‘Anyone can write copy’ and ‘people actually pay you to write’ are just some of the things I’ve heard since I began writing for a living. Mostly from those that presume a career in writing means you’re an author of fiction, but also from people that don’t see paying for the services of a copywriter as an investment. Although I’ve always been excited by the prospect of writing, there is a lot I’ve learnt throughout my short career in writing, so I’ll condense it here for you in the hopes to help prospective copy writers but also to help clients realise you pay for what you get with words.
Google Can Read Too
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Especially if you work in marketing. Website copy needs to be intelligible for Google as much as it is for the reader. If you use lots of fancy words and long, complex sentences in the hope you’ll be thought of as smart, it won’t do a lot for Google. Which also means it won’t help your SEO (search-engine optimisation). If your copy isn’t created with SEO in mind it will fail to do 3 things:
- Rank well on search engines
- Convince readers to take action (subscribe to your emails, invest in your services, download your app)
- Establish your site as a trustworthy and experienced website
There’s no getting around it. If you want to achieve these 3 major points, you will need to invest in the services of a professional copywriter. Either that or start learning the ins and outs of writing and marketing, and I know which one will be quicker, easier and cheaper in the long run.
Engage Your Audience
As much as the readers need to want to read the actual words written, structure plays an enormous role in this. Picture this: you’ve googled a question and found two potential websites with the answers you’re looking for. Website A has one long paragraph of text with no space, images, videos or bullet points. Website B has snippets of information consisting of a couple of sentences, pictures and videos to summarise the information given and bullet points and concertinas so that information is separated with the use of negative space. I know which one I would rather read.
A lot of people assume that copywriters write the bulk of text for a website. Incorrect. We do all of it. And I do mean all of it. Titles, sub-headings, banners, calls to action, contact form questions. You name it, if it uses text, it was most likely written by a copywriter.
Make Your Reader Feel
Probably one of the most importance things good copy could ever do is invoke emotion. If you want to sell a product or a service, your audience needs to be able to envisage themselves using it. A professional copywriter will be able to draw on past experiences, feelings and other products in order to create a bond between your brand and ideal consumer. Whether the copy makes the reader laugh, cry, care or gasp, a brand will always be remembered for what sets it apart from its competitors.
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