What’s the difference between print and web copy?

Web copy and print copyThey're not as dissimilar as you may think.

Any decent copy needs to know where it's going, who it's trying to reach and what it wants to achieve.

Visually, it has to be easy on the eye. Long reams of unbroken text will have the reader clicking away in fright or throwing your carefully worded leaflet into the bin.

Trying to write for the web can result in bad copy

Your product or service should be the main feature. Not you. Or your website. Focus on the benefits to the customer and not on flashy intros and high-concept designs.

What works?

  • Snappy headlines that are relevant rather than obscure
  • Short paragraphs that get to the point
  • Sub heads to guide the reader through the text
  • Bullet points

Adding hyperlinks to every other word will make your text look like an entry in Wikipedia.

Don't write for the search engines

If your product is the star of the show the right keywords will come naturally.

Call to action

Your copy should outline a clear course of action and make it easy for the reader to carry it out. If you want your reader to post something to you, give them a stamped-addressed envelope. If you want them to contact you, give them your phone number or email address (see When it's time for action post).

This is where the web wins hands down. It's much easier to take your reader through a step-by-step sequence of clicks rather than trying to persuade them to fill out a form and put it in an envelope.

And if the above sounds too much like hard work – hire a copywriter.

Related posts:
Why SEO can damage your website
When it's time for action
How to work with a copywriter