Copywriting as Part of a Web Project
A short reflection on why you should leave the preparation of the content of your website to the professionals.
Based on my experience, preparation of content is the biggest thorn in the flesh of the client and often it significantly prolongs the completion of the entire project. Its preparation is often postponed until it cannot be postponed any further. "New" content is then generated under pressure by patching existing texts, there are inconsistencies and consequently the outputs are not in line with the communication tone of the company.
You can only benefit from leaving the preparation of content to professional copywriters. I see the benefits mainly in three areas.
1. You will get a high-quality and consistent content
Copywriters live for words, they are knowledgeable in grammar, stylistics, in short, they know how to work with text. You can be sure that you will receive top quality texts from them and thanks to that you can focus on communicating them instead of focusing on their form. Texts across the web communicate in the same manner and use the same terms. Copywriters do research, analyse keywords for searches and adjust the text to them.
2. View from the outside helps
Many years in a single field bring a certain kind of blindness. You produce and call them hand lamps but every normal person calls them flashlights*. A view from the outside will help you communicate in the language of your customers.
* I borrowed this beautiful analogy from a lecture of Markéta Kabátová at WebExpo 2015
3. Deadlines and responsibilities
We pass the preparation of content as a whole on the supplier with all the related aspects such as responsibility for the situation when the output does not meet the agreed parameters. The deadlines are firmly set in the project plan and you can rely on them.
How to choose a partner for copywriting
The difficulty of selecting a supplier is proportional to how specific your market is. Usually, you can find copywriters for consumer segments easily, but the selection is more difficult for areas with narrower profiling, such as engineering, health care, etc. It is often a difficult task to find a copywriter for these areas who understands the field and provides professional and high-quality texts.
Always ask about experience and require a reference text. For the sample text, choose the most difficult page in terms of content. If the copyrighter can handle its preparation without any problems, they can handle the entire website.
How to set up cooperation
In my opinion, the copywriter should be involved in the preparation of the website from the beginning. I do not consider the scenario, when they are invited to join the project at the moment when the structure and appearance of the website is already defined, to be beneficial. The copywriter should actively provide opinions regarding the structure and design of the website with regard to the end users of the website. Understandably, therefore, they must be sufficiently acquainted with the target group for whom they are writing the text. It often pays off to prepare type personalities of the end users of the website which find application even in other disciplines in the preparation of the website. The personalities may bring a totally unexpected information need which may require an adjustment to the structure of the content or the creation of special landing pages or portals. Involving the copywriter in the preparation of the website from the beginning is simply cheaper than when you have to re-design a website that is nearly finished.
To understand you target group, the copywriter will need more or less underlying information from you depending on the specificity of your market. You should see the relationship with the copywriter as a situation where the copywriter is the author, from whom you expect flawless texts in terms of formal quality but as their editor you talk to them about their content and edit and further develop it through sensitive intervention. In fields such as health care, your expert editing then enters the relationship as well because sometimes it is necessary to comply with legislation that determines what all needs to the specified, for example, for pharmaceuticals.
There are naturally more models of collaboration with a copywriter – ranging from the above collaboration, continuous content management to one-time audits and website text modifications. A copywriter may also help you with communication when launching a new product but these are then mainly communication specialists and slogan creators. However, the overlaps are large.
Do not try to save money on copywriting
Together with the appearance of the website (and other aspects of course, such as user experience, etc.), texts are the most important thing that the user notices about a website. Therefore, certainly do not try to save money on their preparation. On the web, you will find copywriters working at rates from EUR 10 per standard page (1800 characters including spaces). However, it pays off to aim higher with the price, towards 30 EUR per page and more.