2020 certainly highlighted how crucial it was to have an online presence. Many businesses that otherwise could not have survived economic shutdowns shifted to serving customers online, but in the process, these businesses are discovering that you need more than a mere product to effectively run a business. Engaging and authentic website copy is not only what helps you get found but also motivates audiences to connect with a business – which is the first step towards buying your product or service.
What is Copy?
Website copy – short for website copywrite – is the text on your website that imparts meaningful information to the visitor. For example, website copy includes your About Us page, product descriptions, and can include your home page. Website copy generally does not include things like the title in the side bar, contact information, or customer reviews. In other words, website copy is the text that is meant to sell your idea, product, service or learn more about you.
How is Website Copy Different than Web Content?
Web content covers a broader scope of writing: it includes any content that is textual, visual, or aural. This means that although the term “web content” includes some of your writing, like blog posts, it can also be used to refer to a wide variety of non-written content. This includes downloadable PDF content, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, and more.
In contrast, website copy is more narrowly defined in terms of written text. Picture it like this: if you look at your business’s About Us page, the mission statement is the website copy, but the overall presentation (including any images of the staff or promotional videos) comprises the website content.
What Is Good Web Copy?
In the short-term, good copy encourages your audience to engage with your business and sets you apart from other businesses. Good copy facilitates likes, comments, and shares on social media posts. Good copy can prompt your audience to click on a link in an e-mail, or to comment on a blog post. In the long-term, continually good copy will convince your audience to buy your product, service, or idea.
More specifically, good copy is structured with the following parameters in mind:
A clear message that speaks to the audience in a meaningful way;
Identifies the audience’s needs or problems;
Establishes your business as the ideal solution to those problems;
Creates a call to action.
Keep in mind that good copy is different from well-written copy: think of it as the difference between a Hollywood film and a Hollywood blockbuster. Blockbusters generally have a little more magic (and require a lot more work!) to turn into hits.
How Can Good Web Copy Benefit Me?
Just as well-written copy can generate sales and lead to brand loyalty, poorly written copy can leave potential customers with a bad taste in their mouth and completely put them off from ever trying your product or service. Good web copy can provide you and your business numerous benefits.
Helps Create an Experience
Well-written copy can be an opportunity to help create an experience for the website visitor. If someone wants to find the least expensive option for a set of kitchen knives, they can use any number of online tools to help them find what they are looking for. But if someone visits your website in particular, that is your chance to make an impactful first impression.
In this example, you are not just selling kitchen knives – you are selling kitchen knives that embody company values and a powerful mission statement. You are selling an opportunity to make someone feel like a master chef in their home. You are selling an idea, and good copy helps you communicate that idea in a compelling way to your potential customer.
Keep Your Audience’s Attention
Well-shot images and interesting videos are an excellent way to garner attention, but that content is not enough to keep an audience’s attention. To keep visitors focused on your business, you need good copy that pulls them towards your site. Each sentence is an opportunity to draw them closer and closer to purchasing your product while you make your sales pitch.
Communication is Key
Good web copy is an opportunity to community a clear, compelling sales message. Well-written copy will make sure your potential customers understand why your offer is so great.
Maybe you sell a truly revolutionary product! Unfortunately, your potential customers would never know about the benefits of your product without well-written copy. Perhaps the service you provide is phenomenal and the price is a steal compared to your competitors. Without well-written copy, no one will ever know.
Call to Action
An image can only do so much. Well-written copy includes a call to action, which can direct your audience to engage with your content, interact with you on other social media platforms, or purchase your product or service. Effective calls to action also result in benefits to your business. Whether that means successfully signing visitors up for e-mails, or a simple double-tap on Instagram, these actions can provide a wealth of data about your potential customers, where you can connect with them, and what they are responding to. In turn, this information can help you develop a strategy for future marketing campaigns.
Website Copy is Important for Your Business
Your web copy is an important opportunity to connect with potential customers. You can use it to adjust your bounce rate (which we talked about on last week’s blog post here), improve your engagement, and encourage your visitors to have an actionable experience with your business. When paired with good web design, well-written copy will always result in success.
If your web copy needs work, schedule a consultation with me so we can use the power of words to help you reach your business goals.