7 Reasons Exceptional Copywriting May Not Be Enough

Exceptional copywriting
13 Aug 2015

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

You have done the right thing and invested in a professional copywriter to get some decent web copy for your business.

You resisted the siren call of your mother’s-Bingo-friend’s-second-cousin who always wanted to be a writer. You skilfully avoided the rocky shoals of DIY writing squished in between trying to look after your clients, manage your business and still have a life. And you walked the tightrope of hiring someone with enthusiasm and no track record, versus hiring someone with years of hard won experience recognised by higher fees.

You relaxed into the process and ended up with some truly exceptional copy for your business,

Woohoo you!

Now, you just need to avoid these 7 Titanic sized icebergs that may sink your fabulous copy without a trace.


You mean that you can’t guarantee that exceptional copywriting is enough?

In the words of the quintessential Australian philosopher and poet Jon English “Words are not enough.”

Or to put it another way: Great words are the start of the conversation – they are not the whole conversation.

Why Copywriting is Not Enough

For a moment, I want you to imagine yourself standing on the bow of a mega million-dollar ocean liner, with a wind machine gently blowing your hair around your face. You are king of the world! Now, let’s go spot those icebergs.


Iceberg 1: Faulty or Poorly Designed Websites

It doesn’t matter how exceptional your web copy is, if the website that contains your words is ugly, constantly crashes or is not designed with sales in mind, the copy will just sit there sparkling like the Hope Diamond in a second-hand junk store ring. Appearances matter.
Read More >> The 3 Questions Websites Need To Answer To Be Effective


Iceberg 2: Missing Visuals

Words are awesome. Words plus images are rocket fuel for your marketing. 

Humans are visual beasts. We buy with our eyes. One of the most tested areas in internet marketing is the difference adding in the right image can make to click through rates.

According to Hubspot, Tweets with images get 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets. A study of over 30,000 Facebook business pages found posts with photos had 87% more engagement than other types of posts.

If you want to increase the power of your words, you need to have the right visuals accompanying your words. Cheesy pixelated stock photos need not apply!

Read more>> Statistics About Visual Content https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy

Iceberg 3: A Waterfall of Words

A good copywriter will help you create brilliant words for your marketing. A great copywriter will help break up the cascade of words to help different readers absorb the information in the way that works for them.

Your words need a headlines and subheadlines to assist the skimmers. It needs to be a mixture of dot points and text of varying lengths and formats so the reader doesn’t drown in words. It also needs strong and appropriate imagery to gently lead the eye down the page.

Your words also need to be incorporated into everything to do with your website, from your page titles through to your page descriptions in the back end code of your site.

In other words, your copywriting needs finessing to ensure you increase the readability of your content for both humans and Google; otherwise you may as well be uploading a chapter of War and Peace (or Twilight).

Read more >>> How to Create an SEO Friendly, Readable Blog Post https://yoast.com/seo-friendly-blog-post/

How to Write Great Website Copy

Iceberg 4: You Are Not Driving New People to See Your Content

Having a brilliant website and content is not your end goal. It is only your entry ticket to the game.

No matter how exceptional your website and copywriting is, unless you are taking active steps both online and offline to drive new people to see your content, you won’t get the results you were looking for.

Think of it in the same way as building the most amazing hotel deep in a jungle. Unless you take some action to promote your hotel, you won’t get visitors.

Hitting “publish” is not a content marketing strategy and it is not enough. You need to do more.


Iceberg 5: You Are Not Giving People A Low-Stress Way to Take the Next Step

Most people are not willing to pick up the phone to call a business on the basis of their website alone. They want to be wooed. You need to help them take the next little tiny step on the process of getting to know you.

Having great content is a start, but ramp it up with high-value additional content that people can access through sharing their email with you.

Giving someone your email address is akin to smiling back at someone at a nightclub. It is not an invitation for them to jump you – it is simply saying, “I am interested. Let me find out a bit more about you.”

Too many small businesses provide awesome content without giving people the chance to smile back and start to get to know you.

Iceberg 6: You Went For A SEO Quick Hit

This is one of those horrible warning stories. I have had a couple of Brisbane based copywriting clients in the past few years who had superb content and brilliant websites. They then fell in with the wrong SEO crowds.

A few took advantage of those emails that hit every business email box every day saying, “Your site is not performing in Google – Let us fix it for you.” Others joined SEO companies that looked great on the outside.

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 has 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 totally re-written? If your reputation has been trashed, you can’t reuse the smallest hint of your past material. Google is smarter than that. These clients had it all, but they just wanted to get high faster, and have had to start all over again from scratch. So move those get SEO quick emails straight into the bin

Iceberg 7: You Had a Little Fiddle With Your Words

Having someone write for you is like being fitted for a suit. There are always bits you want to add in and bits you want to take out. 

That said, your copywriter has expertise that you don’t (otherwise why would you hire them?) They know for example that emotions sell real estate. If you insist on removing all emotional content then the words will fail to sell your property. Trust their expertise.

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.

Exceptional copywriting is definitely a worthwhile investment. Make sure that you are making the most of your investment by providing the right platform, supporting material and ongoing content marketing strategy to make the most of it.

About the Author

Ingrid Moyle

Ingrid Moyle (BA - Psych/Industrial Relations) is the Chief Web Wizard at Heart Harmony Communications. A self-confessed multipotentialite, Ingrid shamelessly blends her passions of human resources, psychology, web design and copywriting. When not hardwired to her computer, she quests for the perfect coffee while chasing virtual reality creatures across the backstreets of Brisbane.
Bowler hat with lightbulb.

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