What Does it Mean to Write Website Copy?
It can be tempting, when redesigning your website, to try and write your own copy. After all, you’re already footing the bill for a web designer. Creating the content — the actual words on the page — is another expense to bear.
But trying to write your copy yourself can cost you more in the long run. The short term gain may harm your business. Content marketing is largely contextual, and experienced copywriters work in tandem with website designers to create a compelling experience for visitors.
Here are a few reasons why writing your own website copy is a bad idea:
Writing Your Own Copy Requires Time and Energy
Most websites have 6 or more individual pages. Some have as many as 15, with a mixture of short and long-form contextual content. That’s a lot of copy to write, especially for someone who isn’t accustomed to the task.
Not only does creating so much content take a lot of time, there needs to be a sense of cohesiveness throughout each of the pages. Your brand is expressed through words just as much as it is through colors, logo, and design. If the content doesn’t flow or make sense, you’ll hurt your credibility. The energy that goes into not just writing the initial drafts, but checking them for cohesiveness, flow, and continuity is often lost on someone who isn’t a professional content creator.
Remember: Every minute you spend trying to write your own content is a minute you spend away from the tasks you’re best at.
Copywriting is a Science and an Art-Form
Just because you received an A in English class, that doesn’t mean you’re equipped to write a persuasive website that is true to the brand’s voice. A well-written website takes visitors on a journey, guiding them to take specific actions. Any copywriter worth their salt will be well-informed on persuasive guidelines, contextual content, and compelling calls-to-action.
A qualified copywriter is able to create a brand story and weave the voice of the brand with the strategy of the visitor experience. This isn’t easily done and requires a firm grasp of not only language, but marketing strategies as well.
The Content Needs to Fit the Design
When creating contextual content for your business, it needs to fit within the content outline created by the designer. This means paying close attention to things like character counts, headers, subheaders, and image placement. If you don’t have experience creating content in the context of a wireframed website, you’ll actually make the web design agency’s job more difficult.
Typically, an agency will create an information architecture that states what should be present in each section of the website. Deviating from this architecture means the finished website will not look as polished or professional. The result is that the agency spends more time smoothing out flaws, or cannot use the copy provided. And if your budget doesn’t allow for multiple phone call walkthroughs of how to create content, you may find yourself in a tough situation.
What to do Instead of Writing Your Own Copy
Instead of creating your own contextual content, work with the agency to see if they are able to provide the copy as well as the design. Many agencies provide content creation as a service, right alongside website design. If this isn’t the case, start a conversation with the agency to see if they have a referral network. Odds are, they will put you in contact with a content creator who is experienced with your type of project.
Setting aside a piece of your budget for content creation makes the entire website design process far smoother. It means your site will be up and running more quickly, and it will be more likely to convert visitors into paying clients.
For more information about how to create a cohesive website with the best UX and optimized copy, contact our Creative team to get started.