Although there has been some debate about what the difference is – if any – between web copy and web content, the Internet seems to have reached a general consensus on a few key factors that differentiate the two concepts.

They are, however, very similar and have many things in common, starting with the fact that they are both necessary in any website looking to gain traction.

The primary aim of copywriting is to sell or market products or services. Long before the Internet, and social media, advertisers made use of copywriting for different mediums such as newspapers, brochures, or billboards.

With the rise of the Internet, although some factors have evolved, the core concept of copywriting is still the same – telling a persuasive story.

To write proper web copy, it is important that you know what it really is and how it is different from web content.

What Is Website Copy?

Website copy is the sum total of the most important text on your website. This copy gives people information about your brand and guides them through your website, while building your brand and differentiating you from your competitors.

The end game is to get a response from an audience.  To get them to click on a link or sign-up for a program, to enlist your services, to make a purchase or maybe to donate to a cause.

Web copy sells your ideas to the audience. It sells your brand. And it does so across all of your site’s pages, from the home page to the about us content and everything in between.

How Is Web Copy Different from Web Content?

Web content might sound similar to web copy, and they are related. That’s because they reside within the same virtual space – your website. However, that’s where the resemblance ends. Think of web copy as sales-oriented writing, whereas website content is informative content designed to educate and inform.

Do you have a blog where you share information with your audience? That’s a great example of exactly what we’re talking about. It also illustrates the difference between copy and content. One sells and the other informs or educates.

With that being said, there is some blurring of the lines. For instance, product descriptions might seem like they would fall into the sales copy category, and they can, but most are actually designed more to inform than anything else.

How to Write Web Copy

When writing web copy, keep in mind that this is where first impressions about your brand are formed by the reader.

In a world with a countless amount of content literally at the fingertips of every Internet user, first impressions about your brand matter, and have the potential to make or break a potential customer.

Here are a few things you should avoid when writing a web copy of high-quality:

1. Failing to focus on your brand.

Your website is your stage. Don’t be afraid to make the copy all about you. This is your chance to set yourself apart from competitors and to really connect with your audience in a unique, deep way.

With that being said, don’t focus on selling them. You need to highlight what’s in it for your audience. Remember that it is, ultimately, all about them.

Don’t focus on what you do, focus on what you do for your customers or clients. It might sound cliché, but it really comes down to talking about the benefits and not the features. Focus on how you make life better for your customers, not on your service offerings.

2. Stalling.

Remember that the attention of your audience is not guaranteed. With all the readily available information on the internet, attention has become a commodity.

Hence, it is important that you don’t try to be overly creative when writing web copy.

Keep your sentences simple, short and clear. Don’t try to build suspense or be unnecessarily vague. Chances are, if your potential customer gets impatient, they can easily find goods or services similar to what your brand is offering somewhere else on the internet.

Let your point be immediately obvious. People don’t really read web copy like they would a book. Web copy, along with most other web content, is scanned through rather than read.

Avoid overusing technical terminology that can’t be understood by the average reader. If required, use just enough technical terms to build credibility and give your reader the impression that you know what you are talking about.

3. Writing huge blocks of text.

The fact remains that your reader is most likely doing little more than scanning through your text. There isn’t much you can do to change that, so why not use it to your advantage?

Large blocks of text are unappealing to the average reader. Don’t let your writing run on and on with little or no spacing. When writing web copy, always leave plenty of whitespace space in your copy, while providing accurate and concise sentences.

4. Being too conventional.

When writing web copy, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules you have to follow. You know your target audience, so try and visualize things from their perspective. Try telling stories about your product that they will find not only interesting but helpful.

Don’t shy away from a little bit of experimentation. Trial-and-error is one of the best ways to learn on the go. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. As long as you learn from it, it will benefit you and your brand in the long run.

Conclusion

Web copy is the foundation of your digital success. It’s a combination business card, sales letter, and personal introduction to your brand. Make sure that your copy does exactly what it should.