Last updated on November 25th, 2022
When I first started working as a website creator, I found that the websites I was creating weren’t reaching the people I wanted them to. It wasn’t until I started learning and applying digital marketing techniques that I started to see some results.
This led me to realize something important: if you want your website to be successful, you need one key thing – content, and lots of it.
This is where copywriting comes in – but if you’re not sure what copywriting is or if it’s relevant at all for your business, then let me explain why I think copywriting is essential for online businesses.
What Is Copywriting?
First, let me explain exactly what copywriting is because I’ve seen a lot of misinformation about it.
Copywriting is a very broad term used to refer to any pieces of written text produced to sell or market something.
This can range from brochures to newspaper advertisements (see also, ‘How to Get into Advertising‘), scripts for TV commercials or social media posts. All of these are examples of copywriting because they are purposefully written to try and sell something whether it’s a product, a service, or even a brand.
This makes them persuasive pieces of writing.
I’ve met a lot of business people who see the word ‘copy’ and assume it means taking someone else’s writing and using it for your own business. This is not the case. Just because it has the word ‘copy’ in it doesn’t mean that you are ‘copying’ other people’s work.
Here, ‘copy’ is just the term used for the piece of marketing text itself.
Copywriting is usually the end result of a lot of audience and keyword research. Businesses will research their target audience and use that information to tailor each piece of text to them.
Keyword research influences the subjects and topics covered in the copy; every single word in a copy is carefully chosen based on the research the business has.
This means that copywriting has nothing to do with plagiarism or ‘copying’ others’ work – it’s making persuasive content around what your target audience wants.
Most copywriting is written by professional copywriters. Some businesses hire freelancers, others hire their own team of copywriters to keep churning out content.
Some small business (see also, ‘Best Books for Small Businesses‘) owners roll up their sleeves and do their own copywriting themselves, but this can take up a lot of time and energy. As a result, over half of companies (54%) outsource a content marketing activity – this includes copywriting.
The end copy can be anything from a social media post, to an article, to a tagline to an image – as long as it is written, is persuasive, and encourages the reader to make an action.
So, copywriting refers to pieces of text used in marketing and advertising – but how does this apply to your online business?
How I Have Used Copywriting For My Online Businesses?
Because copywriting is such a broad term used in marketing, it means that a lot of different pieces of text count as copies. A lot of businesses use copywriting to help promote their products, services, or their website online – and some without even realizing it!
Here are different ways online businesses can use copywriting to their advantage. I’ve used a lot of these myself in my career as a digital marketer as they’re great for persuading visitors to stick around and turn them into loyal customers.
According to the American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI), content writing is actually just a type of copywriting.
A lot of people would initially separate the two because some content for websites are informational but the AWAI argues that this is not the case – and I agree.
Even when writing informational content pieces for your website, you are still trying to ‘sell’ your brand to the reader.
For example, imagine your business is an online blog all about dogs. The content you publish is all informative and you earn revenue through the advertisements on your website.
When writing those informative content pieces, you are still trying to ‘sell’ your blog to the reader so they will keep visiting your website and you can keep making revenue from your ads.
You may even encourage certain actions through your blog posts, link to other pages where readers can find more information – these are all examples of persuasion in writing.
This means that content writing (even informative pieces that do not link to any products) is still trying to sell the reader something – the website itself! So, I agree with the AWAI when it comes to classifying content writing as copywriting. It’s an example of content marketing, which 90% of digital organizations use – including myself.
According to a survey by Visual Objects, social media is the top digital marketing tool for small businesses with over two thirds (67%) using it to boost their business.
It’s easy to see the benefits: you get to build a closer relationship with your customers and subscribers, you can use it to improve your links and get search engines to trust your original website, it can be used as a place for reviews and feedback, etcetera.
These are just a few reasons why I make social media platforms for my businesses and websites.
Copywriting is actually used to make social media posts. This is because the posts you upload to your business’s social media pages are there to try and encourage people to visit your website.
Here are some examples of how social media posts count as forms of copywriting:
- You make a post informing your followers of a new article you just uploaded. That post is an example of copywriting because it’s persuading your followers to visit your website.
- You upload a post announcing a flash sale on your products sold on your business’s website. That’s copywriting because you are encouraging people to buy your products.
- You make a post on your business’s social media pages thanking your customers and subscribers for their continued support. Even though you are not linking back to any products or content, you are still trying to ‘sell’ them your business’s brand. So, it’s a form of copywriting.
This is what I mean when I say a lot of online businesses have probably already used copywriting without even knowing it. Over 200 million brands used Facebook for marketing purposes in 2020 – how many of those businesses didn’t even realize they were using copywriting for their posts?
Direct mail is a type of advertising strategy that sends consumers mail to try and promote their products, services, or brand. Of course, thanks to modern technology, direct emails are now a thing too.
So, if you have set up automatic emails to send to your subscribers, then those emails are a type of copywriting. Whether they are informing them of new products at your e-commerce store, or simply wishing them a happy birthday – you are using copywriting in your email marketing campaign.
I have found copywriting in email marketing to be successful in my past projects. I am also not the only one too – according to this statistic from ConstantContact, 60% of consumers make a purchase as the result of a marketing email.
The final type of copywriting I sometimes use is product descriptions. This is because this type of copywriting only really applies to e-commerce websites and businesses.
Product descriptions are found on product display pages (PDP) but they can also be found in content articles reviewing or recommending products.
If you write about and promote a product, you are using copywriting. This is because you are trying to persuade people to buy the product and nowhere is this more obvious in product descriptions.
They contain relevant information that customers use to either make (or decide against) a purchase.
With the estimated number of online stores between 12 and 24 million, this means that there are at least 12 and 24 million online businesses which use copywriting as product descriptions.
Why Copywriting Is Essential For Online Businesses?
So copywriting is everywhere and is used to make a ton of content for websites, social media platforms, digital marketing campaigns, and more. Their main purpose is to sell something to their readers ranging from products sold by a business or the business’s brand itself.
This just proves how essential copywriting is when it comes to online businesses!
If you are still not convinced, then here’s the main reason why I think copywriting is essential for online businesses: copywriting helps with SEO optimization in so many ways.
SEO and copywriting go together hand-in-hand when it comes to making content for your website.
If you want people to find your websites, you need to get to the top of search engine result pages (SERP). To do that, you need to ‘optimize’ your website in a number of different ways so search engines trust your website and are more willing to recommend it to their users.
Each search engine will have its own criteria but if I use Google as an example (as Google had 92.47% of the search engine market share in 2021), you can see that their criteria includes websites having relevant content.
Google uses your website’s content to understand what it offers so it can recommend your website to the right Google users.
So, content is a must.
By using copywriting to make written content for your website, you are giving Google the content they need to help define your website.
This means that while persuading visitors to stay and look around your website or buy your products, you are also optimizing your website for search engines.
Your content also needs to be relevant to search engine queries, and this is where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research helps copywriters know what topics and subjects to create content around for your website so it is more likely to appear at the top of search engine result pages.
If you are selling a product, keyword research also helps copywriters know what terms and words related to the product to use. This will help boost your SERP ranking.
So, using copywriting means that you will be simultaneously posting relevant content for your target audience, encouraging them to remain on your website and improve your brand’s image all in one go.
The same goes with social media. Search engines like Google love websites with user interaction and crawlable links. Social media helps tick both boxes while you use copywriting to help promote your website and brand image on social media platforms.
All this means that using copywriting can help you optimize your website and make it easier for your target audience to find it – and as a result, boost your revenue!
Copywriting is something I had to understand when I began my career as a digital marketer. It offers so many benefits to online businesses, from persuading visitors to become paying consumers to optimizing websites for search engines.
As a result, it has been invaluable to my businesses!
You may have a completely different opinion and that’s fine. This is just my experience with copywriting and the opinion I have of it after nearly 10 years of working as a digital marketer (see also, ‘How to Learn Digital Marketing at Home & for Free‘). I hope this article has been insightful and good luck with your future business endeavors!