Content & Copywriting

Web copy and web content – what’s the difference?

Jul 8, 2021
Reading Time: 4minutes

If you have an online business, you have a website. No doubt you’ve heard the terms ‘web copy’ and ‘web content’.

 

But what precisely do they mean? And what’s the difference between the two skills?

Post summary:

  • What is web copy?
  • What is web content?
  • How bad web copy and web content can ruin businesses

Well, this is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Which theoretically means there’s no correct answer.

Great website content is becoming harder to find. Yet it’s still the most effective ways of selling your company, improving the user experience, and generate more online conversions.

If you can generate web copy that makes you stand out from your competitors, you undoubtedly reap the rewards.

What is web copy?

Website copy is the core text that narrates visitors through your website and tells them what they need to know about a brand or the site. 

Let’s begin discussing what copy is: copy is text used to sell. 

That’s what it often means these days, especially when we’re talking about website copy.

Website copy is the core text that narrates visitors through your website and tells them what they need to know about a brand or the site. 

Website copy is on your home page, the about page, all products and service pages, primarily all your site’s other top-level pages.

When someone visits your site, you need to engage them quickly to keep them onsite: you need to hook them to sell your brand to them.

Mostly, web copy is a form of copywriting for the web. Meaning it can apply to any text you see in sponsored posts, for instance, LinkedIn or Facebook ads, and even email newsletters. Any text used to promote or sell something on the web is referred to as web copy. 

What is web content?

‘Web content’ is any writing found on your site. Rather than top-level pages, pillar pages or even conversion landing pages, it is blog posts, product page descriptions, ebooks and other types of content. 

Web copy and web content - what's the difference? 1

Web content is not only the written word. Web content can include social media posts, videos, podcasts and even ad copy. It can be used as a catch-all term, similar to the way SEO and SEM are used, hence why many become confused about what it means.

Web content is distinctly from web copy, which is primarily used to sell, whilst web content can be SEO content or educational content. 

Web content then is used to market your business, rather than outright sell it, hence the generic term content marketing

The aim of content marketing is not to sell products and services per se, but to get people invested in a brand – to “warm them up”. So that further down the line, these warm leads hopefully purchase services and products from your business.

You would use web content to attract new visitors to your business. You can do this by generating informative, entertaining and helpful articles and blog posts (for instance, videos and podcasts) relevant to your industry. Content like this attracts new readers and new customers.

Over time, this type of content helps people learn, like and trust your brand – critical if you want them to buy from you.

Plus, top-notch web content is the kind that is shared across all social networks. 

Think about it. 

You never see a site’s about page being shared. It’s the blog posts that get shared and shared again. Then people visit the website, boosting your SEO rankings as the site becomes more popular – meaning your site improves in organic searches. 

Hence why your web blog content should be focused on relevant topics and use subject keywords that people are likely to tap into their search bars.

How bad web copy and web content ruin your business

Every website, every web page, should have an aim. 

Amongst the most critical questions a content writer can ask a client is: 

What is the objective of your website? 

How does it support your business goals? 

web copy and web content difference

With a bit of prodding, the content writer can establish a website’s aim, which may involve, but not be exclusive to:

  • Selling online products (sales)
  • Producing leads (lead generation)
  • Creating awareness of a brand, product or 
  • Building a brand
  • Attracting subscribers (for a blog, course, following a brand)
  • Establishing a niche community
  • Generating engaging feedback

Defining a website’s central objective shapes the site’s primary call to action (CTA). CTAs include getting the visitor to subscribe to a newsletter, phone or email, request a quote or demo, or purchase a product or service. 

And when the web copy and web content are collectively geared toward getting users to take that call to action, websites produce higher conversion rates, more online traffic, and overall success.

Websites should target specific audiences. Usually, there will be one primary audience, with one or two secondary audiences. 

Each audience has its own needs, attitudes, concerns and desires – different personas. Good website copy accommodates the unique characteristics of each audience.

If the content writer is not clear on whom they’re targeting, chances are the website will miss the mark completely. 

For instance, our content writing agency was hired to write content for a dental implant specialist, and the business owner indicated we were to target the general public. 

By asking our client a few choice questions, our content writers discovered they needed to focus almost exclusively on referring dentists. Finding this, we were able to foster a customer persona – and amended how we communicated our content to this persona. 

When a brand and content writers are in sync, the written messages are much more likely to resonate with the intended audience.

By clearly defining intended audiences, content writers avoid writing for themselves or their clients, often leading to self-aggrandising drivel.

Web copywriting is essential, no matter where it is used

Every sentence of a web copy should reveal something of value to the reader – it should help visitors accomplish or learn.

Web copy may not not be crafting traditional narratives on your website, but writing stellar web content is essential. Whether you are helping people learn a new skill set or selling plumbing fixtures.

Are you interested in top-notch copywriting for your business? Get in touch with our senior writers.