What a copywriter looks for in a website

To do their job properly websites need to do a number of things.

Every visitor to your website is a potential client or customer and they are looking for information about the product or service you are offering.

Secondly, the customer will want to know that you are both reputable and trustworthy.

Clear, concise and relevant information

Whether a content or copywriter is reviewing an existing website or helping a client to plan a new one, they will want to be clear about who is the intended customer or client and what their needs or problems are.

If the first impression of a website is that it is talking about what “we” (the company) can do and how well “we” do it why should the visitor believe it? After all, the objective is to make a sale so “they would say that, wouldn’t they”.

The content writer’s job is to provide well-researched information that identifies the visitor’s problem and answers their questions as easily and concisely as possible.  This also means no acronyms or industry jargon and well-written, grammatical and correctly spelled text.

Crucially, since most people skim read material on screen and there are only a few seconds to catch their attention they will not want to read down several screens at a time.

So in addition to knowing for whom they are writing and those people’s chief concerns the writer needs to know how best to divide up the information in a way that is easy to find (website navigation).

At a more technical level, the writer will also need to know what key words a person is likely to use to search for the product or service and will need to include them.

A challenge for most websites is to encourage people to stay there and look beyond the first page, so on every page a copywriter would want to see an incentive for them to take further action.

It could be an invitation to contact the company with a link to the contact page, or it could be an invitation to sign up to download free material, such as a report tailored to their particular circumstances, or an e-newsletter giving regular updates.

Equally, does the website offer additional, useful information? It could be special offers, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) or entertaining articles around the subject in blogs – but the information must be interesting and engaging.

How does the website demonstrate that this company is trustworthy?

A visitor may want to know who are the individuals behind the company and this can be provided in an “about” section – short biographies that show their human face as well as their expertise, with pictures.

Is the company engaged in supporting its local community?  What projects or charities has it contributed to?

Testimonials from happy customers must be genuine and one way of ensuring this is if the client or customer is willing to be put in touch with a potential buyer.

From the contact writer’s perspective a welcoming and engaging message on the contact page is essential.  Similarly, many people are wary of a contact page that does not give an actual location or address or relies entirely on a mobile phone number.

For reassurance, there are two other pieces of information that can provide reassurance to the customer.  These are well written, easy to understand terms and conditions, particularly if the customer is making a sizeable investment, and also whether the company is a member of any recognised industry or professional regulatory bodies.