Webcopyplus recently conducted a web poll that asked 215 website owners: Who typically writes your web copy?
1. I do it myself 74.9% (161)
2. Web designer 12.1% (26)
3. Staff 7% (15)
4. Copywriter 6% (13)
These numbers reveal why the majority of web content is so hyped up, convoluted and difficult to digest.
I do it myself
Business owners know their businesses, but it’s difficult to objectively capture and clearly convey your own unique selling points. And even if you do, basic copywriting elements are frequently missed, including scannable text, calls to action and proper meta tags, to name a few. Most business owners who write their own copy do it in a bid to save money, when they’d probably be better off delegating it and focusing on their core business.
Web designers out-write copywriters two-to-one. That’s frightening. It’s not that web designers can’t write. But web designers are trained in the language of design, not communication with words. Expand the role to include programming and you are dealing with a jack of all trades, which translates to mediocre work and comparable results.
Even when employees are keen to take on web writing projects, companies miss opportunities at the hands of inexperienced and non-specialized communicators. Businesses get a better ROI when they hire a specialist to write web copy and have internal staff conduct updates as required.
The land of copywriters is diverse. You have hackers around the globe selling their services on Craig’s List for as little as $2 a page, but caveat emptor. The end product and results reflect the bargain basement price. Even those who present themselves as medium-tier web copywriters can be suspect. Webcopyplus recently took over an account from a writer who claimed we were “bs’ing” the client that there’s a direct correlation between web copy and search engine results. Sadly, clients at the hands of the uninformed don’t enjoy the Web’s true potential.
That brings to light the silver lining of these poll results: if you’re a business owner, it’s not too difficult to get a leg up on your competitors.
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As a designer I was firest offended by the suggestion that designers can’t write for the web, but then I thought what would the web look like if writers did most of the designing…my opinion changed quickly.