We were talking with a new client about copywriting this morning and I thought I'd blog about that a little.
First, the reason for most site launch delays is not getting copy. Not many people like to write copy. I don't mind blogging but writing good copy is not as easy. Website copy has to be concise, scannable and get to the point quickly.
Second, the amount of copy on a web page is important. People don't want to sit at a website and read a novel. They're looking for something and want to find it - plain and simple.
Third, the copy needs to be good. It can't be boring. It should be compelling and persuade. Not doing this is like having a salesperson that talks and talks but doesn't ever ask for the sale. That person would quickly be out of a job, right? Business owners often don't put the same kind of emphasis on web page copy.
What helps us, as website designers, is to have the copy done as we're doing design and planning the site. With the hundreds of projects we've done, I think that only happened once so we obviously don't require it. Sometimes as the copy is being written, the structure of the site changes. The process of copywriting will often uncover something that was not taken into effect when the site was first planned. So the copy often dictates the blueprints of the website in some ways. It would make the most sense to have those blueprints correct from the get go, right?
Some of the most successful websites we create are the ones that have copywriters hired. What this does is a few things. First, it puts all the text in your site in a singular voice (consistency). Second, the copywriter is someone that's not a part of your business, so they can offer an "outside in" view of your business. Since your customers are also outside your company, it just makes sense that the copy be written that way as well... right? Third, if you get a good copywriter, they can often add in some marketing experience.
If you want your website to be even more successful then just don't hire a copywriter but also do some competitive analysis. This process of researching your competition will reveal new strategies that will help you convert more sales on your website. You'll find strategies that you would not have thought of and you'll pick up good ideas from your competitors as well. A few of our clients have done this and their sites do really well. My motto is, "you only get out of something what you put into it" and you could add that you often get a lot more out of it.
So don't overlook the copy on your website. If you're not a copywriter, then hire one and enjoy all the benefits. Your website is a salesperson, so make sure it has the right words and gets the job done.