Fielding an eCommerce site or mobile app rife with spelling and grammar errors for lack of a web copywriter is the digital equivalent of hanging a sign out in front of a brick-and-mortar business reading: “We don’t sweat the details because we aren’t concerned about the quality of your experience.”
When shoppers check out your eCommerce site or mobile app for the first time, in addition to shopping for a product, they’re also looking for clues to give them an idea of how trustworthy your business is likely to be. Spelling and grammar mistakes will greatly undermine their confidence and negatively impact your conversion rates.
Just one example: the team at the copywriting firm JustSayPlease.co.uk noticed a spelling error in the word “tights” on an under-performing page on a client’s women’s hosiery site. “Once the mistake was corrected, the page’s conversion rate jumped by 80 percent,” says CEO Charles Duncombe.
Great copywriting isn’t copying
With the advent of easy to use enterprise eCommerce software and mobile app creation tools, too many entrepreneurs are focusing on the overall look of their sites or apps, while paying little attention to how product descriptions are written. Some, in an effort to save time and get around potential spelling and grammar issues, are simply copying and pasting manufacturers’ product descriptions.
While this thinking reduces the amount of effort involved in coming up with copy, it’s problematic for a couple of reasons.
First, if you copy a description, and the next site copies a description, and a third site copies a description, there’s nothing to separate you from those other two in a customer’s mind—aside from price and maybe the look of the site. A shopper would just as soon buy from one of them as from you.
Second, search engines don’t like duplicate content. Because of this, they routinely rank sites (and now also mobile apps) where they find it poorly, compared to sites with original content. In other words, clean, well-written original copy actually gives you a leg up on the competition.
Original copy, written in a style specifically targeted to your key demographic, entertains customers while they shop, helps build their affinity for your brand, and positions you more favorably in search engine rankings.
What makes a good app or web copywriter?
For these reasons, one of the best investments you can make in your mobile app or eCommerce enterprise is hiring a good web copywriter. But what constitutes a good copywriter?
Writers tend to specialize, so it’s important to have a solid idea of what you’re looking for. Someone good at blog posts might struggle to come up with the pithy short-form work you’ll need for engaging product descriptions. Make sure you’re getting someone best suited for the type of writing you need. Ask for samples, get references, and if at all possible, try to find before and after examples to give you a realistic yardstick for comparing writers.
If budget constraints mean keeping a web copywriter on staff will be something of a financial burden, consider posting a Craigslist ad for a freelance copywriter—being very specific about your needs.
Either way, before any words are ever posted to your site, make sure they are edited and proofread relentlessly. Even the best writers make spelling mistakes, so don’t be shy about going over their work with a fine-tooth comb.
After all, their spelling and grammar errors will ultimately cost you money.