The Difference Between Web Copy and Web Content (and Why Your Site Needs Both)

The Difference Between Web Copy and Web Content

If you run an online business, you know it’s important to get some words slapped up on your site. Of course. What else would you put on there? And how will people know what you do without them?

But what sort of things should you write, and where should you put them?

Allow me to break it down for you. There are two main types of writing found on business websites: web copy and web content. They’re both very different, with very different purposes. And your website needs both.

What is Web Copy?

Web copy is the bones of your website. It’s the core text that guides people through your site and tells them what they need to know. It’s what’s on your home page, your about page, your products and services pages, and all your other main pages.

It’s also the writing used to sell. When someone lands on your site, you need to hook them in quickly to keep them around: you need to sell your site to them. A solid bit of web copy on your home page will do that for you.

And your about page isn’t supposed to detail your life history. It’s supposed to sell you (and your business). Your about page is there to let people know they’ve come to the right place, and to make them want to buy from you.

Your products and services pages are, somewhat surprisingly, designed to sell your products and services. (Holy shit, right?)

Web copy is copywriting for the web. The word ‘copy’, in this context, basically means commercial writing. I should’ve just said that, shouldn’t I?

What is Web Content?

What you’re reading right now is web content. Blog posts are web content. In fact, pretty much any piece of writing on the internet can be classed as ‘web content’. (So can images and videos, for that matter, but for the purpose of this article we’re just talking about web content as it pertains to writing.)

As business owners, what we’re really concerned with is what’s known as content marketing. That’s web content produced for marketing purposes; it’s your blog posts and your articles.

Web content is written with the purpose of attracting new eyes to your website. By writing informative, entertaining and helpful articles and blog posts relevant to your industry, you can attract new readers and, potentially, new customers. And that’s what it’s all about, in the end. After all, you do have a business to run.

Top notch web content is the sort of stuff people absolutely devour and want to share immediately across all their social networks. You never see a website’s about page go viral, do you? But smack-you-in-the-mouth-brilliant articles — they get shared. And then an influx of people storm your website and wreck your server. (Okay, that doesn’t usually happen, but a steady trickle of new readers is handy too.)

A frequently updated blog has another perk, too: by posting quality, fresh content to your blog regularly, you’ll see your website rising up the ranks in Google. Because Google loves that shit. So your blog should be about relevant subjects and use ‘keywords’ that people are likely to tap into their search bar.

To make matters even more confusing, web content for your business can also be posted on other websites. By posting articles related to your industry and linking them back to your website, you’re giving your site extra ‘link juice’, which can boost your Google rankings, and, obviously, you’re potentially reaching people who wouldn’t find your site otherwise. (For a more in-depth explanation, investigate ‘SEO’.)

Again, there are fine nuances behind each, but hopefully this article has given you all the information you need to discern the differences for yourself and figure out what you need.

In Summary

Web copy is copywriting for your website, found on all the major pages on your site. It’s designed to sell your products or services to people once they’ve found you.

Web content (AKA blog posts, articles, content marketing, etc.) is designed to help people find you in the first place. It’s written specifically with a view to being widely shared across social networks, linked to by other bloggers, and boosting your position in relevant search engine results.

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