Generally speaking it is writing that promotes a person, opportunity, opinion or idea. Since we’re talking about websites, I’ll just assume the writing will be on a website (and this will be referred to as search engine optimization copy).
There are of course other mediums that use copywriting and copywriters – radio commericals, television ads, billboards, bus ads, magazine ads, newspaper ads etc. You get the idea. And the point behind writing copy?
It is specifically designed to entice, persuade, motivate a listener or in the case of a website a reader to take action. That action could be anything from purchasing a product to subscribing to a newsletter, from trying a product sample to participating in a survey or poll.
By the way, you can also use copywriting to convince a reader to NOT do something or not believe something.
How to start copywriting for your small Business
What types of materials use copywriting? Body copy, slogan, headlines, direct mail pieces are biggies, taglines, jingle lyrics, slug lines, captions, the World Wide Web, scripts, news releases, research and white papers and Internet (website) content. Pretty extensive list isn’t it? And it’s just the tip of the iceberg too.
Don’t forget there are also things like print ads, mail order catalogues, brochures, postcards, greeting cards etc. Copywriting is a good line of work to be in if you are any good at it, as you will always have work.
Copywriting when used on websites usually refers to the style or method of writing and wording content that is slanted to achieve higher rankings with the search engines. This is actually called content writing which means the proper placement and repetition of keywords and (keyword)phrases on a website.
At one time writing content for websites was a means of getting better rankings because the writing was geared to the search engine algorithms. That is not the case any longer and writing is now more geared to human visitors AND search engines.
The trick with this type of writing is to produce fluent and readable copy/content written with an eye to search engine optimization.
In today’s digital world it’s vital for small businesses to have an experienced copywriter. Because the pain of not having one is so high, copywriters often get paid big bucks for their time. But the results in ROI (return on investment) more than make up for the effort.