This is an important distinction if you want your online presence to be more effective. Web content refers to all the pages with relevant information that educates, entertains and engages your readers.
Web copy refers to the content specifically designed to sell or persuade readers to take action.
Why should you care about this distinction? Most people, when they take their business online, get a website designed and put up sales pages for each product and service they need to sell.
They neglect to write multiple content pages. You need as many pages of content as you can stand if you want to get Google juice for all the versions of your keywords and keyword phrases. (Think blog posts/pages, for example.)
The most overlooked part of the online marketing picture is Web content pages – designed to inform your readers and clients. You need to write content that provides solutions to your client’s problems.
Bob Bly, prolific writer and online marketer knows the difference. He’d like to teach and sell you a whole course in how to "become a six-figure Web content writer." Here’s his definition of Web content vs. Web copy:
From Bob Bly:
What is "Web content" … and how does it differ from Web "copy"?
Web content refers to information posted by a company on its Web site to establish itself as a thought leader in its industry – as well as to increase its search engine rankings.
Content is typically how-to, technical, or reference information relating to a company’s products and useful to prospects who buy and use such products.
For instance, Web content on sites selling nutritional supplements could include articles on the health conditions (e.g., allergies, arthritis, etc.), nutrition, exercise, etc.
Web copy is the sales copy used to describe and sell the company’s products; e.g., on a health site, each dietary supplement being sold would have its own page describing the pill’s formula, ingredients, and benefits.
While you need Web copy to sell your products, great Web content helps companies make more of those sales more often in several important ways.
Good Web content on a company’s site:
- Attracts more visitors to the site — and makes them stay longer and return more frequently.
- Improves the site’s search engine rankings — because Google ranks content pages higher than sales copy.
- Positions the company as experts in their industry or field.
- Helps build a relationship of trust and confidence with your prospects and other site visitors.
- Increases visitor interest in the products sold on the site.