Copywriting and Content Writing

Copywriting is something you’ll need to consider if you have your own website. Like it or not, you’ll need to make use of the written word to inform, engage, entice or entertain your users and also to help search engines understand your website. Being a Copywriter is a little more involved than simply typing things!

Copywriting and content writing are often used interchangeably and there’s certainly a fair bit of overlap between them, but they are subtly different things and you need them both.

What’s the difference between Content Writing and Copywriting?

If we’re going to get a bit technical, copywriting is a piece of text specifically written to elicit a response from the reader. it doesn’t have to be long (although it can be). As a quick example, look at your Facebook page. Right at the top of your news feed is a box inviting you to write a new post. It could say;

“Type your post here”

in the box, but it doesn’t, it says;

“What’s on your mind [your name]?”

Both are essentially the same thing, inviting the same action and as such are both examples of copywriting, (in this case ‘micro-copy), however, consider which is the most persuasive. A skilled copywriter knows that a subtle change in the way something is phrased can make a huge difference to the response it elicits. ‘Find out more’ is far more engaging than ‘Click Here’.

Compare this to content writing, which is typically longer (think blog posts) and on your website you’d be likely to write it in the hope that your readers will come back time and time again to get their information from you.

Of course, you’d also write it in the hope that search engines will favour your freshly written prose and consequently feature your site more prominently in their results. If you regularly publish fresh content, search engines will return time and time again to re-index your site. (That’s an over simplification, but will do for now).

The Overlap Between Copy and Content Writing

Whether it’s writing ‘Buy Now’ on a button, or all the way through to a 10,000 word case study, you need both styles of writing on your website.

If you’re selling the same products as your competiors from the same manufacturers, will you copy and paste the stock descriptions from the supplier the same as everyone else does, or will you write unique product descriptions which inform and engage? Who would you buy from?

If you want to appear higher in search engines for a particular keyword and are writing a web page, blog post or news piece to target that (this page is targeting ‘copywriting’ for example), you could leave the content to stand for itself, but you’d be better off writing an SEO description and meta description tailored to make users curious enough to click through (the same way ‘clickbait’ works).

This is essentially copywriting supporting the written content.

Long form content can be used to persuade and short form content can be used to inform, it’s no wonder copywriting and content writing are conflated and for all intents and purposes, the distinction is purely academic!

How I can Help With Your Website Copy

Believe it or not, before I got myself into the world of ‘Digital’ I had never heard of copywriting. When I found out what it was, it took me by surprise that simply writing was considered not just a skill, but one that’s in demand. “It’s just something you do”, I thought.

However, imagine handing over a business card on which you’ve given yourself the title of Marketing Professional, but spelt professional with two f’s. It might very well undermine your credibility. Similarly misuse of grammar, poor punctuation and other errors risk making an otherwise excellent business appear amateur or unprofessional.

It’s important therefore, to have correct spelling and grammar on everything you submit to the public eye, that you write with the target audience in mind and that you consider what search engines are looking for as well. This list isn’t exhaustive, but you get the idea.

If you don’t have time to write those blog posts, to carefully craft those product descriptions or to shoehorn your keywords into natural sounding sentences, then why not let me help?

Get in touch to find out how I can use the magic of the written word to enhance your website. (That’s a ‘Call to Action’ right there!)