When it comes to creating or updating a website, the copywriter is often the last one invited to the party.
There are a few different scenarios I typically encounter.
The first, and worst, involves the shady website developer.
The shady website developer makes it sound like they’re offering a “full website package,” which the business owner assumes will include professionally written copy.
But it doesn’t. And there’s nothing in writing that says otherwise.
So the business owner scrambles to write the copy or find someone to write copy on the cheap because their budget is already maxed out.
By the way, shady website developers have also been known to lock business owners out of their websites and charge a fee for every update.
Or they just disappear after taking the business owner’s money.
I continue to hear these horror stories.
Beware of the shady website developer.
The second scenario involves the business owner who considers website copywriting a DIY project.
Business owners typically realize they need someone to build a website.
They know they need someone to design the website.
But because they know about their business – and they can type – they think can write their own website copy.
They spend countless hours – hours that could have been spent growing the business and serving customers – writing copy that’s usually average at best and just plain awful at worst.
Some business owners will continue spinning their wheels.
Some will realize the folly of their ways, cut their losses, and hire a professional.
In either case, they missed an opportunity to get it right from the beginning.
Repeat after me:
Product and industry knowledge, and the ability to type, do not a writer make.
The third scenario involves reputable website developers and marketing agencies that don’t include copywriting as a core component of their website offering.
Some don’t have in-house copywriting resources.
Some want to keep costs down.
Some will offer copywriting as an option.
Some will refer the business owner to an outside copywriter.
Some (most) will tell the business owner that it’s their responsibility to provide website copy.
Which contributes to the belief among business owners that website copywriting is a DIY project.
Which no reputable marketing agency or website developer actually believes.
Here’s the problem…
Copy is just as important to the effectiveness of a website as design, user experience, and technical function.
When copy is not a top priority, the quality generally suffers.
And I can say with 100 percent confidence that copywriting will soon become the biggest bottleneck in the website development project.
I’ve heard about website projects being stalled for months because everyone is waiting on the copy to be written, reviewed, and revised.
Nobody owns the process because it wasn’t a big enough priority.
It’s a lose-lose for both the business owner and the marketing agency or website developer.
Here’s my humble recommendation…
Business owners, just like I wouldn’t buy a house and fill it with homemade furniture, I would highly recommend against filling a beautiful website with DIY copy.
A list of products, services, features, and benefits topped with empty marketing clichés like “friendly, knowledgeable staff” and “best customer service” will not be the least bit appetizing for your audience.
A talented copywriter will tap into your expertise and passion, capture your voice, and tell your story in a way that connects with your ideal client.
Also, you’re likely to find that a fresh perspective from an outside, unbiased professional will force you to look at your business differently and zero in on what will truly motivate your audience to do business with you.
Look for a website partner that offers website copywriting.
Marketing agencies and website developers, show your clients that compelling copy is essential to an effective website.
Because it is. You know this.
To all parties involved, making website copywriting a top priority from day one will remove a major bottleneck from your project.
The website will be completed better and faster so you get better results from your investment, faster.
Don’t wait until the project goes off the rails to invite a website copywriter to the party.
Give a professional a seat at the table from the first meeting, as if copy is that important.
Because it is.