Content Basics: What Makes Good Copy?

CopywritingA recent survey by Sticky Content found that one of the biggest frustrations for companies seeking web content writing is that “people don’t get what good copy is.” It’s basic, to be sure, but before marketers can get to the good stuff like creativity and SEO, there needs to be a basic understanding of the vehicle itself – the writing! Let’s take a look at some of the most basic but most important aspects of producing “good copy.”

Check You’re Grammar and Speling (sic)

As someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, trawling through company websites, and otherwise frolicking about on the internet, it positively astounds me that so little attention is paid to the ultra basics of copywriting: grammar and spelling. According to Sticky Content’s survey, under 75% of web copy gets checked or proofed before it’s posted. That doesn’t even get into the stuff that makes it past poor editing!

Honestly, I’m not the type of person who will nitpick your use of “whom” versus “who” in normal speech, but if you’re posting content professionally, poor grammar and spelling will put a serious dent in your image. After all, if you’re not careful with your content, why will you be careful with your products or services?

Have a Consistent Style

You certainly shouldn’t format everything the same, but your whole website or blog will look far more cohesive if you stick to a general theme. This applies to fonts, heading sizes, and use of white space, and can get as detailed as picking which style guide you want to use and whether or not you prefer the Oxford comma.

Write for People

All of your SEO expertise and research is for naught if your content is so boring and riddled with awkward keywords that no one wants to read it. Remember who your audience is: potential clients and customers. Target your content at them, not at the search rankings. Coming up at the top of the page is important, but Google alone is not going to generate conversions for you!

Plan Your Content

Under a fifth of marketers plan out their content, according to Sticky Content. The outcome? Web copy that wanders about without any real purpose or goal. Plan on the large scale with an editorial calendar, and plan on the small scale by outlining each and every post before you write it. Your readers will thank you for posts that don’t shift gears in the middle!

What does “good copy” mean to you? Share your perspective in the comments section.

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Beans

Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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