So you’ve decided to get your business on the web to boost your sales. Congratulations and welcome to last century! Seriously though, you may be slightly late to the party – but better late than never.
Grabbing a few quotes from web designers seems like a sensible place to start. So after a few phone calls, a near-fatal heart attack, and a stiff scotch, you’ve got a decent list of ballpark estimates. Who knew this stuff was so expensive?!
In the end, you decide you really only need a basic three-or-four page site, so you settle on a quote you got for $1,500.
A few weeks later, you have a fantastic-looking site with just one minor problem – nobody’s visiting it.
You make a call to your web design company who advise you the reason nobody’s landing on your site is because Google has no idea it exists. “Wasn’t that part of the $1,500 deal?”, you ask them. As it turns out, it wasn’t.
The web designer gives you a number for an SEO firm that guarantees to get your site on Google’s first page of organic listings – at a cost of $280 a month for five keywords. Seems a little steep, but you really need that new site showing up in Google.
Three months pass, and not much has changed. Your SEO firm is still “working on” getting your site onto page one of Google. And by the six month mark, your balance sheet reads like a horror novel:
Sparkly new website: $1,500
Other advertising: $2,000
Additional sales: $0
Thankfully, just as you begin courting that second heart attack, the SEO guys come to the rescue. The organic traffic starts trickling in.
But still no sales.
Congratulations, you achieved exactly what you set out to do. Didn’t you?
What did you do wrong?
Ask yourself this – whose job was it to get those extra sales you wanted? The web designer’s job was to build you a nice-looking site, which he did. The SEO agency’s job was to get you onto page page one of Google, which they did.
At no point did you hire anybody who can actually sell.
That’s a copywriter’s job.
A good copywriter will call you up and ask you the questions they know your customers will ask themselves when they land on your site. They’ll use your answers to turn your site into your most valuable sales tool.
And sure, some web design companies have copywriters who can do exactly that. But not the ones who charge $1,500 for an entire website.
In the example above, the web designer probably wrote the copy himself. Maybe he even got you to write it. Either way, a layman writing website copy is like going out to sea without nets or a rod and wondering why you aren’t catching any fish. It’s a simple case of not having the tools for the job.
Worse still, your SEO company came in and shoved keywords into your page copy, seemingly at random, to get you that first page ranking. And the keywords they chose were total garbage. The very logical reason for this is that SEO firms who promise first page rankings purposely target easy keywords – low traffic, low competition, and low commercial intent.
What are you left with? A nicely-designed site that ranks for useless terms and that consists of 50% generic waffle and 50% garbled nonsense.
Here’s another couple of worrying percentages: it takes the average site just five seconds to lose 48% of its visitors to cyberspace; and less than 5% of the average site’s visitors convert (i.e. pick up the phone, request a quote etc.). Thanks to your non-writing web designer and your dodgy SEO firm however, your site copy is below average, so your stats are even worse.
Hiring a great website copywriter changes all of that. And unlike your SEO firm who are on the take for months, you pay a copywriter once, and their work continues to deliver indefinitely.
Sure, there are SEO firms who have conversion-focused copywriters. But not the ones that charge $280 per month.
The Simple Solution
When you hire a designer, an SEO firm, or anyone else who’ll be touching your site, remember your end goal is sales. Find out who’s writing your copy, make sure they have a proven record of delivering sales, and if necessary, take charge and hire somebody yourself.