Websites are a wonderful thing for most of us in the copywriting business. Unlike a brochure, the length of which is to some extent dictated by print and production cost, websites can have unlimited numbers of pages and therefore words, at little incremental production cost. That’s been good for business.
Setting aside the fact that the hardest – and usually most satisfying – copy to write is the shortest, there is a major caveat to writing for websites….the three little letters that strike anxiety into the heart of any self-respecting copywriter….S. E. O.
Take the first paragraph of this piece. For SEO purposes, I should probably have written it something like this:
Copywriting for websites in Bath by copywriter Giles White is a wonderful thing for most of us who want to be copywriters for business. Unlike copywriting for brochures, copywriting for advertisements, copywriting for direct marketing or other forms of words produced by good copywriters near Bristol, the length of which is, to some extent, dictated by print and production cost, copywriting for websites can have unlimited numbers of pages and therefore words, at little incremental production cost.
I might have over-egged it a little. But it’s really not unusual to find websites with swathes of text that sound like an inverted game of ‘Just a Minute’ in which repetition, hesitation and deviation are to be embraced rather than avoided.
So what’s it to be? A beautifully written website that fewer people get to see? Or a clunky, clumsy jumble of SEO terms that nobody would want to read, yet – ironically – is the first one to which punters are pointed?
Mercifully, I’m assured that SEO will soon be a thing of the past as those already-clever algorithms become ever cleverer. Meanwhile, with any luck, the above paragraph will hurtle me to the top of the rankings, whilst making it clear that it doesn’t in any way represent the kind of copy with which any self-respecting copywriter in Bath specialising in copywriting for business would want to be associated.
How’s that for having your cake? And eating it!