10 Tips for Writing Great Web Copy   February 12, 2009

February 12, 2009

Bad website copy can be great – only not for you.  Sure, bad copy has entertainment value:  “…the LCD TV VJ3212 brings you a finely detailed visual enjoyment and won’t let your tasteful eyes miss any fine details.”  Unfortunately, the call to action here might be “laugh and leave”.

Don’t underestimate the challenge of developing good web copy – or the payoff. While the focus of website development is often on technical and design issues, the real payoff is in the words.

How does killer copy get created, you ask?

Just assign the copywriting task to a team of web savvy, SEO knowledgeable people with great writing skills and a great understanding of your company’s products and services, and a great understanding of your corporate branding strategy, and an insanely great understanding of your target audiences, partners and competitors. Then have them write copy during their lunch breaks and email their document – or hand deliver their scribbled bar napkins – to the new intern over in I.T. for uploading to the website.

OK, so that may not work for you.  Maybe your company has a no-bar-napkin policy or maybe the intern just says no (they can be snits sometimes). No worries. We’ve put together  10 Tips for Writing Great Web Copy 

1.    Add copywriting to your project plan

May not seem like an obvious tip, but your Project Manager will love you for it. And putting copywriting in the plan says “es importante”.

2.   Decide whether to go it alone or hire experts

All successful enterprises are good at something – probably lots of things – but not always the “writing” thing. Unless your project has ready access to internal resources that excel in writing web copy, work with an outside professional.

3.    Pick a copywriter with the right skills and experience

Your list will be unique to your needs.  Here’s a jumpstart:

Should have at least 2 years experience as a web copywriter/editor

Should have complete fluency in the target language and an understanding of cultural nuance

Should have a professional portfolio of completed web projects

Should have the right chemistry (like the writer/love the copy)

Should have SEO (Search Engine Optimization) chops

[this is ending up being longer than a single post - check back here tomorrow for the next installment]

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