Why hire a professional Copywriter when creating a new business website?
If like me, you don’t consider yourself a ‘techie’, you probably wouldn’t attempt to build your own website. You recognise that, whilst you could possibly give it a go, you lack the necessary skills to do the job properly. But we can all write, right? For this reason, many small and medium business owners are tempted to save a few dollars by writing their own website content. How hard can it be?
It’s true that no one knows your business better than you, but this doesn’t necessarily make you the best person to tell your story to today’s educated, discerning and time-poor online audiences. Even the most successful autobiographies are seldom completed without considerable input from a qualified and experienced editor. So, if you’re about to invest in a new website for your business, here are just a few reasons why you should include an allowance for a professional Copywriter:
1. Selling Your Sizzle
When describing your business, it’s easy to get bogged down with lengthy explanations about what your company does, rather than the benefits it offers to prospective customers. In marketing speak, this is referred to as ‘selling the sausage rather than the sizzle’. A professional Copywriter, particularly one qualified in marketing, will take the time to understand your business, industry and target audience and communicate in a way that resonates with your intended market. In other words, they’ll sell your ‘sizzle’.
If a potential client is taking the time to review your website before committing to working with you, it’s your opportunity to persuade them to take the next step. By communicating what you do in a way that eliminates doubt and clearly reinforces the value you offer over others, you will maximise your chances of taking the relationship further.
Search Engine Optimisation – yes, that old chestnut! Your new website could be the sexiest and most technically advanced in your industry but, without appropriate content, it may be invisible to search engines, making it also invisible to your prospective customers. Whilst search engine algorithms do factor in the back-end of a website, it is largely the content that determines how it will perform on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Insufficient, duplicated or plagiarised content, as well as over-use of keywords, are just a few examples of miscalculations that can significantly harm your site’s ability to be well regarded by search engines.
A good Copywriter will populate your website with the right amount of your own, original content whilst appropriately incorporating relevant keywords in a way that informs and engages users and also satisfies search engines.
Businesses with exclusive product lines, patented technologies or niche offerings may find it relatively simple to communicate their unique selling proposition. Most businesses, however, operate in competitive markets characterised by highly transient customer bases. In these instances, it’s important to clearly articulate the reasons why prospective clients should choose your product or service over those of your competitors.
An experienced Copywriter will take the time to understand your organisation’s offering, as well as those of your competitors, in order to really highlight your key points of difference. Furthermore, because many of us were raised believing it improper to ‘toot your own horn’, an objective and independent third party is often able to do a much better job of selling your value than you yourself.
4. Recognising the Woods and the Trees
You live and breathe your business every day so it’s easy to assume that certain aspects of what you do are self-explanatory. That is, being so close to your business may result in unawareness that prospective customers are asking questions which are not being answered on your website. As an outsider looking in, a professional Copywriter can assess your business with fresh eyes. Placing themselves in the minds of your potential customers, the Copywriter can brainstorm the sorts of questions they believe customers will ask themselves before taking the next step with you and ensure the answers are clearly reflected in your content.
5. Connecting with Your Audience
Whether you are targeting consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B), it’s imperative your copy is carefully crafted to resonate with its readers. To do this, your content should demonstrate a sound understanding of your audience, their unique circumstances and what’s important to them. It should also build credibility, trust and clearly communicate how working with your business will assist the reader or their organisation.
If your business targets several different audiences, you may benefit from creating multiple landing pages which individually speak to the various segments of your market. Landing pages not only enable you to tailor messages, special offers and information gathering to the needs of different types of customers but can also positively impact your search engine rankings.
6. Correct Spelling and Grammar
How many websites, blogs, articles or social media posts have you been reading only to be distracted from the key message by annoying spelling or grammatical mistakes? Faced with the online community’s unquenchable thirst for new and trending information, it can be tempting to hurriedly upload your content without performing the necessary proofing. Whilst we are all human and can all make mistakes, when you’re relying on your content to make a great first impression, spelling and grammatical errors are not a good look! Though they might seem insignificant to you, to your potential customers, these mistakes may convey carelessness, a lack of attention to detail or even incompetence.
Professional Copywriters generally take great pride in what they do and, as such, make time to carefully proof their work. This ensures your messages are presented in the best possible light and free from distracting errors.
7. Fluff ‘n Stuff
In the online world, so much has been written about the importance of search engine rankings that it’s easy to focus entirely on attracting visitors to your website without giving your content the attention it deserves. Some experts maintain that more than half of all website visitors will leave a site in as little as 10 seconds unless they find something to pique their interest. Therefore, the window of opportunity to capture the imagination of your reader is incredibly small.
If your website is populated with ‘fluff’, that is, keyword-stuffed, uninteresting content used in an attempt to boost rankings, this will create a pretty negative user experience. A great Copywriter maintains focus on creating content for your readers, not search engines. This type of copy is designed to inform and engage your readers, keeping them on your site longer which, some research suggests, can also benefit your search engine rankings.
8. ‘Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing’
Whether it was Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Hood or Ernest Hemingway who popularised this phrase many decades ago, its truth today is no less valid. Creating good content that’s easy to read, holds your attention and flows well is no mean feat. Likewise, hastily cobbled together prose can be damn hard to read!
If you find yourself effortlessly scrolling though a website and thinking ‘this all seems pretty straightforward’, spare a thought for the fact that the author has most likely spent countless, over-caffeinated hours glued to a screen, pulling their hair out and continually tweaking their work until it’s just right. If writing were easy, many more of us would be published authors, spending a couple of hours a day on the laptop and the rest of our time kicking back on a beach watching the royalties roll in.
As a small business owner, your time is already stretched so it’s worth saving yourself the time and effort involved with writing your own content by engaging a professional Copywriter. Given your content will play such an integral role in delivering both positive user experiences and strong search engine performance, in the overall scheme of your web-development budget, it’s a small investment to make.
Learn more about the Brugel copywriting services here.
Tamara is a freelance Copywriter specialising in small to medium business websites.