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.
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.
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.
In most cases, the website designer will expect you to provide your own copy.
Ask yourself the following qustions:
Back to the original question; ideally you would have input from all of the following:
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: email@example.com or call 01484 430228.
Creative, affordable copywriting that will help you sell your products and services. From blogging packages and web content to press releases and e-marketing, we offer professional copywriting in Huddersfield and Leeds and across West Yorkshire and the UK.
Read my monthly column in The Eye magazine, interviews with top authors in Excelle magazine, features written for Around Town magazine and a variety of articles written for the national press.
From Joanne Harris to Iain Banks, find out more about events with bestselling authors and creative writing courses in Huddersfield run by Key Words.
For business there’s a choice of Writing for Business seminars, one-off masterclasses and speaking engagements, as well as our monthly Coffee & Cake Business Network event at Café Society in Huddersfield