There's nothing quite like a great piece of writing. Truly excellent copy compels you; it moves you to take action. Great writing can consume you, teach you, change you. And bad writing? Well, that can have the opposite effects. It can bore you, conceal meaning, and — perhaps the worst outcome of all — leave you feeling utterly indifferent.
In the age of words on screens, writing is more present in our lives than ever. We use copy to understand what we buy: how we'll use it, if it matters, why it matters. We devour it to make sense of a simultaneously shrinking and expanding world. In business, great copy fuels purchases. Advertisements, blogs and websites act as the draw for your future customers, giving them all the insight they need about what matters most to your company, and about how they can find value in what you do or make. That's why it's up to you to ensure your site copy is flawless — emotionally compelling, conversion-focused, and detailed but true to your brand. Anything less simply isn't good enough.
Here are six reasons why professional content is a must.
Professional Site Content: Your First Requirement
It's easy to enumerate the elements of a site redesign or improvement: you need development, you need design and you need content. Development and design usually go straight to an outsourced group of professionals; after all, a new site demands resources and technical capabilities within given software that your team may not possess. But all of you know your business, and all of you know English and how to type; naturally, copy and content are often left off the list of outsourcing requirements.
No more! Reason number one? It takes a lot more time than you might be anticipating.
1. Your People are Great at Their Jobs
And they should do those jobs! Just imagine if you asked one person on your team to tackle the task of site copy. For a 30-page site, they would need to audit, write and edit for about 70 hours — potentially more, depending on the design and development process you've established. That's almost a full two weeks of not performing the important roles they take on to keep your business running well and your customers happy. And because site projects usually don't last just one week, the very ideas behind the project can consume your employee for a month or more, limiting productivity elsewhere.
2. Spelling Mistakes Cost Millions
No, seriously. According to a web analysis by Charles Duncombe, and reported by BBC in 2011, spelling mistakes deter buyers through fueling loss of credibility, costing the UK millions. This theory makes sense; after all, do you trust companies that make blatant errors in their site copy? It shows a lack of care, which consumers might reasonably expect to extend to product quality and experience.
We aren't saying your employees can't spell. But we are saying that you have a much better shot at catching typos and errors if you've got a professional, trained writer or editor on hand.
3. Conversion is an Art
Web copy should never just convey information (though it should do that, too — and clearly). It should move your visitors, shape and define their experiences, guide them and teach them. Importantly, it should also benefit your business.
Conversion copy is a particular skill. Like conversion-focused design, it requires practice and keen awareness of your users and their desires and pains. Done correctly by a conversion professional, site copy will increase traffic, increase conversions and bring home the ROI.
4. Your Competitors Have It
It's possible that some of your competitors have cruddy garbage bunk for copy. But the ones that know their worth will opt for professional services and focus on conversion, giving them the edge in the online marketplace.
Don't allow cruddy garbage bunk copy to creep onto your website. Your business should accurately and adequately reflect its value on every channel, lest you fall behind your competitors who are doing copy right.
5. SEO Still Matters
Not every content creator is versed in SEO. But every good website and conversion content creator should be. If your site doesn't have the right strategy and execution to appeal to search engines, you could miss out on qualified and interested visitors who simply can't find you in a sea of options. You can't stuff keywords onto the page and into the information and hope for the best. It just doesn't work anymore. Instead, detailed research on your personas' desires and an expertise in using search-friendly language naturally and effectively are required.
6. Site Projects are Content Projects
When it comes down to it, every site project is a content project. Period. Your best site — the site that reflects your brand, responds to your prospects' needs, and acts as your number one salesperson — can only be created through a careful content analysis and conversion mapping process. Content is the cake and copy is the frosting. And your customers are demanding both.
To learn more about site projects and how you can grow your business with a robust, eloquent and conversion-focused web presence, download the e-book below.
Karin is Content Lead at New Breed. She specializes in developing content strategy and copy at every point in the creation process, from persona design to final edits