Content UX + Design

Your copy is your user experience

So why are so many brands neglecting theirs?

What if you could quickly improve your search rankings, increase user engagement and conversion, and make a positive impact on brand perception – all without redesigning your websites or investing in new technology?

You can, today, with better copy.

Copy: The overlooked edge

An effective investment in content can substantially impact your organization’s image, competitiveness, profitability, and even market value.

Think about your last major web initiative. Look at the time devoted to design, then look at the time devoted to copy, and note the difference. For most organizations, the writing of web content remains an afterthought, even on their most mission-critical initiatives. Yet for the majority of visitors to your websites, the copy is the user experience.

Your own organization might be guilty if…

  • You routinely insert “lorem ipsum” text during the design process, then take it on faith that someone will add meaning later through your CMS.
  • Your copy remains unaltered for years while new technology is deployed and designs are revised over and over again.
  • You spend more time talking about your content management system than you do about your content. And you spend more money on it, too.
  • You outsource copy writing to someone who doesn’t know your organization well, or you hand it off at the last minute to an unfortunate colleague who already has too much on her plate.
  • The financial consequences of this neglect can be substantial. Pictures might grab people’s attention, but only copy can hold it and convert.

The business impact of great copy

Improved search rankings. Search engine algorithms may change over time, but message relevance remains the most effective way to move up the rankings. Therefore the shortest path to higher rankings is not an SEO consultant but excellent content.

Increased customer engagement and influence. With the recent proliferation of social channels, blogs, and other new platforms, we have more ways to communicate and less of people’s attention than ever before. In this environment, only superior content has the power to captivate an increasingly distracted and demanding consumer.

Higher conversion rates. No matter how brilliant a website’s design, no matter how elegant its navigation, sooner or later your visitors will decide whether to take action because of something they read.

More positive brand perception. An effective investment in content can substantially impact your organization’s image, competitiveness, profitability and even market value. It’s a wonder so many firms let it slide.

How you can improve

If your organization is a copy laggard, here are some measures to consider:

  1. First, know your audiences. This is the golden rule of successful communication, yet many organizations know surprisingly little about the needs and desires of their target audiences.
  2. Put it in the plan. Don’t let copy be an afterthought. Build it into your project plans from the beginning, staff for it and make someone accountable for it.
  3. Put someone in charge. In this age of content, where every organization is a publisher, we all need someone who is responsible for the quality and consistency of our content. Consider hiring a full-time content editor to lead and manage your websites, social networks, thought leadership, blogs and other forms of engagement. The role of an editor is not to write all of your web content, but rather to provide strategic direction and ensure quality across the organization.
  4. Put your CMS in perspective. Buying a new content management system won’t solve most of your content challenges, but a great content strategy and copy will. And that strategy will help you to buy the right CMS to support it, because you will understand your needs.
  5. Start small and win over the skeptics. When it comes to copy, it’s surprisingly easy to start small and prove ROI. Start with just one page and do some multivariate testing as an experiment. Share the results and build gradually from there.

As business leaders, we are frequently so busy looking for the next big thing that we overlook the easy wins that are right under our noses. If your web presence is going to hit all the right notes, your copy should be just as well-crafted as your strategy, design and code.