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Professional website copywriting or DIY web copy – a guide for life science companies.

Common mistakes and what your website design consultancy needs from you.

In today’s digital marketplace, your website is often the first interaction with a potential customer or client. It may be your only opportunity to make the right impression.

As a biotech, healthcare start-up, or growing medical devices or pharma organisation, you know that you need a high-performing digital presence to generate leads and drive sales. But who’s writing the website copy?

Your brand and website design consultancy needs to know whether you’d like professional life sciences copywriting support or if you plan to write your website copy yourself. Either way, do you know what information they need from you?

Professional website copywriting or DIY web copy

Every aspect of your website works together to deliver what your audience seeks. While a world-class design may grab their attention, it won’t keep them engaged if your website copy misses the mark. However, it’s not uncommon for businesses to put most of their resources into the design of their site, leaving their brand and website consultancy to transfer copy from a previous website or copy and paste from company resources.

Whether you are considering writing your life sciences copy or enlisting the services of a professional copywriter, here is a guide to what your website design consultancy needs from you and some of the easily avoided mistakes businesses make.

But before we do that, let’s check that we’re all on the same page regarding website copy and copywriting.

What is website copy and copywriting?

Copy is the words; thus, website copy is the words on your website. It sounds straightforward, but it is far from the whole story.

Website copy is online marketing. The hardworking copy on your website narrates your potential customer or client journey through your website. It conveys a clear message about your product or service, starts a conversation, builds trust, and engages with them quickly, encouraging them to take action—buy, sign up, contact you, etc.

The opposite is also true, and it can be catastrophic. Confusing messages, industry jargon, and copy focusing on your business rather than your audience can damage your reputation, lose potential clients, and cost you money in the long run.

Copywriting is strategic in its approach, producing copy that aims to convert your target audience so you get a return on investment. To do this successfully, professional life sciences copywriting considers your organisation’s:

  • brand identity (including tone of voice)
  • mission and vision
  • values
  • business goals
  • current and future audiences
  • competitors
  • core messaging
  • audience's pain points and how your product/service provides a solution
  • SEO - keywords and phrases

That is why writing compelling copy is more challenging than it sounds.

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Can a life sciences organisation write their website copy?

The short answer is yes.

Nothing is preventing you from writing copy for your website.

After all, whether you’re a start-up health tech or a growing biosciences business, it’s your business. No one knows it better than you. You know your customers or clients and want to share your products or services with them. Your organisation also has a collection of written resources, including journal articles and research papers, case studies and white papers, technical documentation, regulatory documents, slide decks, training materials, and material for public relations (PR). It would be a shame not to reuse it, wouldn’t it?

In practice, however, writing for a website can be challenging as it’s more than populating pages with words. In our experience, that's one of the mistakes life sciences, technology, and healthcare businesses make when deciding not to enlist the services of a professional copywriter.

Can you use existing company resources as website copy?

Written resources that detail your products or services or provide an overview of your life sciences business make excellent reference material for you or a professional copywriter to refer to when writing your website copy. However, we advise against copying and pasting for the following reasons.

All the forms of writing mentioned above require different approaches. Some, such as research papers and product specification documents, may be highly technical, using structured and formal scientific language. In contrast, PR material may take a news reporting approach, and slide decks use concise statements, keywords, and phrases.

All are valid forms of writing as they serve their intended purpose, but they are not website copy.

For example, a slide deck is a fantastic visual aid for a presentation. It grabs attention and delivers key information through compelling visuals and concise text. However, a slide deck is there to support the speaker’s message. The magic happens in the conversation, the narrative the speaker provides around the text and the visuals on the slides. The slides alone can’t engage with the audience or have a conversation, and there’s no personality; they’re one-dimensional.

Now imagine copying and pasting the information from a slide deck onto a webpage and expecting it to deliver the same message as it does in the hands of a seasoned speaker. It can’t.

In fact, in our fast-paced digital world, where website visitors make a split-second decision when they land on your website, whether to explore further or look elsewhere, you may lose your one chance to connect with a potential customer or client.

Can you transfer copy from a previous website?

If you’re updating your brand and website design, updating your copy is a natural and necessary step. For example, your offering may have changed, but your copy still needs to.

Have your company values changed? Is the copy still relevant to your customers or clients? Are you speaking to their pain points? Have their needs changed? Do you need to update your SEO?

Writing styles also change with time. For example, writing in the third person can distance you from your audience, whereas writing in the second person can feel more approachable and conversational.

It can be challenging to update the copy, especially if you wrote it. You need your copy to sound original and fresh to complement your new design and make that critical first impression that converts. If in doubt, we suggest auditing your current website to identify inaccuracies and opportunities for improvement.

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The Takeaway.

As you can see, writing your website copy is not impossible, but it may take up more time than you can realistically afford to spare and require more careful consideration than you had first thought.

Whether you decide to write your website copy or hire a professional life sciences copywriter, working in partnership with your brand and website design consultancy is key, and you’ll need to provide them with the correct information to keep your new website project running smoothly.

Let's talk.

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Belinda White | Creative Director

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