In the innovative world of website design and development, where the emphasis usually rests on the creation of eye-catching and brand specific visual images, an often overlooked component of successful online marketing strategies is the written word. Nothing saps the enthusiasm out of a graphic designer faster than the prospect of having to accommodate written text on a beautifully constructed and visually appealing webpage. Yet, like the design and layout of a website, the written copy is an integral part of a company's ability to successfully market itself online.
A website is first and foremost a visual medium, and as such, companies rightly focus on their site's overall aesthetic. For many business owners and marketing professionals, written content is a secondary concern in that it need only convey the basic aspects of the company's products and services. Good website copy should effectively and efficiently describe a company's product and service packages, but it can and should do much more.
Frequently, the expectation is that good copy will "get out of the way" of a website's graphical content. This idea revolves around the notion that most website visitors quickly scan pages in a few seconds and that pleasing images leave positive impressions in the minds of potential customers. The belief is that target individuals who scan websites for key words or phrases generally do not invest in more thorough reviews of the written content. As a result, many believe that the copy need not be marketable. While brevity, simplicity and directness are essential components of well-written copy, the written content should also be marketable in terms of appeal, professionalism, tone and brand specificity.
Ideally, copy should work symbiotically with the website's design elements to reinforce the themes critical to company's brand and overall message. For example, social networking websites often require copy that is inviting, engenders trust, is perhaps less formal than other e-commerce sites and highlights the benefits of membership. Whereas copy created for e-commerce personal finance sites might benefit from tonally exuding professional competence via verbiage that exhibits refined cordiality.
Also important to remember is that target audiences are frequently willing to spend more time absorbing a website's content than random browsers. In brick-and-mortar retail parlance, these customers are known as destination shoppers in that they have taken the time to visit a particular place of business to obtain specific products and services. Likewise, on the internet much of a company's e-commerce will be generated from destination browsers - people who seek out a business or industry to acquire a unique product or service. For these customers, copy impacts consumer choices. They will read a company's copy as well as that of its competitors gauging intangibles such as quality, trust, professionalism and brand specificity. Copy is king for customers who are ready to spend, today.
Can procuring a professional copywriter help your company? The answer, unhelpfully, is maybe. If your business' website is meeting your current goals and expectations, then, probably, the answer is no. However, if you are looking to grow your online business and you are ready to invest in a revamped website, you may want to consider obtaining the services of a professional copywriter who has experience writing in your company's market or industry. While what you say on your website is important, remember that making the sale often depends on how you say it.