Many clients I speak to only have a vague idea of what is involved in creating a new website, or indeed even redesigning an old one – this is not a criticism, after all, I would only have a vague idea of what is involved in many of the new services I might need to find. So an important part of my role is to educate the client about the process, and why the process is the most important part of the project. 
Some clients have a notion that a website is something that you simply buy off of the shelf. Just add a business name and industry and off you go! It is only when I start asking lots of open questions that they start to realise that a website is much like any other project – yes, some are more complex than others, but projects have many moving parts, and often need to be broken down into bite-sized pieces to avoid a feeling of overwhelm – “just where do I start”. 
You won’t be shocked to hear that two large elements of nearly all websites are written text, and still or moving images. When you think about it, those elements are often the lions share of the content! And at risk of stating the blooming obvious, if you put rubbish words and rubbish images on a website, you are likely to get a sub-standard outcome, no matter how pretty the designer makes the layout appear. 
Fortunately, some clients have writing or photographic ability (thank you Smartphones for helping out here), and free Stock Image websites can always help out with generic shots, though authentic images are always better (provided they are well lit, in focus and framed correctly). I have even seen ads for AI generated blogging services, but haven’t yet seen what sort of outcome you get (I am guessing probably not great, despite claims to the contrary - robots will have their day, maybe sooner than we think, but I don’t think we are there quite yet). I promise this is written by a human. 
Pro Copywriters and Photographers exist for a reason, just as Pro Website Designers do. Sure, many people can knock up a DIY website from one of the companies with witty adverts on the telebox, so maybe for your side-hustle or personal project, you don’t need any Pros at all. But if this is for your professional business and your main source of income, you probably want a Pro service, just as your own business offers a Pro service. Expectations in the increasingly crowded online space just keep going up, and to use a well-worn (but true) cliché, you only get one chance to create a great first impression, and your site reflects your organisations image. Think about how an indie shop with a sign painted by the owner compares to one with Pro produced graphics next door. 
For this reason, I will always talk to clients about whether a Pro Copywriter and Pro Photographer (and increasingly, Videographer) should be put into the website budget. Copywriters will not only write great content, with an eye on subtle marketing measures to improve the chances of the user hitting that Call to Action button (“Contact Us”, “Buy Now”), but also write content with SEO in mind. Most sites need every bit of help they can get to get up the rankings and on to Page 1 or 2 of Google, Bing etc. and this is where SEO comes in (Search Engine Optimisation if you didn’t know). Including certain words and phrases will add to your chances of your business getting up the rankings, but it has to look natural on the page. Likewise with Pro Photographers and Videographers, it is often not until you see Pro images next to DIY ones that you really notice the huge difference, just as a Pro designed website next to a DIY one is night and day. 
Thankfully, an initial investment in an it’seeze website is in the £hundreds and not £thousands, so it can be affordable to then add in the additional budget for Copywriters, Photographers and Videographers. Sure, each service is a going to be in the £hundreds too, but “you get what you pay for”, and you are so worth it! I use the term “investment” deliberately – this is marketing and sales we are talking about here, and done well, you will see a high return on your investment. Your website should work for you for 5-6 years, so when the whole-of-life spend is compared to the income you expect your business to generate over that time, it might only end up being a small percentage. For new businesses, the first year trading is crucial, so getting it right first time is vital. For existing businesses looking to expand or maintain market share, keeping up with (or passing) the online Jones’s is becoming intrinsic to success. 
Do get in touch if you’d like me to signpost you to Pro Writers, Photographers and Videographers for your website project in the South Hampshire area. 
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