Seven Reasons Not to Call a Web Designer (first)

A conversation with a fellow copywriter the other day made me ponder how many small business owners make the mistake of  back-to-front website planning.

It’s not unusual for clients to come to me once the web design is already in place and the site map and navigation are supposedly finalized.  Then their web designer ends up hating me for changing everything!

When it comes to planning your website make sure you start with the copy, because the message defines how people will travel round your site.  The most fabulous design will have your visitors leaving in confusion if it doesn’t comprise a navigation path strategically designed to lead people through a complete sales message.

Here are some really good reasons to start your web development process with the copy:

  1. Strategic Planning – because copywriting is a strategic process.  Factors such as your objectives, market conditions, audience, response mechanisms and many, many others, affect how your site will lay out.  If it’s designed without that strategy in place, it’s going to let you down.
  2. The Journey Through the Sales Message – your message will be strategically designed to lead people on a journey through a complete sales message – linking them from page to page, and offering alternative routes depending on their preferences.  These routes are designed during the message development process and will define the sitemap.
  3. Buying Styles – different visitors will require different pieces of information to prompt them to action.  They may want information about you …  a concise summary of benefits and features …  detailed technical specifications … testimonials … etc, etc.  Your copy will be developed in order to make those pieces easy to find and just as detailed as they need to be.
  4. Page Division – when pages get too long they need dividing into logical, easily manageable sections.
  5. Gaps in the Sales Message – site maps designed before the message is developed very often have gaps, or missing pieces.
  6. Quick Access to Information – the navigation needs to be strategically planned to make it easy for your visitor to find the information they seek – within seconds.
  7. Action Devices – the message may require visual devices such as button, boxes or sidebar elements in order to improve navigation and prompt a response.

When it comes down to it – your web designer is most interested in making your site look pretty.  Your strategy, though, should be to get a response, and your copywriter will help you to make sure the design of your site reflects the needs of the sales message.

Browse through this website, and you’ll find plenty more about strategic website planning.

 

 

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“Over the past five years Wendy has written copy for my website, a speaking proposal, and a poster which I use at trade shows. In every case, her copy has been successful in creating interest, attention, and action. Wendy has a wealth of experience and a high degree of professionalism. She takes the time to understand her clients and their needs. She has truly mastered the intricacies of marketing and communicates her clients’ message in a manner that is clear, concise, and appealing to their specific audience.
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