sites.
- Ease of access.
- How regularly the site is updated.
This is why blogs are so popular and effective when it comes to SEO. Because they enable your site to combine most of those techniques into each post.
Because Proper Consideration Of Audience Matters
Many business owners will attempt to write the copy for their website themselves in an effort to tighten the purse strings. Which is their prerogative. But let me assure you, the difference between amateur and professional copywriting stands out. For someone untrained as writer, it may not be obvious. But professional copywriters don’t work with the conscious mind, they work with the unconscious. They craft their writing in a way that will subconsciously appeal to the reader. I could tell you how we do it, but then I’d have to kill you. I will say this though – it starts by identifying an audience. If you set out to write anything without and audience in mind, it’s equivalent to throwing 100 kilograms of weight into your backpack before you try and climb Everest. You’re setting yourself up to fail.
Because audience should dictate to tone and language. The business owner who tries to write the copy for their site themselves, inevitably writes what they’d want to hear. But that is silly. Because their website isn’t there for their enjoyment – it’s there for their potential clients and customers. For businesses, especially small businesses, websites are a form of advertising. If you don’t believe that, you shouldn’t bother having one.
Because Copywriters Understand Language
“Ending a sentence with a proposition is something up with which I will not put!” – Winston Churchill
You know all those lessons at high school about past participles and prepositions that you yawned your way through? Those were our favourite days. And that stuff is really important when you’re trying to appeal to an audience. Any trained writer understands how to mould language around a topic whilst considering what target audience want to hear. For example, if a site’s target audience is young adults, mild profanity and slang will be acceptable. You may not like the idea of it, but if that’s your target audience, that’s what you need to consider. If, however, the target is retirees, then proper english must be maintained at all times.
That’s why professional copywriters are so valuable. Because they can easily slip in and out of writing styles and topics.
Because They’re Fast
The average office worker’s keyboard skills are more than acceptable. Typing has become second nature these days. And that’s great. But there’s a big difference between being able to type something fast and being able to properly craft a piece of writing quickly. If you assign the writing of blog posts to someone on your staff, chances are they’ll need a whole morning to get a 600 word post right. A copywriter can produced polished copy within the hour. Time is money, right?
Because Almost All Web Design Trends Rely On Good Copy
At the end of the day, you need copywriters in your life. Hire one to help administrate your website, or even to put one on staff. Either way, if you want your website to achieve its goals of effectively communicating with your sites visitors, your copy has to be first class. You could employ all the tricks of User Experience (UX) web design for your site. But when push comes to shove, they’ll have to read something on your site eventually. And when they do, that’s the tipping point. Your copy will either keep them moving through your site toward engagement or it will turn them away.