At the end of 2021, I was part of a project to redo a company’s website. As often happens, I was hired by a referral partner as the website copywriter. I was privy to meetings with stakeholders to learn more about the business and get a sense of their company culture. My partner was quick to point out this website project was different than others. For this project, the purpose of the website wasn’t marketing, it was to showcase the client as an authority in their industry.
When I thought back to the different versions of my website, I understood their goal better.
My first website was to simply highlight that I could write. There was no real call to action. It was more of a resume than anything else.
The second version was more of a marketing site first, then a showcase of my writing, but the call to action was still unclear. There were a few iterations like this until we get to my current website.
Agency Content Writer was created with purpose and intention. The purpose is to showcase my offerings and secondly, my writing. There are clear calls to action, including the one at the end of this article, and a content strategy for the blog.
As I was writing for the client, I took time to update the onboarding questions I give to my clients. I could see the importance of asking them what the purpose of their website is.
Rather than assuming it is for marketing, now I ask.
What is the purpose of the website?
The purpose may well be for marketing.
The purpose of the website may be to position them as an expert in their industry.
The website may be to showcase their work, as a sort of resume they can share with networking contacts and prospective clients.
The purpose may be to introduce the company and capture email addresses with a downloadable document or subscription to a newsletter.
Whatever the purpose, it needs to be clearly represented to the design team, including the copywriter.
How do you know the purpose of the website?
Before diving in and signing a contract with a web designer or developer, take time with your team to discuss the business itself.
- Who are your target clients?
- What are the most asked questions about your business?
- What services do you offer? Which one(s) do you want to highlight?
- What do you want to promote over the next month, quarter, and year?
- Why this project and why now? Maybe it is to establish authority or to market, or another reason. Ask yourself and your team.
Answering these questions, you will begin to see an outline for the purpose of the website that you can then take to the website designer or developer as a starting point.
Over the years, I’ve worked with several web designers and developers. They aren’t all the same.
Take time to ask people in your industry for referrals. Then talk to the designers. Ask them about their process and experience with creating websites. Choose the designer that understands your business and goals. In this way, you will create a website that is intentional and focused.
The purpose of a website is an interesting question and one that has changed the way I work with my clients. Without this understanding, it is a bit more challenging to write content for the website on your behalf.