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What a web copy editor & online communications expert needs to know

Or: The value of good web copy

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Portrait von punkt & komma Geschäftsführerin Ines Eschbacher. | © punkt & komma
Ines Eschbacher

Don’t leave the users’ first impression up to chance!

Good style and a knack for writing unfortunately aren’t enough to be successful as a copy editor. Those are just the basic prerequisites you should bring to the table. A web copy editor also needs to have profound online knowledge, marketing experience and know-how in the area of search engine optimisation. The field of web copy and online communications doesn’t stop at writing texts for websites. There’s a lot more to it. 

It’s also not advisable to outsource the “annoying” writing tasks to a trainee. 

Bad web copy is like a weak handshake

You meet someone and stick out your hand for a handshake. And what you remember is the limp handshake you got in return from the other person. If new clients encounter one of your texts – on purpose or by chance – they shouldn’t have this exact feeling. You’ve got to win them over with the right words. And don’t leave the first impression that the reader gets of your company up to chance! 
Verfassen von SEO-Texten. | © punkt & komma

What a good copy editor and online communications expert needs to know:

  • great language skills and a knack for words: Read many different texts on a topic. Create a wording list with terms and phrases that you like for your topic. 
  • a feel for design and usability 
  • empathy: What does your target audience want – the least important person is you! 
  • know-how in the area of content controlling: What you can’t measure, you can’t assess. If you can’t assess it, you don’t know if your texts work for your audience or not. 
  • SEO competence
  • mastery of various text types and text formats: Be it newsletters, blog posts, web articles for a company site, product descriptions for an online shop, posts for Facebook, etc. – the requirements for individual text types vary. 
  • a good command of spelling rules and grammar or a skilled editor: A text simply shouldn’t be riddled with mistakes!  
  • PR knowledge
  • social media competence 
  • technological know-how: Alongside the writing of texts, online communications experts have many other tasks that need to be done. Once a text is written and approved by the client, it’s entered into the CMS. Basic knowledge of HTML is definitely an advantage. 
  • in-depth knowledge of current online marketing trends 

As you can see: Knowing how to write well doesn’t quite cut it. Writing web copy is so much more than just putting words on a piece of paper. 

Put it aptly: The power of words

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