Most companies, especially small businesses, commission a web designer to create or update their website, but they forget about the copywriting aspect.  When the designer comes back to the contact person and asks for copy, someone will throw together a quick paragraph or two for each page, but it won’t generate the results that the business had expected.

It’s tempting for small businesses to save money by doing the web copywriting themselves, but here’s why it doesn’t work:

  • The writer is too close to the business.  There’s something to be said about knowing the business, but if the writer is too close and entrenched in it, he doesn’t see the benefits of his services or products as easily.  A copywriter is distanced enough where she can extract the benefits from the features.
  • The writer isn’t skilled at marketing copy.  A good copywriter is and can write in a way that will engage potential customers and encourage them to act.
  • The writing just isn’t up to par.  This is the biggest problem for most small business websites.  The business owner is great at what she does: personal training, healthcare consulting, IT consulting, interior design, etc.  But she’s not a skilled writer, and she can’t find the right words.  If she tries to write her website copy herself, it comes out stilted and doesn’t convey what she wants.  A copywriter can extract the information and present it in a coherent way to prospective clients.
  • The writing isn’t grammatically correct.  A good copywriter is a trained writer who knows the mechanics of writing.  She is committed to the written word and produces well-written, grammatically correct copy that increases the business’s credibility.  When a business is looking to hire a copywriter, it’s always a good idea to ask if she uses any particular style guides or reference manuals (AP, Chicago, Strunk & White, even Yahoo!).
  • The keywords aren’t placed correctly.  Most websites should be SEO-optimized, and a good copywriter can seamlessly weave the keywords into the copy.  It goes back to “The writing just isn’t up to par” – as good as the keywords are, they should seem to be organically ingrained into the website copy, not stuffed in strictly for SEO purposes.

The investment in good website copy pays for itself in a few clients.  Instead of trying to write copy themselves for the bulk of the website, businesses can benefit from engaging the services of a professional copywriter.  Read what my satisfied clients have to say about the copywriting I’ve provided, or contact me for a complimentary consultation to learn what I can do for your business website.

(And to save time, I have all four style guides and reference manuals at my fingertips!)