I don’t cut my own hair, fix my car, or design websites.

Why?  Because it’s not what I’m good at, qualified to do or want to learn. You’re writing copy for your website yourself why, exactly?

This blog post is a bit of a rant and it’s called:

4 Simple Reasons Not to Write Your Own Website Content

As a copywriter in and around the deeply groovy city of Brighton, I do a lot of networking.  In fact, I run networking events (of which more in another post).  The success is in the follow up.  I’m good at following up.  I used to be a Sales Director and getting in front of people is what I used to do – and what I do now.

I look at people’s websites after I meet them.  As you do, and should.

But here’s the thing, and I’m sorry to say this: most of the websites I see have very poor content.  There’s a lot of  we and I, plethora of what we do rather than what we can do for you and there are…hideous spelling mistakes.  Or split infinitives, shock horror.

And yes there is a difference between “their”, “they’re” and “there”.  Mistakes like these give me the rage and yes, I AM judging you for them. But not as much as your audience will, believe me.

Most web content is not in-depth enough, not relevant enough, not persuasive enough and just not very good.  No calls to action.

What else? Oh yes, duplicated content and, in some cases, text that’s been blatantly copied from other sources, even Wikipedia.  People, Google will penalise your site for all of these things.  Here’s my take on why you should ask some word-obsessed website copywriter to create your content for you:

1. You’re too close to your business

I’ll play nice here but I mean it: you are very good at what you do.  You are a whole lot better than you think you are.  You don’t realise just how excellent your skills are.  This, ladies and gentlemen, has been my experience with many of my customers.

You may not know in a true objective sense:

  • how many “strands” of service you offer, ie how much you actually do
  • the true benefits of what your business offers your customers
  • what makes YOU different

Working with a copywriter who a) isn’t you and b) has good commercial experience will enable you to put your best foot forward.

2.Writing may not be your forte

And why should it be? You’re an accountant, or a personal trainer, or you run a security company.  I meet many business owners, who, faced with the task of creating web-friendly, SEO-focussed, persuasive, high quality content – and LOTS of it to engage search engines, simply can’t do it.  Or, do it badly.  (I also struggle with people who think that they’re fantastic writers..and who really, really aren’t.  I’d like to say that you know who you are, but you don’t).

Website visitors have a very short attention span, so compelling content will encourage them to stay on your site, and then  contact you.  Google’s latest Rank Brain algorithm focuses on “dwell time”; the clock is ticking, folks.  Three minutes and 10 seconds is the minimum time you need people to keep reading.

You don’t just pay for the hours a content writer takes to write your copy.  You pay for their expertise, experience and skill.  Copywriters can create crisp, focused website content that speaks to your target market and that gets results.

3. You don’t have the time

Picture the scene.  It’s Friday morning.  You have a choice of two activities:

You could write your blog or start a new branding campaign for a client.  You could create a page of content for your website, or spend a couple of hours greeting and serving customers in your business.   Perhaps you need to write an e-book or white paper, but you also need to be in front of paying clients. Which will immediately make you money?

Writing your own website content, blogs or brochure copy is, my friends, taking you away from what you do best and where your primary focus should be: on business development or service delivery.   Outsource, my friends, and all will be well.

4. You don’t understand Search Engine Optimisation – and you don’t want to.

I’m not surprised.  The behemoth that is Google is an all-consuming beast.   Even webby wordy people have to take the time to research all the latest goings on and it’s time-consuming.

The bad news for many is that the old “black hat” techniques (cheating, in other words) no longer works.  Google rewards sites with lots of rich, relevant and shareable content.  Relevant back links are good, for example, and you need excellent on-page SEO via the Yoast plug-in as a start.  Traffic to your website via social media is a Good Thing, too.  Lots of important stuff that you may not know or have the time to learn.

However…don’t think that search engines are going to notice a small, static website with hardly any content.  Please don’t assume that your target market will find your website if you’ve not created content that:

a) speaks to your target market and

b) is search engine friendly

Search engine friendly content is in-depth, excellent quality, relevant to its subject matter and with a proportion of key words (although the latter are not quite as important as they were, funnily enough).  SEO content is so good that it gets shared via social media or other platforms.  It should be informative and helpful.  It also has links to previous content and to external sources, as well as images.  It has H1 and H2 headings.  It has rich anchor text diversity.

Confused?  See what I mean?

Fret ye not.  There are good copywriters out there who can help you.  Know anyone?

Susan Beckingham from Sussex Copywriting Services creates lickety spit content for websites.  Call her on 07816 684 756 to find out more.