You’ve already forked out for a web designer – so why hire an editor?

Web designers are skilled in the various technical and back-end elements that make up the nuts and bolts of your website. They may be graphic designers who’ve bolstered their abilities by studying the intricacies of web design, or web-savvy techies who have a flair for the aesthetically pleasing.

But nine times out of 10, they are not ‘words people’.

That means that your website may look brilliant. It should reflect your brand; it must be user-friendly, and it will have all the pages and links that your client needs in order to get the very best use out of it.

However, unless your talented web designer is a writer too (or you are), the chances are that the copy in your website won’t live up to the way it looks. If you surf the net looking at some of the other businesses in your sector, it won’t take long before you stumble across a website whose words are unclear; whose purpose is ambiguous; or whose brand is obscured by a lack of ‘flow’ in its web copy.

The key is communicating with your target market and calling them to action in a way that they will find persuasive and appealing rather than pushy or obsequious. Because, and this is where small businesses may fall down, what you want to say may not be what they want to hear. Putting your brand identity, your values, and your product into words that speak directly to them is a skill your web designer may not possess.

So why not just write your own web copy? You love your brand; you live it. You know your own firm, your own product and your own market better than anyone.

The question is – would you consider doing another vital job that you may not have the skills for? Would you do your company’s plumbing… electrics… accounts… unless you knew you could do it and do it well? It may well be that you are an excellent writer, and that you know exactly what you’re doing copy-wise – in which case, thanks for reading this far, but now’s probably a good time to put the kettle on.

The fact is, the words on your website are just as important – arguably even more so – than those other crucial elements of your business. The words on your website ARE your brand. Most people are aware of the widely-peddled statistic that you have three seconds to capture people’s attention before they click away. The great job the web person did on your site will ensure they stay there for the first two.

And hiring an editor will ensure they stay beyond that crucial third second – and will have them coming back again. Research shows that errors in spelling, grammar or sentence construction cause surfers to click away, never to return.

What’s more, generally speaking, editors charge less per hour than web designers – so it’s a choice you can afford to make.

Say what you want to say on your beautiful new website – hire an editor. We’re quick, we’re effective, we listen to your needs – and we speak the language of your target market.

Kerri Tyler, copywriter and editor, www.proof-and-copy.com

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