You’ve spent thousands making your website look pretty…and “sophisticated.” You wanted that sophisticated look after all. End result–sure looks sophisticated.
But when it came to Web copy–the thing everybody sees first when trying to figure your company out–you’ve decided to “save some money and do it in-house.”
Your homepage has slick graphics, that’s for sure. Possibly Flash. When first-time readers go to your site, they do see a cool, sophisticated design.
What they do not see is sophisticated messaging.
They first try to decode what it is you do, then how you’re better, then why they should purchase what you’re selling. (They, secretly, want to be inspired.)
The copy they read is professional-sounding and it’s not horrible. It’s just written by a non professional writer.
After reading, they know what you do…but they have to work (pretty hard) at it. They see you wrote you were better…but they don’t believe it. They read your call to action to contact a salesperson…but haven’t been convinced why they should purchase what you’re selling.
They’re certainly not inspired.
The homepage, midst the sophisticated Flash, has some vague message laden with keywords, like A1 sauce on a poor cut of meat.
So they go to the About section. It reads something like this:
“Company ABC is a leading nationwide provider of robust and scalable <insert mind-numbing acronyms here> that is second to none when it comes to customer service. Our myriad of <insert jargon here> services serve the (super-long boiling-the-ocean list) industries. Our company is led by industry leaders that (sic) know…”
Off to the News section. One press release only. From five months ago. It talks about some award and tells nothing. Boilerplate reads like a Securities and Exchange Commission report.
No recent news. No whitepaper or case study either. Not even some good information, really, when you get down to it.
No real differentiation. No inspiration.
In a previous post, I lament the fact that copywriters are too often brought in as simple implementers–at the 11th hour–when they should be the core part of all marketing, advertising and PR programs. In this post, I lament the fact that some companies don’t bring them in at all.
I’m going to resist cliches like “The money you save in not hiring a professional copywriter will end up costing you more in the long-run.” Well, I really didn’t resist it. But here are other reasons why you should seriously consider hiring a professional:
- Good writers aren’t stuck in the trenches of your company. As a result, they’ll have an aerial view of your value proposition…and will deliver messaging that connects to people not in the know.
- Good writers are good at explaining complicated things to anyone…not just your systems architect or venture capitalist.
- Good writers are adept at analogies and other forms of communications that get your point across in a simple way.
- Good writers know it’s better to show than to tell. Better writers can actually do this.
- Good writers, are, well, good writers. They know what words work and what don’t. Their copy flows.
- Good writers–this should go without saying–don’t make grammatical mistakes. At least the ones 99 percent of readers care about.
- Good writers, good business writers at least, know business. Make sure your writer is more than just a frustrated novelist.
- Good writers make their living informing and inspiring.
- Good writers deploy basic search engine optimization in their Web content.
- Good writers have a designer’s eye. They work with your design team to make sure everything gels from both a content and an aesthetical point of view. They’ll also have graphics suggestions to go along with their brilliant copy.
- Good writers spend a lot of time on subheads, bold text, bullets, short sentences, and other things that give readers’ eyes the break they deserve.
- Good writers know that many times, less is more.