A Simple Description of the Difference between Writing Copy for The Web versus
Copy Writing in General
Most of the underlying principles of clearly communicating a message through writing remain the same. It’s the audience that is different.
The web is a consumer oriented medium and marketplace. The best sites are focused on your visitors questions and their needs.
People who go online are goal-oriented. Everyone who uses a search engine has something specific in mind. And the measure of control the reader has online is something we’re just not used to in offline media.
The research process can be very different when I’m writing a piece that will sell exclusively online.
When I write for your web page, I have very little time to catch your readers attention. Since most of your visitors are task oriented, they want quick answers. If they don’t get them, they’re gone.
It’s important to keep the page simple and easy to read and understand so the visitor will know that we’re writing with him or her in mind and we’re not just writing a general description of a problem or product or service.
It’s also critical that I write your headlines, sub head lines and the text with your visitors specific needs in mind.
In the print world, my research depends on the brief that is provided to me by my client or via personal interviews with company personnel, the CEO and others whose insights and opinions I deem valuable.
Online, I can get much more specific and step outside whatever bias the corporate culture might unknowingly harbor.
For example, let’s say our potential customer goes online to find out the cost of flights to Cleveland. As soon as that thought enters their mind, they’re in control of the situation.
It’s utterly different from print because they go to the web with an intention. They’re going there to find out about travel costs to Cleveland.
And they will write into the Google or Yahoo or MSN search field “flights to Cleveland” or “cheap flights to Cleveland.” That’s their goal.