How many experts does it take to produce a website?

Energy saving fluorescent spiral light bulb in hand isolated on

A little like the old lightbulb jokes, this question can have several answers. The reason is that a website can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be and can call on as many or as few experts as you want to use.

Writing your own website

If you are starting out in business and counting every penny, there is nothing to stop you choosing an online template and adding your own words and images.

However, unless you are a designer and/or copywriter by trade, this is the equivalent of a handwritten sign outside a shop and should only be used as a last resort or at least until you can generate the funds to pay for a professionally produced website.

Fixed-price websites

Another cheap and cheerful option is to choose a designer offering fixed-price websites. The benefits are that you can get an online presence quickly and without breaking the bank – and you’ll be able to budget as you’ll know in advance exactly what you’ll be paying.

One thing to check, however, is whether you can make any changes to the website at a later date. To move up in search engine rankings, websites need regular updating, ideally with the addition of blogs and news stories. As your business grows, you may want to change the details of your products and services or add in other new information about your business.

You should also ask if you can make the changes yourself or if you have to pass them on to the website designer, as with fixed-price websites this often means you are charged an additional fee.

Are you happy to write your own web copy?

In most cases, the website designer will expect you to provide your own copy.

Ask yourself the following qustions:

  • Have you got the time – and the expertise – to write your own web copy?
  • Can you step back from your business sufficiently to write the best copy to describe what you do, attract customers and market your products and services in the right way?
  • How good is your grammar and spelling?

How many people does it take to produce a website?

Back to the original question; ideally you would have input from all of the following:

  • A marketing specialist – to help you decide on your message and the best way to get it across
  • An expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – who will be able to help you come up with the key words and phrases to use in your copy and headers. These will help your website appear higher on the list when someone searches for your products or services
  • A branding expert – to help you develop your logo and brand
  • A copywriter – a professional who is able to write clearly and concisely and has experience of writing web copy
  • A web designer – who can design your website based around the branding and copy
  • A web developer – working with the web designer

If this sounds daunting, don’t worry; in many cases the experts you use will have more than one skill. For example, a good designer may be able to help you with your branding and logo, and a good copywriter will have marketing skills.

Beware of less obvious combinations, however, for example a design expert who also offers to write your copy. They may be competent but it’s worth asking to see previous examples of website copy they have written or finding out about their marketing and writing experience first.

And if you choose to use a large company that says it covers all areas of expertise, make sure that you are not being charged premium rates then handed over to junior staff.

As a professional copywriter, I always start by asking my clients about their business – what they do, who their current and prospective clients are and what sort of tone is appropriate for the web copy. In fact, I think it’s hard to write good copy without having an instinct for marketing.

By specialising in one particular aspect of producing a website, I aim to give a better service to my clients.

Whether you run a new or established business, if you’d like to find out more about web copy, please contact me by email: michelle@key-words.co.uk or call 01484 430228.

 

 

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