Website development teams often leave content writing up to the business owner or outsource it at the last minute. Such an oversight can postpone the project or render the site unusable. They are missing an opportunity to make the site function as the company intended – as a business tool. If payment is tied to the site going live they may also experience a delayed paycheck.
To build a truly functional website, content writing responsibilities need to be delegated early to a skilled writer who makes content a priority. Just as graphic artists make visual design a priority and programmers make code their priority, content writers delve deep into what the business objectives are for the site. Content begins a conversation between the company and site visitor. Words inform, engage, and when strategically employed, live up to the visitor’s expectation. Visitors don’t expect to be assaulted by ugly design or frustrated by features that crash or content that doesn’t answer their questions.
Keep the Project On Track
I asked some web development pros I know for their views on the content writer’s role. Here’s what Dan Halt, principal at Balta Design, a web development and design firm, has to say:
“The thing that slows us down the most is not having the content ready from the customer. Having the copy written by a content writer, instead of the customer, usually speeds up the process. One of the most beneficial things someone can get from a content writer is their content will be written with SEO in mind. Most business owners don’t have the time to write the content for their site (or at least the quality time it takes). That’s why it’s better to hire a professional, in my opinion.”
Kay Wharton, owner of Wharton Graphics, shared similar ideas. She said, “I prefer at least rough content (headlines and estimate of copy to come) before design begins. I can greek in text, but if I could have all the copy that’s even better. I want the content writer to understand some editing may be necessary to make the copy fit the design. There may need to be a little back and forth during the process.”
Bring in a content writer early for web development projects. The site will likely be completed on time, function well, and meet your business objectives. Companies reap rewards when content writing is prioritized as a functional part of website development.