You checked web design off your list and now it’s time to tackle the Latin-ish looking Lorem Ipsum dummy copy. Your mind goes as blank as the page in front of you; the cursor is blinking in your face. It’s time to represent who you are — the essence of your brand — in a few concise words.

Copy. It’s such a vague concept. Throw some words on a page, work in a call to action (“Order now!”; “Click here to subscribe!”), and call it a day. After all, web design is where the focus should be, and good products sell themselves, and as long as your visual content is curated, the followers will follow. Right?

Wrong. Quality copy dictates everything, from your sales to your subscribers, down to the likes on your social media content. But tragically, the services that a professional writer can bring to your business are often underestimated and undervalued.

We’ve rounded up five reasons why that rhetoric needs to change, so keep reading, and let us convince you why copy and content are the cherry on top, the frosting underneath, and the cake supporting it all when it comes to your business’s success.

  1. Action. The entire purpose of copy is to convince someone to do something: donate here, buy the product, sign up for the newsletter, share the post. Without quality content, your readers are either unsure of how to take action or skeptical as to whether they should. Good copy is like creating a clear map to the treasure chest.

Let’s say you spot the rug you’ve been looking for on a website you’ve never seen before, but just as you’re about to click “add to cart,” you notice that the cleaning instructions don’t seem to make sense. What’s more, you can’t seem to find any shipping information. Do you stick to shopping on this site, or do you hop over to Google and search for your rug elsewhere? Poor copy can cost you sales, subscribers, and status. On the other hand, clean copy can actually convince your audience to click “add to cart” (even if the shipping isn’t free!), follow your account, or reach out to your company to learn more.

  1. Enhanced Brand Image. Have you ever noticed that the most recognizable brands (with a large, loyal base) also have recognizable copy?: Just do it. A diamond is forever. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline. These phrases are concise, catchy, and flat-out fantastic copy. You remember them, you know the campaigns they stand behind, and you recall them in a sea of brand choices.

But a pithy slogan isn’t the only way your brand image can benefit from expert copy — all of your copy is equally as important. Reconsider copy and try not to think of it as a pitch, “about” section, or description; instead, think of copy as your mission statement. As much as we all want to sell the product or rake in subscribers, if you think of copy as your mission statement, you’ll sell your brand. Once you have your audience hooked on the brand, everything else will naturally fall into place.

  1. A Trustworthy Image. Picture this: you stumble across a beautiful website full of magnificent images, sales, and reviews. Just as you’re about to sign up for their newsletter, you notice that their content is riddled with typos, mixed-up messages, and broken sentences. How likely are you to volunteer your contact information? Do you trust this website with your personal details — your birthday, your email, your phone number?

Good copy establishes a relationship with the reader and builds trust. Clean sentences, correct punctuation, and engaging content are necessary in order to show your audience that not only are you an expert in your field, but that you’re a business that can be trusted with their personal information, brand loyalty, and even money.

  1. Audience Engagement. User experience is all the rage, and rightly so. How a web page is laid out and the ease of navigating it are two of the most important factors when it comes to audience engagement. But equally important (and often overlooked) is the copy. A sleek site is the initial draw, but quality content is what keeps readers on your page, engaged and involved.

In fact, whether or not the audience is engaged directly impacts how well you will perform in searches. The longer your readers spend on each page, the more interaction you receive through clicks on each call to action — these factors tell Google and other search engines how you and your content rank. Which leads us to…

  1. RIP SEO. It wasn’t long ago that the words “search engine optimization” started buzzing through offices, and with them the promise of increased visibility and sales. The idea was simple: work keywords into your website to help consumers find what they were looking for, all the while eliminating internet waste.

We’ve long thought of SEO as entirely keywords-driven; the more keywords you can cram into vital areas of your page, the higher up you will appear with each and every search. But this all changed in 2011 when Google introduced its new Panda and Penguin algorithms, which essentially work to identify high-quality content, reliable links, and user-friendliness. “Keywords” no longer hold value when it comes to search engine optimization; the new reigning king is quality content, and it’s here to stay. If you prioritize a fancy design, glossy images, or sale prices over good content, you can be certain that your business will drop lower and lower on that search results page. But if you reassess the importance of words, crafted skillfully into actionable sentences that engage your audience, you’ll become a master of the web and rise to the top.

A good copywriter will go beyond leveraging research and become immersed in your world to help you speak your mind. Through practice, copywriters know what to say and how to say it. It’s one thing to string together grammatically-sound sentences, it’s another to prove they can convert, engage, and make the idea linger on your brain. Just as some people represent themselves in court instead of hiring a lawyer, some people will want to take this important endeavor into their own hands. We give our hats off to them. If you do find yourself in need of a writer, find a friendly one with a voice you enjoy.  

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