Visuals are a key part of design but so is the written word.
Whilst aesthetics matter and visually you need your brand to appear professional and trustworthy, for the majority of internet users, browsing websites is a reading experience. Words are an essential part of communication.
The saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and whilst that may be true figuratively, the only way to literally speak to your audience is with actual words.
The average person has a much higher level of reading and writing than they do design. As far as communicating with your audience goes, words are essential. The design may attract them to the page but often the copy is what will get them to make a purchase. For most people, they will evaluate your businesses more by skimming through your ‘About Us’ and reading through your list of product features and benefits than they will be looking at your layout or choice of colours.
This is not to say that the design is unimportant. They are both as important as each other. Whilst your average Joe may not have design skills they can still tell if something is ugly. Likewise, if the design / UX does not function properly and is not user-friendly this will put off customers from using or returning to your site.
Copywriting and design are two sides of the same coin
A great design with bad copy, or great copy with bad design. Either one will be ineffective in growing your business and bringing in customers.
They are 2 separate elements of a whole. When a user views your website, they see it as one entity, they don’t separate the copy and the design, they view them together. A websites copy should not be competing with is visuals, they should complement each other to create the best possible experience for your users.
The tone of the design and the tone of the copy should match to avoid confusing your audience and keep consistent. Professional design that has copy with a more casual tone of voice (or vice versa) won’t feel right and will put off customers as they won’t understand your message.
The copy on your website is one of the key factors in deciding how well your website ranks on search engines. Crawlers used to index sites can only read text (for now at least) whereas images or visuals are not ‘seen.’
Having well written and relevant copy will bring more traffic to your site and keep visitors there for longer. If a user is coming to you through a search engine it may well be their first interaction with your business, if you have poor copy it could also be their last.
Writing SEO optimized copy is a skill that takes time and practice to master. It not only needs to understand what search engines look for but also be friendly and engaging for your audiences. Once you’ve put the money in to invest in a website, don’t allow poor copy to limit its potential. You may think that you can ‘cobble together’ something just as good but it will likely be limiting the effectiveness of your site through lack of keywords and understand of SEO.
Converting your customers
Users read copy on websites differently to how they would with printed items. They will quickly scan a page and within seconds make the decision to stay or click back. This gives you a short amount of time to convey your company’s message succinctly and convince the user they should stay.
Having easy to read text, that is broken up and has a clear hierarchy makes it simple for users to find the information they are looking for. Once a user has determined that your site has information that they want they will then stay on your site for a more in-depth read and will often look through other pages on your site.
Your copy gives you the chance to both attract and convert your visitors. By giving users, clear, relevant and useful information and presenting your products or services in a way that appeals to their needs you start to build trust with them and get them to convert to customers.
If you think your website copy could use updating or you need help writing copy for a new website, get in touch.