As part of the onboarding process for new hires, we get the opportunity to meet with various colleagues within Booking.com and find out what their job entails. I sat down with Jonathan Cooper, one of our E-Commerce Copywriters, and got some insights into what a copywriter at Booking.com actually does.
First things first
The first thing I found out during our conversation was that Booking.com employs dedicated copywriters for each of our product’s touch points. Sometimes a copywriter might work on multiple projects, but ideally they take ownership of one project. Copywriters who are more attuned to business copy might work on the partner extranet, while others who enjoy writing inspirational copy could focus on products like the Destination Finder.
Copywriters are usually part of a product team made up of developers, designers, and product owners. They are scattered across Amsterdam (or even in various offices around the world) depending on the project they are working on. To stay in touch with the copywriting community, they meet regularly to find out about new product developments, brainstorm, or keep in touch with the business.
Booking.com is available in more than 40 languages and has one of the largest in-house translation agencies in the industry. We run tons of experiments every day, many of which are copy experiments started by copywriters and localized by language specialists. The coordination of these copy projects is no easy feat, and we do it with the help of an internal tool called Lingo. With Lingo, copywriters can create a request written in British English and distribute it to language teams for translation, localization and rapid testing.
Always room for improvement
The entire process of copywriting, translating, and testing is like a constant editing cycle. There are over 40 people looking at the same copy in Lingo, all ensuring it’s culturally appropriate for their market. If the translated copy doesn’t show the expected result, it means there is still room for improvement, and another iteration is run.
Even though most copywriters work on just one project or platform, it doesn’t mean they don’t collaborate. They constantly review copy that hasn’t been updated to see if any improvements can be made. They also get inspiration from other successful copy experiments, as well as strategies from other websites.
Just that little bit of guidance
Consistency is key. There might be multiple ways to write a certain idea, but if it’s been written before on the website, it’s important to stick with the previous version for clarity. There will always be challenges to deal with, for example in the case of personal preference. This happens, of course, and if it does, changes can be made as long as it’s…you guessed it…consistent.
To succeed at Booking.com, you have to be an expert at prioritizing. Tasks with the highest priority will have the biggest impact on conversion. It’s important to figure out what to spend your time on and what to leave behind on a big pile of “not today,” “maybe tomorrow,” or possibly even a “probably never.”
Working in a dynamic place is a wonderful thing, and while sometimes it can be frustrating, there’s always a challenge in having a job that will never be finished. We always take risks and try to come up with better ways of achieving success. If a mistake is made, you can always learn from it and try again, and again.
Want to work as a copywriter for Booking.com? See all open positions here.