Nothing excites us more than planning a website.
As soon as we read your creative brief, we’re picturing the colour scheme you might have, snappy tag lines we can use, images and themes that will fit your brand, blog ideas that will excite your readers, content to really showcase what you have to offer, and fonts, oh those wonderful fonts!
So when your website is still in the planning stages, should you concentrate the design or copy first? Most copywriters will say plan the content first. Most designers will say plan the design first.
They both are.
Design and copy go hand in hand and you need to get both working seamlessly together for a website that’s visually appealing, functional and persuasive.
Well written copy isn’t going to achieve its potential if it’s visually unappealing or unreadable. Likewise, the most attractive and well designed webpage isn’t going to hold the readers attention if the copy is sloppy or isn’t engaging.
The ultimate goal of most websites is to attract the right type of visitor and convert those visitors into customers.
Neither design nor copy works to its full potential on its own, but when you pair them together you have a powerful tool for conversion.
How design helps with conversions
Humans are generally quite visual creatures and respond to things that are aesthetically pleasing. Designers use a number of tactics to get the reader to hone in on something specific, depending on the goal for that particular website page.
Home pages commonly have a big header with an image that backs up the headline or tagline, then some conversion beacons that push the reader down the page. These might be some bright icons that highlight a service, product or specific offer.
The goal might be for the reader to click on one of the icons and be taken to a different landing or sales page. Or it might be to keep scrolling to the bottom of the page where they’ll come across a list of benefits and a call-to-action button in a contrasting colour.
Whatever the goal is, the design should reinforce the message. Designers are clever creatures (well ours is anyway!) and know where to place images, icons and buttons for optimum conversion. They know what colours and shapes work, and where to use white space for full effect.
All these things tie the copy in for a completely optimised and functional page.
How copy helps with conversions
Beautiful images and snazzy icons are great, but if they’re not coupled with the proper message, they’re nothing but a series of pictures that do little on their own to convert a visitor.
One of the first things a reader should come across on a home page is a value proposition. They want to know what this website offers, why they should be interested, and what value they’re going to get.
The body of any piece of copy should always include plain, easy to understand language with specific points that highlight the value and benefits, in a format that’s easy to scan (like bullets). These specifics are always important for conversion, and need to be conveyed by the copy rather than the design.
And it’s not just headlines and body text that are going to convince a reader to do something. Microcopy plays a huge part in the conversion process. In fact, this can have the biggest impact on whether your reader converts or clicks away.
When designers and copywriters collaborate
The Web Hut is exactly this – a well-oiled collaboration between a designer and a copywriter.
Sometimes, it’s a challenge for a copywriter to force the copy into the design, and often results in a few changes being made to the design afterwards (which is more time consuming and costly for the client).
Often, the designer is given the copy and bases their design around this. This is often the easiest way and makes the words more powerful, but it can also stifle the creativity of the designer.
We draft the copy and design at the same time and confer with each other as we’re going. This means we’re more likely to get everything right the first time, saving our clients time and money and creating a website that ticks all the right boxes.
Whichever way round you choose to do it, remember users don’t see design and writing as separate entities. They just see a website. Make sure you invest some time and effort in getting every aspect of your website just right and you’ll have an impressive and convincing business tool.
Keen to see how our collaboration makes for an awesome yet affordable website? Take a look at our packages.