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Help! I Need Web Copy—Pronto!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 by Stacy Crinks

Last June, in “It’s So Easy to Be a Marketing Rock Star,” I described a “foolproof method for getting incredible value from the Content Bureau on virtually any project.” In this post, I’ll share best practices for web copywriting projects, in particular.

Web projects are unique in that our clients often use different resources for copy and creative. There’s usually a search engine optimization (SEO) resource involved, as well. So who does what, when?

Typically, your web design firm or in-house web team handles the heavy lifting. In addition to its most glam and high-profile job, designing your new site or microsite, a full-service web design firm typically:

  • Manages the schedule
  • Creates the sitemap
  • Oversees user experience (UX), SEO, and copywriting resources to ensure everyone is working in a coordinated fashion

It’s good to start shopping around for a web copywriting agency as soon as you realize you’ll need to write or update your web copy. Choose an experienced firm that excels at writing copy for your industry, has outstanding references, and will be organized and fun to work with. Above all, choose an agency that feels as passionate as (dare I say more passionate than?) you about writing copy that will compel your target readers to fall in love with your company’s products and services.

It’s best to secure a quote from the copywriting agency only after you have the following approved items, which your web design firm typically creates:

  1. Your approved sitemap or number of pages you’d like the copywriting agency to write/rewrite/update. On updated pages, what percent of the content is likely to change?
  2. An approved wireframe with estimated word count and any editorial guidelines (e.g., “We’d like a three-word headline and a 20-word sidebar on each page.”), so the copywriting agency can estimate how much work each page will require.
  3. SEO guidelines (the Content Bureau can do a basic SEO exercise for you, if you’re not likely to have these guidelines in place before you need us to start writing).
  4. A style guide or other editorial guidelines that you’ve been using in-house (or our team can create one for you).

Why yes! The Content Bureau would love to quote on your web copywriting project. Call me!

Stacy Crinks runs the Content Bureau, @contentbureau.

runs the Content Bureau, @contentbureau.

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The Business of Copywriting

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