Forget logos, slogans, and social media posts: Website copy is the true foundation of a company's presence in the 21st century.
A company's website is the modern version of their business card, except much more detailed. A website with compelling copy can impress prospects, attract top talent, and enhance a business brand.
Similarly, the wrong website copy can send potential customers running for the hills faster than you can imagine.
To ensure that the content you produce for clients is effective at meeting your goals and theirs, remember the following tips:
1. Find a good writer - and treat them that way!
Whether you are working with staff writers or contracting your web page copy needs to freelancers, it is critical that you show them the respect they deserve for their skills. You can provide them extensive guidance on style, tone, and content, but in the end the abilities of your writer will determine whether or not the client approves the web page copy you produce.
So act accordingly. Communicate well with your writers, don't give them unfair deadlines, and most importantly, compensate them fairly. The old saying, "You get what you pay for," is especially true for content writers.
2. Deeply understand the client's needs
The foundation of top-notch web content is a thorough, detailed client interview that leaves nothing unturned. During the interview, ask as many questions as possible. If something doesn't make sense, stop immediately and ask to clarify. Too many agencies make the mistake of wanting to appear knowledgeable in front of clients and not asking questions to clarify something they are confused about.
In the best case, this throws you off track during the interview, and in the worst case, this could lead to the misunderstanding of a critical part of your client's business. Not only should you ask questions, but remember to ask the client what they expect from their web page copy as well. Aligning your expectations with the client's in the early stages of the project will help the process tremendously.
3. Have someone else edit the website copy
You should never have your writer be the only person with eyeballs on the content until you send it to the client. When only one person is looking at the copy, it's too easy for a spelling mistake or grammatical error to slip by unnoticed. If you don't have the resources to hire a dedicated editor, at least designate someone on your team to serve as an editor when necessary.
Related: 6 Tips for Great Website Copy
4. Know your client's audience.
As a marketing company, you are most likely servicing several different kinds of clients. Each one has their own specific requirements when it comes to website copy, based on the tastes of their target audience. The kind of writing that is going to appeal to veterinarians is different than the kind that would appeal to athletes, or IT managers, or small business owners. Even if you specialize in a particular industry or niche, it's likely that your clients have slightly different ideal buyers.
The key is to take time learning about the audience before writing their website. If you've already done a buyer persona exercise, make sure your writer refers back to that document to remember the key challenges, concerns, and objectives of the client's target audience.
Web page copy is more important than ever before. Companies that can create websites that are both well-designed and well-written will find themselves with plenty of opportunities to secure marketing work. If you follow these tips, work with a talented team, and pay close attention to the needs of your clients, you can build top-flight websites for businesses in any industry. To learn more about designing great website copy, check out our white paper, "What is Content Marketing?".