B Y T O M T O R T O R I C I
Web designers love to design. It’s their job, it’s their career, it’s their creative passion. What they don’t typically love is figuring out what the words in the website should say.
Marketing-savvy designers at least know that the right messages are important for attracting, engaging and converting online buyers. But sometimes, even for talented designers, the content is just treated as a design element; they have a hole in the layout where the content goes, and they just need something, anything, to fill it.
Either way, the freelance designer may work with their client (or the in-house designer work with their boss) to cobble together enough words to get the site completed. But it’s not fun. In fact, it’s typically a frustrating, time-consuming hassle.
And without a thoughtful marketing strategy or persuasive copywriting skills, in the end, no one’s likely to be attracted, engaged or converted. So other than the designer’s invoice getting paid, it’s hard to score the entire effort as a success.
The solution is an easy one. If it’s worth spending money on a professional designer for the aesthetic appearance of the website, then it’s worth spending money on a professional writer to capture buyers’ hearts and minds, getting their cursors to inch closer to the Buy Now button.
Here are some of the ways that websites designers have made their lives easier by bringing a professional copywriter into the fold.
1. Staying on Schedule A website project that’s supposed to take 8 weeks is going on 6 months. Why? Because the client has promised to supply their own copy, and they’re not at all sure what to write – as if they even had time to write it. And of course, while everything’s on hold, the designer isn’t earning the revenue they expected this month.
Having a pro writer interview the client and produce the written content isn’t always speedy; but at least the designer knows the final, approved content will land in their hands by a certain date, and they can plan production accordingly.
2. Gathering and Organizing the Information Having to create a cleanly organized website out of the client’s random bits of verbal input, old sales letters, and haphazard dump of whatever they can think of, can make a designer’s eyes glaze over.
But a professional web writer knows what questions to ask, which ideas are worth emphasizing, and how to break everything down into separate pages and sections that make sense for the reader, not just the client.
3. Web Page Structure Some designers like to create their great looking layouts before they have any of the copy. That makes as much sense as having a contractor build you a custom home, before they know what rooms or features you want.
In this analogy, the copywriter acts as the architect; their copy helps define the exact pages and sections that are needed. The designer simply uses that as a guide as they build the layouts around the approved copy, section after section, page after page. Now, isn’t that easier?
4. Reader-Friendly Pages Web designers are focused on making everything fit, handling technical issues, and making it all look sharp, clean and professional. That’s important of course. But by approaching the site only from that perspective, they’re not as focused on the sensibilities of real-world buyers with a problem to solve.
It’s the writer’s job to translate from company-speak to customer-speak. A designer that isn’t skilled in this practice may simply repeat what the client said, reflecting an insiders’ perspective instead of a buyers’ perspective.
Plus, with their short attention spans, web readers start by visually scanning pages online, to see if the company hits the right notes, before they dig any deeper. Good copywriters create ‘scannable’ pages, by putting the most compelling messages in prominent headlines, and using other techniques to draw buyers in, on both a logical and emotional level.
5. Extra Income If a designer is hiring and paying a writer for a project, the writer may offer an ‘agency discount’. That gives the designer a chance to mark up the writer’s cost, producing some extra revenue for themselves. And who wouldn’t want that?
Want to learn more about working with a strategic web copywriter? Get in touch, let’s talk it through, and you can see what you think.
About the Author: Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.
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Tom Tortorici Inc. | Tom@TomTortorici.com | 770-934-7861 | 3101 Rockaway Rd | Atlanta GA 30341