To put it simply, copywriting is any writing done for a business, with the aim of selling a product or service. It is often used to persuade people to think a certain way about a brand/product. Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action- to buy, subscribe to emailers, or to keep updated with company news/products.
Copy is indeed everywhere – advertisements, brochures, websites, emails, catalogs and even now, on social media. Some examples of successful copywriting includes:
I’m sure they all sound familiar to you? Heck, you might even be able to recite these brand slogans without any prompting – that’s great copy at work. It builds brand familiarity, evokes positive emotions, conveys a key message and makes the target remember the brand/product. Since the website is a company’s primary point of presence online, let’s focus on how a great copy can make a difference.
Your website may be the first contact a potential client has with your company. While a professional-looking website design is vital for success, that’s only half of the equation. If there’s a lack of content or direction on what to do, you could see a high bounce rate. It is thus extremely important that you convey a number of messages in your website: Your brand image – are you fun, serious, credible? Will you be easily reached if your client needs help – is there a live chat, enquiry form, FAQ? What sort of work have you done before – portfolio of past works, who your clients are and testimonials. These add up to bring together an overall impression of your company and brand. The website is thus not just a gateway to know what you do, but also how you do it, and also to convince potential customers why they should choose you from the thousands of others providing the same service.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the way to getting traffic from organic or editorial search results on search engines. How you rank when someone types in a keyword related to your business in a search engine depends on a number of factors (refer to the image below). We are not going to dwell deeply into SEO, but let’s just say content has an increasingly important role in improving your web rankings. This is not just about plagiarizing some paragraphs on your competitor’s sites and pasted onto your own as content. As a primer, here’s a list of guidelines to remember when writing content for your website for SEO:
- Content quality – is your content providing value to your readers? Is it information of value, something that cannot be found elsewhere?
- Keyword research – what type of words would people look for in a search engine to arrive at your website?
- Use of Keywords – if you are in the business of providing home loan advice, you would want to use these words frequently in your web pages. The more these relevant words are used in producing quality content on your site, the easier it is for customers searching for them to reach your website.
Fresh content – having consistent fresh content on your website helps to give your website better rankings and higher search traffic. Having a blog on your site that posts regular quality content is thus an extremely efficient way to rank better. The more quality content you provide on a particular topic, you also gain a stronger authority and moves your website towards becoming an authority site in Google.
User Experience (UX)
UX is the new black in web design. If you ain’t sure what we are talking about, you can read our article here. For the sake of what we are going to talk about here – UX focuses on having a deep understanding of users – their needs, what they value, their abilities and also their limitations. When we translate that to web design, it looks at improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product.
So how does copywriting feature here? Because words on the site is going to point to your readers what they can do, show them how to do what they what to do and help them find what they need.
From Airbnb’s landing page, I know instantly what I need to write in the search box to get the information I want.
Copywriting for UX is thus essential in making sure your readers find the content they need easily, and will serve to guide them towards their next steps – be it to find more information about your product, sign up for newsletters or to purchase. The designer + copywriter will need to work together to pre-empt the user’s next questions/steps and be able to guide it.
And we are only talking about copywriting on your website, let alone the power of copywriting in advertisements, videos or emailers. Are you not going to give more attention to COPY from now on?