Why It’s Not Easy to Spot Good Copy

October 25th 2011       Sally Ormond       copywriting tips, good copywriting, SEO copywriter, Website copywriting


How do you know if you have a piece of good copy or not?

Can you tell, just by looking at it? Annoyingly, the answer is yes and no because it depends on:

  • What the copy is
  • What’s its purpose is
  • What form it takes

As an example, take a look at this piece of SEO copywriting:

Bad seo

As you read through it, you are constantly tripping over the phrase ‘search engine optimization’. That’s not good.

A well written piece of SEO copy should not make its keywords obvious.

It should be written in a natural way – and if you think about it, naturally, you wouldn’t constantly repeat a phrase over and over, would you?

OK, that was quite an obvious example, but let’s think about a general piece of text that is being used to sell a product. It can written grammatically correctly without a single typo and yet, from a sales point of view, it could be as useful as a surf board in the Sahara.

So, in a nut shell, it’s very difficult to spot bad copy (until you realise your website isn’t getting any traffic and none of your sales materials are converting readers into customers).

What about good copy?

After establishing that it’s not easy to spot bad copy, is it easier to spot good?

The answer, as it happens, is yes. There are 5 characteristics of good copy, regardless of its purpose. They are:

  • It instantly grabs the reader’s attention
  • It is clear
  • It answers all the reader’s questions and counters all their buying objections
  • It builds trust
  • It makes the reader pick up the phone and order from you

At the end of the day, copy is written for a purpose and it’s only any good if it fulfils that in spades.

What do you think?

Can you think of any other characteristics that good copy has? If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Tags: copywriting tips, good copywriting, SEO copywriter, Website copywriting
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