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Ask GH: Do website design companies usually offer good website copy?
Are you satisfied with yours? Would you recommend I hire an additional copywriter?
It depends... Some companies offer content and copywriting in addition to design services. Visual and written communication goes hand-in-hand.
You are totally right. There are some companies that will handle just the design services.
As always it depends on the agency. If you were to use a firm that has marketing solutions as well as a design team like digitas (large) or consultants (small) then they could provide copy for you as well.
Depending on what the goals of your site are I would write the copy yourself and send it to someone for review. Its good practice for you to understand your business. There is also the option of a content mill type of company if you need a lot of content.
Generally I would never trust a typical design/development only firm to create any copy whatsoever.
That's actually a very good idea: write the copy myself, then send it to someone else to review it.
Honestly, this isn't an area I would personally want to skimp on at all. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Good copywriting is hard, it takes a long time to get good at it.
2. I don't personally know of any great copywriters who are working we design / development agencies. Not to say that they don't exist but if you were truly great at your craft that seems like an odd place to work to me.
3. Good copy should always pay for itself.
4. You may want to think about the copy even before the design. Let the copy guide the design where possible rather than the other way around.
If you're totally stuck for resources on where to find good copywriters I would think about checking out http://copyhackers-for-hire.com/ (no affiliation, just a big fan of Copyhackers)
You mentioned some really good tips. Will definitely keep them in mind.
Your website's copy is a critical element of your conversion. Once you have engaging copy, it should be very clear to the designers what their designs should express. All of the images and visual components should complement and enhance the copy, anything that does't shouldn't be there.
Typically copywriting and web design are 2 completely different functions, but that being said, a web design company with this understanding will have the 2 departments well integrated and be able to provide you with the perfect picture by creating real images from the ones your copy paints with words. They can guide your visitor through the story with navigation. They can throw away stock photos of pretty people and choose images informed by metaphor and analogy.
Thanks for your comment!
I'm thinking that it's easier and more convenient to work with an agency that can provide design and copy as well.
I have found with most projects, the best work comes from having a team with multiple perspectives. Let the designers focus on creating a beautiful, interactive page experience, then let the writers or brand experts create the content. Part of my job is putting those teams together, and I've always preferred this method. A web site has to appeal to a wide range of people, so having more people on the project helps gain that perspective.
I have to agree with your perspective, Morgen. I also found that teamwork brings the best results to any project.
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