You either clicked on this article because you want to become a website copywriter, you already are a website copywriter and you want some helpful tips and information, or you are a website owner looking to maximize the reach of your website. Regardless of which bucket you might fall into, the role of website copywriter is vast and rich, meaning it isn’t for everyone.
The truth is a number of different skills are required because a website is more than just a portal for potential clients to learn about a product or service. It is a gateway into the company’s world, a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of what they offer, and more.
The challenge for most who enter the website copywriting world is that they quickly find out that a tremendous amount of time and effort goes into crafting a website that both appeases the Google gods and is engaging for customers.
5 Job Functions of a Website Copywriter
What do you do? It is one of the most loaded questions for freelancers because we rarely have a singular job function. Most of the time, our roles vary based on the customer's needs or the job's scope, and website copywriting is no different.
When I think of website copywriting the following five job functions immediately come to mind, but it is worth noting that these could just be the tip of the iceberg.
As a freelancer, we are hired to serve – plain and simple. The customer has a job that needs to be done and we bring a certain skill set that they might already have on their team to the equation. If the company is Batman, we are Alfred.
What this means is that we are subject to their processes, their timeline, and their opinion. For those who might be exploring this type of copywriting, this can be incredibly eye-opening. The fact is most companies hold their websites very near and dear to their heart and any changes will be put under the microscope.
Additionally, timelines can swing wildly. I have seen the website go from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds, and others that drug on for months. There is no right or wrong way to approach it, but you have to be open to the idea that you aren’t in total control of the process.
If I asked you to describe what a website actually is, where does your mind go? For me, it is little more than a company’s story. Because of this, when revamping or building a website for the first time, the story is the thread that binds everything together.
Companies spend thousands of dollars on branding and shaping their voice for their audience. As a copywriter, you have to be able to take in all of that information and be able to weave it into a story that is both compelling and SEO friendly.
I jokingly mentioned the Google Gods, but the fact is, your ability to tell the client’s story on page is only half of the equation. You also must be mindful of keywords, search engine results page(SERP) rankings, and mobile optimization. You can craft the modern version of Homer’s Odyssey, but it is all for nothing if you fail to play nice with Google.
Nailing the story is one thing, but potential customers wont stick around if the story you tell is akin to “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” You have to be able to take the full story and distill it into a skimmable format that draws the readers attention to specific offerings and key differentiators.
This is easily one of the most difficult parts of the website copywriting process, because condensing a message that still has gravitas isn’t a skill that everyone has in their arsenal.
Once you have the message down, and the copy written, the next role that you will inevitably assume is that of a map maker. While you might not be the one that is writing code, or building the website in Wordpress, most of the time, website copywriting is built out in a wireframe.
With a wireframe, you have the ability to impact how the audience will navigate through each page of the website. This requires a keen sense of how buyers buy. They may be searching for specific answers, and if they can’t easily find them they will abandon the page and move on.
Like a pirate’s treasure map, the idea is to get them to follow a guided path, where X – your CTA – marks the spot.
Depending on the client, and your skill level, you may also be asked to build the website. Platforms like Wordpress, Squarespace, and Wix have made the process substantially easier, but they still require a deeper understanding of how the system works.
Should you be charged with using a website generator, you will need to take the map that was created earlier in the process, and combine it with images, video, customer testimonials, and more to generate a final product that meets the clients needs.
An additional step that many overlook, especially as they are starting out, is getting the website established on Google My Business, and within Google Analytics, so that their crawlers can start doing their thing right off the bat. Taking these extra steps will allow you to track website visitors, and attribution as soon as the website is published.
Website Copywriting With Hire A Writer
The goal of this article wasn’t to overwhelm you, rather I wanted to paint a picture of the various components that have to be taken into account as you build your own website, or jump into the freelance website copywriting world.
For those that are struggling with their own, the Hire A Writer team has a full staff that can help you perfect your message, dial in your SEO, and generate a custom website that your audience will love. Connect with our team for more information.