What to Expect When Working Together on Your Website Project

Before hiring a contractor, most businesses have a lot of questions, like…

  • What’s included?
  • What’s this going to cost me?
  • How long will it take?
  • Will I get a return on my investment?
  • What can I expect in terms of process and deliverables?

And this is totally normal.

When working with someone you don’t know (doing something you may have never done before), it’s completely natural to have questions, doubts, and even concerns, which you should assuage before signing a contract or paying a deposit.

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you, too, have similar questions to the above and may be wondering what it will be like if we work together.

So to help shed some light, I’ve provided answers to these commonly asked questions below. If you have other questions beyond what is covered in this article, feel free to reach out to me directly: annie1maguire@gmail.com.

What’s included in a website project?

While every website project is different, the process is always the same. It’s a process I’ve honed over the last 5+ years of being a freelancer and I rely on it because it works.

1. Onboarding

During this phase, I’ll ask you for relevant information including brand documents, site analytics, relevant keywords, customer reviews, and more. I’ll also have you fill out my discovery questionnaire which gives me all the information I need to understand your brand, product, competitors, and more.

2. Strategy workshop

We’ll schedule a meeting where I’ll run through a series of questions related to your product, goals and customers. Every question is designed to uncover key insights about the aforementioned, which will help shape the messaging, hierarchy, and more.

  • Define goals
  • Review product, features, benefits, use cases, differentiators, etc.
  • Deep dive into customers (who they are, beliefs, barriers, drivers, etc)

3. Customer research

To get a clear picture of who your customers are, what they care about, and how they communicate, I’ll need to spend some time getting to know them, which may include:

  • Customer interviews
  • Customer surveys
  • User tests
  • Heatmap analysis
  • Visitor recordings
  • Feedback polls
  • 5-second tests
  • Reviewing your Google Analytics
  • Reading through reviews
  • Reviewing NPS scores
  • Reviewing chat logs
  • And more!

If you’d like to learn more about these various data points (what they are, why they’re important, and how to collect them) please see this article here.

4. Comprehensive site review 

If you have an existing site, we’ll schedule a meeting to review every piece of copy on it. During this meeting, we’ll discuss what’s working, what’s missing, and what needs to change, so I have a crystal clear picture of what you’d like to see.

5. Competitive analysis

I will take a look through your competitors’ sites to get a sense of their approach and if there are any content opportunities for your brand. Based on those findings, I’ll come up with recommendations which I’ll incorporate into the Insights Report (see below).

6. Insights Report

Using insights from the customer data and our strategy workshop, I’ll create a Insights Report which will outline the following:

  • Who we’re targeting
  • What we know about them
  • How to effectively communicate with them

To give you a better sense of what that looks like, check out the screenshot below which is a short snippet from an in-depth Insights Report:

Example of an Insights Report

7. Information Architecture

Using the insights and information from all preceding steps, as well as the information gleaned during our comprehensive site review, I’ll create the information architecture for each page of your site. This includes:

  • Navigational labels / page names (I’ll make suggestions, as needed)
  • Content blocks for each page (an outline of your messages / order)
  • Any additional landing pages that may be required (if needed)

To help you get a sense of what that looks like, below is a very simple information architecture I created while working with a non-profit that’s focused on restoring coral reefs:

Example site map

8. Copywriting

While it may seem counterintuitive, writing the words that appear on your website is the last part of the process. The reason? Without all of the previous steps, it would be impossible for me to create an effective structure and write copy that is both supportive of your goals and persuasive for your target audience.

Each page is written one at a time and will require your involvement and approval at various steps. To ensure you’re happy with the end result, I include 3 rounds of revisions per page.

The copy is delivered in a text format, similar to the image below, which is a screenshot of the final copy for that non-profit I mentioned above:

While it may seem like a lot of steps, the process tends to move quickly because it’s a systemized approach I’ve repeated for years, allowing me to collect, analyze and translate a lot of information efficiently and effectively.

What’s this going to cost me?

Because every website project is customized to your specific needs, there is no “set” price.

Pricing depends on a lot of factors, but it’s typically influenced by what you’re selling, how many different audiences you’re selling to, your conversion goals, and how much content must be created in order to help you achieve your goals.

If you’d like a customized quote for your project, please reach out to me directly: annie1maguire@gmail.com

How long will it take?

On average, most web projects take about 2-3 months, but this depends on the scope of your particular project, as well as my current schedule at that moment.

For example, if your project requires a lot of customer research and content creation, it’s very likely your project may take 2+ months. On the other hand, if your project consists of a single page and a small target audience, your project may only take 1.5 months.

Regardless of how long your project will take, I always strive to keep my clients in the loop through frequent check-ins and progress updates, ensuring we’re both on the same page in terms of timing and expectations.

Will I get a return on my investment?

While I can’t guarantee specific numbers or dollar amounts, I can guarantee a solution that is driven by data and laser-focused on getting you results that align with your goals.

I can also guarantee that you’ll learn a lot, about your business, your product, and your customers, which is often just as (if not more) valuable than the output of the project itself.

Finally, unlike other copywriters, I do not rely on guesswork, gut feelings, or “creative word-smithing” — I use a very specific process that has been proven to work for many, many clients before you, many of whom you can “hear from” below…

Testimonial for annie maguire copywriter

Want to see even more? Check out my LinkedIn here which has 50+ testimonials!

What can I expect in terms of process and deliverables?

While I dive into above (“what’s included in a website project?”), it may be helpful to know how the process is broken up and when certain things happen, which I cover below:

Phase 1: Onboarding

Timing: ~1-2 days

  • Knowledge sharing
  • Document sharing
  • Discovery Questionnaire

Phase 2: Research + Strategy

Timing: ~2-3 weeks

  • Strategy workshop
  • Customer research
  • Comprehensive site review
  • Competitive analysis
  • Insights report
  • Information architecture (content wireframe)

Phase 3: Copywriting

Timing: ~1-2 weeks

  • 3 rounds revisions per page
  • Collaboration with designer/developer to bring copy to life

Phase 4: Post-project Analysis 

Timing: ~1-3 months after project wraps

  • Performance review
  • Ideas for optimization
  • Discussion of next steps

Interested in working together?

I’d love to hear from you! If we haven’t spoken already, please reach out to me directly and we’ll get the conversation going: annie1maguire@gmail.com.

Please note: my schedule is often booked up weeks or even months in advance, so please provide as much advance notice as possible. Thank you!

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