This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart since it’s a large part of what I do. And even though copy concerns nearly everyone, it hardly gets the attention required for clear, concise and meaningful content. It’s easy to get into this “churn and burn” mentality with work, where projects need to be completed before the deadline and the copy is left to the last minute. After all, it’s just a few sentences or paragraphs used to introduce a company, describe a product and fill up the blank spaces…right?
Rick Sloboda wrote an article, “How to Spot and Avoid Web Copy that Kills Websites,” for WebDesignerDepot that covers many of the common issues designers run across during projects, but maybe didn’t understand what exactly went wrong. Here is a bit of advice from Rick concerning content:
Offender #1: Self-Centered Web Copy
Cause: Possibly the most common culprit, often because the client is too cheap to hire a copywriter. After all, he knows how to write. Or better yet, his wife is a budding poet, and this is her chance to shine.
Symptoms: Company-centric, we-driven copywriting, which turns the business owner on, but potential clients off. Business owners think marketing and sales copy is all about their business, but it’s not. When a visitor gets to a website, they don’t care about the company — they want to know what the company can do for them.
Treatment: Tell clients they’d be better off temporarily redirecting their PPC campaign and social media blitz budgets toward professional copywriting services, to establish a sound website that will serve as the foundation for all their online and offline marketing efforts.
Prevention: Explain how lack of content can delay projects for months, and how weak copy can harm their brand and bottom line. Have a list of possible copywriters you can refer them to, based on needs and budgets.
Rick’s article covers a variety of common problems and errors, it’s worth the read so head on over to WebDesignerDepot and check it out.
I read an article this week titled, “Creative Ideas for Writing Content” where the author listed a couple of lofty ideas to help his readers do one thing, write better. Unfortunately, the article could have been summed up by saying, “be more creative you boring dolt.” But that never works. Telling someone to think about the ocean differently doesn’t conjure inspiration.