A web developer and a web copywriter typically have their own unique skill sets. A developer will be great with code, while a copywriter has a way with words. In some situations, you can find a web professional who handles all aspects of website creation, but usually, that’s not the case.
This means you will need to provide web content to your developer. Here are some of the common issues that arise when providing the copy.
Decide What Comes First
The creative process is different for everyone. Some web developers prefer to create wire frames for a website first, which allows the writer to know how much content is needed (among other things). Others want content first to build the site around it. Find out what your web developer wants before you start writing. The design could determine how much copy you write.
File Types and Formatting
Now that you have a list of pages get writing! Most web developers will accept your content in a Microsoft Word file, text file, or open source document. If you incorporate any formatting (e.g., bold, color, special font), some of it may get lost when loaded onto the site. It’s best to indicate your formatting requests using a comment in Microsoft Word or as instructions in a separate file.
Other Pieces of Content Often Overlooked
In addition to the paragraphs of text that go on your web pages, there are several other pieces of text to think about.
1. Photo captions including text that layers over flash images
2. Meta descriptions (the content that appears on a search engine results page beneath a link)
3. Page titles (appears on the very top of your browser)
4. Contact information for footer and/or contact page
Ask Your Web Developer About Search Engine Optimization
Not all web developers are knowledgeable in SEO, and not all SEO experts are knowledgeable web developers. Ask your developer what he will do to optimize your site. If she doesn’t have a plan, consider bringing an SEO consultant on the project or educate yourself enough to do the job.
Ask About Proofreading
Once the content is loaded onto your website, review the copy one more time. Not only do typos jump out once published, but new errors can be incorporated into the copy during the load process.