Why is copywriting important?

Oct 31, 2017

When you’re a copywriter at a digital agency, you spend an unexpectedly large proportion of your time convincing clients to let you do your job. It’s no one’s fault, of course. In the DIY economy, everyone assumes that writing (a skill most of us possess) is a clever place to cut corners and save some pennies by throwing a few words on the website after it’s finished. But it's really not that easy. Here's why you should get your web copy written by a pro.

Not all copy is equal

We can all write but that really doesn’t mean you should write your own web copy. It’s the same as the idea we can all run and jump, but we still shouldn’t audition for Wipeout because we’d get smacked in the face by a foam fist and be humiliated on national television. Copywriting is a subtle art and you might not appreciate it until the finished copy is there in front of you or even working its magic on your website, making those sweet conversions. But the thing is, it’s difficult to shoehorn effective copy into a project at the end because the strategy for that copy should develop alongside the design...

Copy should dictate design and vice-versa

From day one, your design and copy aims should be working in tandem, dancing side-by-side in perfect harmony to create the outcomes you want. Like two playful dolphins guiding you to an underwater grotto of action, design should push you forward, and copy should beckon you on. This is a really heavy-handed metaphor just to make the point that in a perfect world, you shouldn’t write or design in a silo. Lorem ipsum fits perfectly but when you go to populate those headings with real words, you might find it tricky if the design hasn’t been made with a realistic understanding of the functionality of the copy. Form ever follows function and fitting words in nicely is one of those functions design must perform.

Also, designing without strategic copy to help puts a lot of UX pressure on the design, which brings us to our next point...

Copy + design = UX

Emojis are great and hieroglyphs are wonderful and a lot of information can be conveyed purely with symbols. People can understand a wide range of contextual meanings when presented with an upside down smiley. But the second you want to convey anything technical, precise, or complicated, you must use words. Users can only go so far with visual cues alone, sometimes you need to tell them what to do with words too. As previously mentioned, visual and written cues should work together so neither is explicit and both are effective.

Fresh copy is as good as a holiday

We often find that clients who have been writing their own copy, running their own business, and immersing themselves in it day to day appreciate a fresh set of eyes and a fresh set of words. When you read the same things over and over, it’s hard to imagine it written in any other way. A new, and strategic, take on your brand can be as refreshing as a brand makeover.