If you Google “cheap website,” you’ll get more than 1 billion hits. They’ll offer ways to save money on your website ranging from doing it yourself to hiring a foreign contractor to build the site. Not all of these are good ideas, but they’re all options. In many cases, you can wind up with a not-terrible website from these money-saving options. Granted, that’s damning with faint praise, but with today’s templates and technologies, it’s never been easier to put together a website.

But it isn’t easy writing good content for a website. There’s no way to automate it. It’s very difficult to outsource it to a cheaper labor market, due to the language barrier. Not to mention that, when done well, writing good web copy is hard, yet everyone thinks they can do it. We can all write, can’t we? We can all put our fingers to the keys and spew out words.

Sure. We all have the basic motor and neurological capability to write. But can you:

  • Write copy which offers conversion opportunities for clients?
  • Separate yourself from your industry’s jargon and your own knee-jerk reaction of “oh, everyone knows that!”?
  • Think logically to create an orderly navigation scheme to guide prospects through your website in a way that makes sense to them?
  • Keep up-to-date on the ever-changing world of search engine optimization?
  • Avoid duplicate content?
  • Research keywords and understand how people are searching for your website?
  • Write copy that’s rich in those keywords but still reads like something written for human beings, not robots?
  • Find the time in your busy schedule to write copy? Keep in mind, this might be dozens of pages of copy; you might need to gather testimonials; you might need to interview your staff or conduct other research.
  • Make sure your grammar and spelling are pristine and consistent?
  • Proofread for factual or typographic errors?
  • Do all of these things while still keeping up with the other demands on your time a website redesign requires and running your business?

Writing great website copy is so much more than fingers on keyboards; the real work of writing web copy is in the thinking and the planning and the researching. Chances are you aren’t an expert in all of those things, just like I’m not an expert in Photoshop or installing furnaces or manufacturing heavy machinery.

Without good copy, you’re likely to wind up with a website that’s beautiful but full of lackluster content. When the copy isn’t any good, search engines can’t find you. People might directly input your web page and navigate away, shaking their heads over an obvious misspelling or simply frustrated and confused with the site.

There are lots of ways you can cut costs on your website. But when it comes to your copy, don’t skimp.

photo credit: DeclanTM via photopin cc