Is Copywriting More Important Than Website Design?

We’ve all seen them – websites with great graphics, audio, and visual effects that grab our attention. All too often, when we click through we find out that that’s all there is – lots of effects with no quality content at all.

Great design without quality copywriting is a waste of your design investment. If you’re serious about online success, don’t put amateur homemade copywriting on your website – professional copywriting will give you a much better chance to maximize your website’s effectiveness.

Why quality copywriting is so important

While some internet users browse for entertainment – most people browse the internet looking for something more specific. They’re searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, so a website’s written content needs to cater to that.

Good website copy creates a conversation with your prospect about what their life will be like when you’ve met their needs. You must understand what those needs are before you start writing the copy for your site so that your conversation will be all about them, not you.

The 5 Second Rule

People who go online need answers – they want to know if you have a solution to their problems and they want answers FAST!!

It only takes 5 seconds for your visitor to decide if your website is for them or not. All they care about is ‘WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM’. They want to know if you have a solution to their needs, and that’s why your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) on your home page is so important. It’s even more effective if you speak to their problem in your headline and back it up with a solution to the problem in a sub-headline or bullets nearby.

Your headline needs to hook them emotionally

The words on your website don’t talk as if you are addressing an entire audience in a big auditorium. Talk to your visitor as an individual – as though it’s just you and them. So instead of having a headline something like this: “Welcome to our website. We help small businesses with their bookkeeping”, write something: “Don’t have time to keep on top of your books? Let us take care of your bookkeeping so you have more time to run your business.

People buy based on emotion over logic

By definition, emotions are where the mind triggers the body to deal with a threat or opportunity. It’s a strong feeling you get that’s derived from your previous schemas, circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

The core motivators of people are:

a. Avoiding threats or losses.

b. Incentives, that pleasure us make or us desire something.

A lot of marketers tend to focus only on the positive emotions, however, it’s more effective to negatively incentivize people because they want to avoid pain.

Which headline makes you want to read more out of these two?

a. What you should never eat on a long flight


b. What you should eat on a long flight

If you lose $100, it hurts more than the happiness you experience if you find $100.

The goal is to tap into their pain points and offer a solution to their pain.

Here are some other approaches for writing headlines…

– What makes your offer unique. State the big benefit.

– Evoke curiosity with a question.

– Relay honest & enthusiastic results-driven testimonial

– Announce exciting news.

The goal is to get them to engage with your page and read more.

In a study of 65,000 titles, Outbrain compared positive superlative headlines, negative superlatives headlines, and no superlative headlines. The study found that headlines with negative superlatives performed 30% better than positive headlines. The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was 63% higher than with positive headlines.

Focus on the ‘Benefits’ first, then the ‘Features’

Sure, your product or service may have amazing features, but your visitors want to know how the features make their life easier. You need to tell them how they will benefit from your offer. Most business owners are so excited about their product’s features they never get to the benefits.

Quality content can boost your SEO success

Google hasn’t publicly announced if they can read images on websites at this stage, so it’s still extremely important that you have written content on your site that supports the purpose of each page.

Content does more than tell your visiting customer about how you can help – it also tells the search engines what your page is all about too. The less written content you have, the fewer keywords are tagged by analytics, which means it won’t rank as well.

Graphics and animations give a nice visual about you and your business, however, these are not always picked up by search engines (unless the images are named correctly and the ‘alt tag’ matches). Even then, reinforcing the descriptions with content improves SEO.

Videos need a quality copy, too!

The purpose of your website should be to build trust, and there’s no better way to build trust than having a face-to-camera video. It lets you talk directly to your target audience and show them that you understand their problems and you have a solution to help them.

The script of your video can be a powerful conversion tool with the right copy. Your visitor is in a hurry – you need to tell them what problem you’ll solve for them and why you’re the right solution. Good scripting will maximize the return on your video investment.

Here’s a formula we use and encourage our clients to use that don’t want to invest in a copywriter. You can use it for your home page video or other copy needs. It’s the SPIN selling formula:

  •  S = Situation
  •  P = Problem
  •  I = Implication
  •  N = Need/payoff


Show them that you know what their situation looks like now.


Talk about the problem and show that you understand their pain point. (It’s also great if you can tell your story showing that you experienced the same pain and that’s why you created your products.)


Show the implications of what their life will look like if they don’t address the cause of the problem. Will their existing pain continue – or will it get worse?


Show them the need or the ‘pay off’ of what their life could look like if they use your solution to the problem.

Always have a ‘Call To Action

Make sure you have a ‘Call To Action’ at the end of your video telling them where you want them to do next.

After letting your prospects know about you and your offer, you will want to communicate what you want them to do next. It’s important to take the next step very clearly, both in words and with visuals.

It can be as simple as adding a button with ‘easy to understand words like:


(NOTE: Give this button plenty of visual “breathing space” around it to make it stand out on the page.)

Invest in professional copywriting.

High-converting web copy comes from skilled writers who have the time to write, a passion for copywriting, and an understanding of the SEO impact of their copy.

The ability to put together a brochure, prepare a sales proposal or write a press release is one thing – writing coherent, purposeful, effective copy for your website is a whole different game.

A professional website design that’s conversion-focused can boost conversions by up to 20-30% if the previous design converted but was poor quality.

We recommend that you multiply that success by investing in a professional web copywriter who knows how to speak to your customers as well as to the Search Engines that will bring customers to your website.

When the aesthetics and content on your website work together in harmony you have a much greater chance of turning visitors into customers.



 Copywriting is more important than design. You won’t hear many designers say that! If you have an amazing design and poor copy, the site won’t convert anywhere near as well as having awesome copy and poor design. However, if you add awesome design to amazing copy, you will have the best chance of conversions.

Leave a comment below to continue the conversation…

Listen in to our podcast here where we battle out Copywriting vs Design with legendary copywriter Kevin Rogers!


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