There’s no getting around it – the words on websites matter. Yes, images make a splash, and super-functional UX design is impressive, but without excellent copy and content, a website won’t help your business flourish.
Hold up! Aren’t writing content and copywriting the same thing?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the answer is, “nope.” While similar, web copy and web content serve distinct purposes and are used in different circumstances.
So, what’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?
What is Web Copy?
Generally speaking, web copy is part of the buyer’s journey and is intended to entice customers to take a specific action. Copy can also play a major role in your strategies for conversion rate optimization (CRO), search engine optimization (SEO), and User Experience (UX) design.
Examples of Web Copy
Static Web Pages
The text contained within any of the static pages on your website – such as your homepage, about section, or contact page – is considered web copy. These are high value pages that require attention-grabbing, action-enticing, easy-to-read copy. Web page copy plays a huge role in your CRO, as simply changing a single word in simple phrase can have a major impact on conversions.
Social Media Ads
These are the posts you see on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter which say “sponsored” or “ad” above them. Consider these like you would a newspaper or magazine print ad. You have a quick moment to capture someone’s attention and get them to act. When it comes to a social post, that action is likely to click the included link, or maybe engage via a like or comment.
Emails that are promotional in nature might be considered web copy as well. These tend to be short and to the point, providing just enough information to entice users to take action such as visit your website, purchase a product, or connect with your community. They may even offer an incentive to do so.
What is Web Content?
Content is anything intended to engage users. When comparing website copy vs. content, you can expect content to be longer-form and more educational in nature.
“Hot” leads are captured by copy, and content writing plays the long game, instead. Content aims to generate “warm” leads who may convert down the road. Good content provides users with relevant, timely information while positioning you as an accessible expert who provides a ton of value.
Types of Content
Content does not have to be written. In fact, it can take many additional forms including videos, graphics, podcasts, and photos. Regardless of the type, all content has one thing in common – it is intended to provide some sort of value to those consuming it. But because this post is focused on the differences between website copy vs. content, we are only discussing text-based content at the moment.
The difference between copywriting and blogging is all about the intention behind the words. In the early years of digital marketing, bloggers came to be viewed as accessible experts in their own niches, and eventually larger companies caught on. Now companies want to be seen as the experts. Today, blogs are all but a must for any business seeking to improve and leverage their web presence.
Businesses usually use this type of content to address non-expert audience members while advocating for their opinion or solution. White papers are used for the purpose of marketing, but they do so by providing education about a topic, which readers then use to inform their own decision-making process. This differs from traditional sales copy which aims to entice users to make a specific decision or take a specific action.
Social Media Posts
Similar to the way a blog page differs from a homepage, social posts are different than social ads. Regardless of platform, social media posts are created and shared to generate engagement from within the social community.
Importance of Content
Using the appropriate key words within your content will help improve search engine rankings. And if that content is in fact valuable, users will engage, share, and return for more – which also boosts SEO.
While both content and copywriting create opportunities to improve and maintain SEO and CRO, a well-executed content strategy will also provide significant value. The internet makes thousands of options available to consumers with the push of a button. If you fail to provide value to your users, it’s only too easy for them to move on to someone who does.
Create Killer Content with Hungry Media
If learning how to write content for websites makes you wish you could go back in time to the Mad Men era, we’re here to help! Our team knows when to employ copy writing vs. content writing and can generate killer content that positions you as an accessible expert within your niche.
Whether you’re selling tools to contractors, dog walking services to pet owners, or the next It app to the entire country, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to discuss taking your content game to the next level.
contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer