Make words the hero of your site

Last year I was hired to do the copywriting for a large website. The agency’s brief to the client said that a large flash animation would be the “hero element” of the site. The agency poured a huge amount of time and money into the flash animation. It takes up about a quarter of the home page – just sitting there looking pretty.

Meanwhile I wasn’t given a brief. There was no content strategy. My two superiors gave conflicting views on the client’s marketing strategy. I was asked to rehash second-rate press releases and scavenge other content off the web. The result: a pretty site with nothing of value for the target audience. In short, a waste of money.

Unfortunately this happens all too often. A lot of businesses happily pour a ton of money into slick graphics and the latest technological bells and whistles for their site. But they leave copywriting out of the budget, putting their entire investment at risk.

Words are the most important element of a business website. Why? Because the main activity people do on the web is read. If you took all the images off your website, would it still work? Most likely. If you took all the words off your website, would it still work? I doubt it.

It’s the words that do the selling on your site. The words build relationships, give you a competitive edge, drive actions and keep your customers happy. (Not to mention help you get ranked higher in the search engines.) So if you want to be a success on the web you need to make words the hero of your site.

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