Navigating Website Marketing Icebergs: Why Great Web Copy Alone Won’t Cut It

Navigating Website Marketing Icebergs: Why Great Web Copy Alone Won't Cut It. Smiling bearded man in a sailer top holding a bright orange life buoy
5 Oct 2023

Great website copywriting can solve a lot of marketing problems – but not all! Here are 7 thing than can sink the best website words.

So, you’ve made the smart move of hiring a professional copywriter to jazz up your small business’s website content. You resisted the urge to let your mom’s friend’s cousin, who scored a B in English at High School over a decade ago, take the reins.

You also managed to dodge the DIY writing quagmire, where you’d be juggling client needs, running your business, and trying to have a life. Instead, you chose to hire someone with experience, even if they charged a bit more. Kudos to you for that!

You kicked back and let the magic happen, and voilà, you now have some kick-ass web copy for your business. High fives all around, right?

But guess what? Having fantastic web copy isn’t the end of the story. In the immortal words of Jon English, the legendary Aussie philosopher and poet, “Words are not enough.” Translation: Great words are just the beginning; they don’t seal the deal all on their own.

Why Website Words Aren’t the Whole Shebang

Let’s get creative here for a moment. Take a few deep breaths and picture yourself as the king or queen of the world, standing at the front of a fancy cruise ship, with a breeze ruffling your hair just right. You’re living the dream! Now, let’s go spot those looming icebergs.

Iceberg 1: Dodgy Website Design

Even if your web copy is pure gold, it won’t do much if your website looks like it’s stuck in the ’90s, crashes all the time, or just wasn’t built with sales in mind. It’s like having a sparkling Hope Diamond tucked away in a second-hand shop – nobody’s going to see it. Looks do matter. Make sure your website design is modern and matches the quality of your words.

Read More >> The 3 Questions Websites Need To Answer To Be Effective

Iceberg 2: Missing Visual Pizzazz

Words are cool, no doubt. But when you team them up with images, it’s like adding rocket fuel to your marketing efforts.

We humans are suckers for visuals; we buy with our eyes.

Tweets (or X’s) with images get 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets. And on Facebook, posts with photos rake in an astonishing 87% more engagement than other types of posts. So, if you want to supercharge your words, bring in the right visuals. Leave the cheesy pixelated stock photos in the bin, please.

Read more>> Statistics About Visual Content

Iceberg 3: The Waterfall of Words

A good copywriter will whip up some brilliant words for your marketing. But a great one knows how to break up that word waterfall, so it doesn’t drown your readers.

Your words need headlines, sub-headlines for skimmers, a mix of bullet points and text in various lengths and formats to keep readers afloat. And don’t forget snazzy images to guide the eye down the page.

Plus, your keywords need to be sprinkled throughout your website, from page titles to the hidden page descriptions in the back-end code. In other words, your copy needs finesse to make it readable for both humans and Google. Otherwise, you might as well be posting a chapter of “War and Peace”.

A good web designer knows how to make your words sing on the page (and behind the scenes where it matters).

Read more >>> How to Create an SEO Friendly, Readable Blog Post

How to Write Great Website Copy

Iceberg 4: Not Driving People to Your Content

Having a killer website and awesome copy isn’t the finish line; it’s just your ticket to the race.

No matter how great your website and copy are, if you’re not actively driving new folks to check out your content, you won’t see the results you’re aiming for.

Think of it like building a fantastic hotel deep in the jungle – unless you actively promote it, no one’s showing up. Hitting “publish” isn’t a content marketing strategy; you’ve got to do more.

Always know how you are going to drive traffic to your website – this may mean a combination of offline promotions and marketing, social media and paid online advertising.

Iceberg 5: Not Showing the Next Step

Most folks won’t pick up the phone and call a business solely based on their website. They want to be wooed a bit. So, help them take a tiny step forward in getting to know you.

Having great content is a start, but sweeten the pot with high-value extras they can access by sharing their email with you to get your newsletter or downloadable eBook/video etc.

Too many businesses offer awesome content but skip the chance for people to engage and get to know them better.

Always make it easy for people to take the next step to get to know you and your business.

Iceberg 6: Taking an SEO Quick Hit

Here’s a cautionary tale for you. We’ve had a few copywriting clients who had top-notch content and great websites. Then they got lured into the SEO quick-fix trap.

Some fell for those annoying emails claiming their site was a Google dud and needed fixing. Others teamed up with SEO firms that looked legit but wrecked their online reputation.

And the problem?

The SEO tactics that were used to get their business on the first page of Google were a lot like taking Ice. It gave them a quick high then proceeded to trash everything they held dear.

In a number of cases their URL had been so badly tarnished in Google that the only alternative has been to rename their business, start with a new URL, a totally new website through a reputable web design company and 100% re-written content.

Why new content? Because once your online reputation is trashed, Google remembers. These clients had it all but wanted to get ahead too fast, and they paid the price. So, those “get search engine results quick” emails – toss ’em in the bin.

Iceberg 7: Over Editing

Having someone write for you is like getting a custom suit tailored. Sure, you might want a few tweaks, but remember, your copywriter is an expert (why else would you hire them?).

They know the secrets, like how emotions can sell like hotcakes. If you strip away all the emotional stuff, your words might fall flat when it comes to convincing your audience.

Tiny tweaks to your copy are common. Directing every stitch and then unpicking them and restitching it your way is probably not going to deliver the result you want. Little edits are fine, but constantly changing everything might not get you the results you want.

Exceptional website copywriting is definitely a worthwhile investment. Just make sure you’re giving it the right stage, support materials, and an ongoing content marketing strategy to help it shine its brightest.

About the Author

Ingrid Moyle

Ingrid Moyle is a small business web designer and copywriter. When not hardwired to her computer, she quests for the perfect decaf coffee while chasing virtual reality creatures across the backstreets of Brisbane.
Bowler hat with lightbulb.

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