Copywriting > Web Copy
Informing, branding, transacting, data collecting
Websites can be broadly separated into two categories: transactional and influencing. Transactional websites are similar to catalogues: they present the range and invite purchase. Influencing websites aim to generate interest and enquiries and are more like sales brochures. Web copy needs to be written differently depending on what the website is trying to achieve.
Why is web copywriting important?
Identity - a website is the face of a brand in the online world. It expresses who the brand is and influences brand perception. The copy’s tone is part of that identity.
Positioning - great website copy communicates a brand’s values and people associate with brands that share the same values and concerns as they do. So web copy is a perfect medium for creating a relationship with your target audience.
Sales – websites are a form of direct marketing. They’re an opportunity to inform visitors of your product’s benefits, guide them to the right area and ultimately make a sale.
First impressions count – people make their minds up about places based on their initial experience. The same logic applies to websites, so you have to ensure it is a good one. The copy of the top level pages - the home page and the landing pages most likely to come up in searches - is therefore key.
Considerations for web copywriting?
SEO and attracting traffic - not every brand requires its site to attract new customers (some just use it to convert interest into a sale). The qualities that lift a page up the rankings are constantly changing, but good editorial that attracts and holds the attention will always work well.
Scanning not reading – research has shown that people scan web pages, rather than reading from beginning to end. Copywriters have to respond to the way people process information, which means web copy has to be concise, straightforward and digestible.
Headline / body copy plan – key information should be positioned at the top of the page, typically in a headline or short opening paragraph, to also assist scan readers. A good tactic, as in advertising, is to lead with a single benefit to grab the reader’s attention. One of the trends of websites is a move from neutral information presentation to more advertising style influencing, with attention-grabbing benefit headlines.
Usability – the structure of the site , its sections and subsections, should answer the questions uppermost in the visitor's mind.
What type of copywriting do you need?
What is the Barnaby Benson approach to web copywriting?
A good brief – this makes a project’s goal(s) clear from the beginning. With a thorough brief, projects are delivered quicker with fewer revisions or redrafts being made.
Teamwork - we work in collaboration with design agencies to develop the site structure - the sections and level for each section - that will best deliver the messaging that will influence the visitor in the desired way.
Appeal to the right audience - because we apply an agency discipline to the development of a message, we develop messaging for websites that achieves the client’s goals for the brand, rather than simply informing. We do this by treating a website like any other persuasive medium. You have to understand the audience’s current relationship with the brand, how you want to change it and what messaging and creative approach is most likely to achieve this change. After answering these questions, we examine how the messaging is going to respond to the demands, and decide what content would achieve the change you desire -be it a change in brand perception or a communication of a particular value.
SEO – because we focus on quality of content rather than volume, and we dig in search of fresh insights that will be of interest to the audience, we achieve strong SEO results.
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