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The 10 Essential Questions to ask your Website Copywriter

*Article by Writing Angels

1) Do you have experience in my industry?
If your copywriter can show they understand your business they'll be able to understand your customers and their wants and needs – which means they can bring out the benefits of your approach, products and services over and above your competitors. Ask for examples of work they have written for your industry, and ensure the copy brings out the right benefits.

2) How will the copy attract new visitors via the search engines?
A good Web writer will run a keyword analysis for your site before they create the text, so they can optimise the copy as it's drafted. Ask them if they have the tools to do this; whether they understand how the search engines work, and know where and how often to place the most popular search terms within each page.

3) How will you keep the visitor's attention?
With only three-to-five seconds to grab the user's attention your copywriter should consider the overall page layout, and the use of persuasive headings and sub-headings, to make the text easily digestible and to highlight the most important points. Check out copy they have written for other sites and see whether it provides enough of the detail you need to understand the offering, whilst remaining succinct and punchy.

4) What tone and style will you adopt?
The ‘voice’ of your Web site – its tone and style – needs to reflect the type of visitor you want to attract, and the image of your company you want to project. Are you appealing to a young or mature audience? Is your site targeting business-to-business customers or consumers? Do you want to be seen as approachable and friendly; corporate and professional, or a combination of both? Your copywriter should be able to get inside the wants, needs and desires of your customers, so that the copy sells to them in the way they – and you - want to hear.

5) How will you turn my visitor into a customer?
The purpose of a sales site is to persuade a visitor to call you, buy your product or subscribe to your service. Make sure your writer doesn’t view your site as a piece of literature, but as a marketing tool that needs to deliver the desired result. A good copywriter will ensure there is a clear call to action on every page, intelligently placed so that it maximises response – a call to action at the end of the page may well be too late.

6) Can you show me examples of websites you have written?
Look at the site examples they show you from a customer's perspective. Do they clearly show what the company offers? Are you convinced by the benefits they give? Would they give you confidence in those companies' ability to deliver – would you buy from them if you had that need? Read the copy to see if it works, and clearly guides you to the call to action.

7) Can they ensure the copy is consistent throughout your entire site?
Many websites – particularly those of larger organisations, and those that are informational – can be very large. If your site is of this type ask how your writer will ensure the tone, style and techniques used will stay consistent throughout.

Writing Angels (www.writingangels.co.uk) is often asked to review and edit existing websites that have grown over time, or have been worked on by numerous authors – our largest to date is a 720-page site! Techniques such as style guides, dedicated style guardians and exacting attention to detail are essential.

8) Do you have customer testimonials?
The best form of recommendation is a satisfied customer. Ask for testimonials from other website clients, and call them to check they are genuine.

9) Can you provide me with a fixed quote?
Most copywriters work on a price per 1,000 words, or an hourly basis, but an experienced one will be able to give you a timeframe for completion and a fixed project price on that basis. Also check how the copywriter will deal with amendments from you, and how many of these are included within their project fee.

10) Can you get the job done to my deadline?
If you've tried writing your own website copy then you'll know how time consuming it can be. Professional copywriters can analyse the job in detail up front, and tell you whether your deadline is achievable. Make sure you also ask whether they have provisions in place should they go sick or on holiday – will the job still get done on time without you incurring extra charges?

Running through this checklist with your writer can save you a lot of time, effort and money from the outset – and make sure you end up with a site that doesn’t just read well, but also get you the results you want.

If you would like us to review your website and give you a no-obligation quote simply call us on 01634 389100, or complete our enquiry form online for one of our Project Managers to contact you.

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