As part of my weekly duties as a copywriter in the UK, I provide businesses with a unique service. Not only do I write kick-ass marketing and web content, I design and create WordPress websites too. I know, I’m so talented it’s borderline embarrassing.

Now, having acquired my skills in copywriting and website design, I can’t help casting a critical eye over the various website I come across in my line of work. You see, you could have the swankiest, most eye-catching website in your industry, but if it’s full of fluff and filler, it’s just a pretty facade.

While usability and design are important aspects of creating an effective online presence, they pale into comparison when compared to content. It is the words on your website that engage your customers and win their trust. By speaking directly to your readers concisely and persuasively, I can use my skills as a copywriter to forge new bonds.

I can create the content that will turn visitors into long-term customers.

The foundation of any successful website is not a logo, colour schemes are fancy interactive features – it is the content. And if it’s not hitting the market, your website will never make it to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why is copywriting so important to new websites?

The truth is that copywriting is a crucial part in the success of any online publication. Whether I’m writing a blog post or a Facebook update, I’m constantly emphasising benefits whilst being my usual informative and entertaining self.

When it comes to new websites, however, content is more important than ever. If a potential customer’s first impression if your site is based on bad grammar, ‘salesy’ content and pure boredom, they may never visit again. Even if your website eventually reaches number one on Google SERPs for your target keyword, that customer may simply disregard you as a viable option.

What does great copywriting look like?

The best copy speaks directly to the target reader – as if the content has been specifically written for that person. It doesn’t sell directly, but it persuades by gently pointing the reader in the direction of the benefits involved with a particular service or product.

Of course, very few visitors want to spend all afternoon reading about the virtues and advantages of what you’re selling. In fact, if they don’t get what they’re looking for within 30 seconds, the chances are they will look for it with one of your competitors.

As a copywriter, I look past the obvious and write about the benefits. I don’t sell; I persuade. And I talk directly to every customer. But great content writing doesn’t end there.

New websites also need to be optimised for search engines

In the ‘olden’ days, SEO was easy. Write 300 words of nonsense, stuff in a few keywords for good measure and wait. But things have changed. Google and Bing are clever now, and they can sniff out crappy copywriters at a thousand paces.

Yes, keyword research is still a huge part of what I do as an SEO copywriter, but it is never to the detriment of quality. I pick two or three of the most pertinent keywords of key phrases, and I expertly weave them into quality copy. Such are my skills, readers never know that what they’re digesting is actually geared towards the promotion of a search term.

Working with website designers

Like I said before, I also offer a website design service – which means my clients can get a brand new website complete with quality content in one place. OK, that was a little ‘salesy’, but I’m allowed – this is my site.

I also work hand in glove with third-party website designers, which means working collaboratively from the outset. But which comes first? The website or the content? Well, it depends.

For most of my copywriting clients in the UK, I get a template website, and I write the content based on its design. It’s a lot like writing the lyrics when a musician has already written the tune. But there are occasions when it works the other way round. My brilliant copy inspires design. It’s very much a matter of horses for courses.

So, to summarise, content creation is the single most important factor to consider when building a new website. You might have spent thousands on a stunning new design, but unless the content-filled foundations are strong, your new online home will come crashing down around your ears.