By Bonny Redman of Copy & Seek
What good is a website without quality content? Content is instrumental in determining how your website will perform. Get it right and good content can increase a website’s ranking in search engine results pages, as well as promote more engagement from website visitors.
Yet so often, content creation is pushed down on the priority list.
I get it – design and graphics is way more fun. Colour pallets, font styles, photoshoots – it’s a whole lot more visually appealing than words on a page. But it’s these words that will ultimately convert your readers into customers or clients.
And if you want to sales and not just readers – you need a copywriter.
First, the inevitable question…
So, what is a copywriter?
Put simply, a copywriter writes for businesses – every kind of writing a business could need. This could include sales copy, advertisements, emails, website copy, social media posts, blog articles – the list goes on.
Copywriting as a profession, has been around for decades, but it’s really only since the era of social media that everyone has decided they can be a DIY copywriter.
So now? Beautiful websites are too regularly parred with basic copy that is riddled with errors, inconsistent messaging and ‘babe’, exclamation marks and lengthy paragraphs.
Why invest in copywriting?
Writing your own copy isn’t the best use of your time. If you’re running a business, your time is valuable.
Outsourcing your copywriting needs will not only help free up your time, the copy will probably get done more quickly. A professional copywriter has the skills and experience to complete the work faster than you do. And honestly, won’t you feel relieved to have that task taken off your plate?
But what about the cost?
You may think you’re saving money in the long run, but beware: copywriting is not just stringing words together. So much more goes into creating copy that has value and impact.
Most of us can write, but few of us will become expert copywriters. It takes years of experience and a whole lot of strategy.
Try to DIY your copy and I guarantee your conversion rates are lower than if you were to invest.
Pay a professional copywriter? The results will pay for themselves.
But what if I’ve already invested in custom branding and web design?
Well it’s even more reason to invest in professional copy. Pictures and words go hand-in-hand. Pretty branding is nice (and important!), but it’s only half the picture. Without good copy, your investment in web design will be a waste.
Ok, so what should you like for when hiring a copywriter?
Here’s eight things you should do before signing the contract.
1. Check their website.
Look at their website copywriter services and determine if they fit your needs. See how she presents herself. Read her pages. Do you like her writing style? Do you feel a connection to her? You want to choose a copywriter who will not only craft exceptional website copy but will be someone you’ll enjoy working with, or the process will be difficult and stressful.
2. Ask to see samples.
Any website copywriter should be able to provide you with links to work they’ve completed. Do you like her writing samples? Is the copy easy to read? Is it engaging and persuasive? Does it make you want to take action? Be sure you’re reading the copywriter’s words and not just evaluating the websites on the basis of their design and pictures.
3. Google the website copywriter.
You might find articles or blog posts she’s written, which will give you more insights into their capabilities.
4. Ask for client testimonials.
Even though you’ll probably only find positive feedback, client comments will give you a better understanding of the writer’s strengths. If they has no testimonials to share, you can ask for client references.
5. Talk with the copywriter.
Ideally, you shouldn’t rely solely on email. You want the added communication value that comes through voice. Determine during the call if you feel the copywriter is listening and understanding your requirements. You’ll want to choose someone whose personality meshes with yours and who is as committed to creating quality work as you are.
6. Get a quote.
Copywriter fees are always a factor, so of course you’ll want to ask for their copywriter rates. However, price shouldn’t be your sole priority. Copywriting is one area in which you usually get what you pay for. Don’t try to save a few dollars on copy that ultimately won’t deliver the desired results.
7. Spell out the parameters of your project.
The best way to ensure that your expectations are met is to state them clearly or even put them into writing.
8. Trust the pro.
It’s hard, but you’ve hired a copywriter for a reason. Trust in their process.
In essence, you need a copywriter.
Powerful web copy seals the deal. It’s the words that sell. And when paired with quality design, they create your most persuasive marketing tool. So, 100% invest in your website’s look, feel and branding – but don’t skimp on the copy.
And please don’t DIY – I guarantee you’ll be knocking on a copywriter’s door in the future if you do. And I’ll be waiting.