I left teaching for copywriting around the time ChatGPT was unveiled, and I liked it even less than my former colleagues did. While they had to deal with more plagiarism than normal, I had to wonder: would I still have my job in a year? 

The short answer is yes, probably. Though AI writers like ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini (formerly Bard), and Microsoft Copilot can quickly generate content, surveys conducted by NP Digital (the premiere voice in digital marketing) show that people still prefer content that they perceive to be written by humans. AI cannot create new ideas; it can only recycle existing content. Further, unless painstakingly trained by a human prompter, it can often sound “aloof” or “cold.” In short, AI text lacks a human spark. 

Search engines also recently announced that they prefer content written by real humans. Provided that the human writers have credentials that underline their expertise, the content’s E-E-A-T score will increase–which helps it rank higher in searches. This is an edge that AI writers cannot have. 

Even with advancing technology changing how some content is produced, writing good web content still matters to both search engines and human readers. That is why the best copy is well-informed, easily readable, and geared for the web.

Good Copy is Well-Informed

When writing copy that competes with other brands in your market, not to mention with AI, it is essential to know what you’re talking about. This means doing research into your product, competition, and audience.

Use Quantifiable Facts

Research the product, business, or service about which you are writing copy. This may sound obvious, but you need to have more than passing knowledge of the subject matter: you need to have quotable, convincing facts to reference. These will help you convince your audience.  According to Brenda Stoltz and AllBusiness for Forbes, “Facts are convincing because they’re verifiable and concrete.” They can be easily proven or disproven. Using logical arguments in your copy will help convince your audience because it is hard to argue rationally with logic.

See what the Competition is Doing

When I was a teacher, I had a saying. “Good writers read; great writers steal. But,” I would add, “no writer copies.” I would explain to my classes that we read the works of renowned writers to discuss their ideas and steal their tricks; it was not the book that we should study, but the technique. 

The same is true for writing sales-oriented copy. Because the “story” is always the same: ”our product/service/business is the best”it may be even more true for marketing than it was for literature. For that reason, writes Martina Bretrous for HubSpot, “It’s always helpful to check out what your competitors are doing, as it can inform your strategy.” Taking note of your competitors’ talking points can guide your research and ultimate emphases. Reading the existing content about the industry for which you are writing can also help you to write more unique text.

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Know Your Audience

Once you have a good grasp on your product and the market, you must identify your audience. Bretous says you do this through the use of data and personas. Personas are developed based on demographics and psychological data. This data tells you roughly who your audience is, and your imagination fills in the rest. 

For example, a set of surveys may tell a purveyor of handmade jewelry that their main buyers are women aged 18-24 and 50-60. Based on that information, you could develop at least two personas: Sasha and Gail. Sasha is a twenty-three-year-old elementary school teacher in search of colorful and quirky jewelry with shapes that her students can identify. Gail is a 56-year-old librarian with a funky sense of style. 

Based on these personas, we can identify and cater to the needs of our audience. This is important for writing copy because it tells you what sort of language to use and points to address. For instance, for Sasha, it would be important to mention whether or not the jewelry came with a safety release in the event of little hands grabbing it. For Gail, it might matter that each piece is unique and handmade. We can also assume that both are college-educated and can read at higher than a seventh-grade level (which is the recommended complexity for web copy).

Still, we would not want to overwhelm them with unfamiliar language. According to Elizabeth Harr for Hinge, copywriters should strive to “[u]se words [their] audience is familiar with.” It is likely that your audience will not be familiar with the topic about which you are writing. In order to keep the content accessible, you will need to make sure the language is familiar—at about a 5th or 6th grade level. Avoid words that are too industry-specific to make sure your audience can digest the new information you are giving them.

Good Copy is Readable

This section is going to seem the most obvious of all. Simply put, if your writing is too complex, most people will not read it. Keep reading for several easy, though often overlooked strategies to make your copy as readable as possible:

Use Accessible Language

As stated in the last section, it is best to use simpler language when discussing more complicated or little-known subjects. While it is tempting to show off your new vocabulary, remember that step one in writing good copy is to become informed. You must remember that most of your audience will not have done the research you have. If a simpler synonym does not exist to express your point, consider defining the content-specific word in parentheses. 

For instance, in the jewelry shop example from earlier, the average consumer like Sasha would have no reason to know what a breakaway barrel is, so the conscientious copywriter might include the following parenthetical notation in a description: 

      Materials:  glass beads, nickel jewelry wire, plastic breakaway barrel (cylindrical safety clasp). 

By defining the potentially unknown term in parentheses, the copywriter made the language accessible again.

Front-load Important Information

According to data analysis by Jakob Nielsen, most online readers are skimming content, and barely doing that. If readers cannot quickly find the information they are looking for on your web page, they typically hit the “back” button and try a different webpage. To avoid this, Elizabeth Harr recommends an “inverted pyramid” style of writing. In an inverted pyramid, the most important information is stated first, followed by its details. 


If your audience is mostly people taught to read and write in English in the United States, Harr and I recommend starting and ending a paragraph with the big pieces of information. In English class, the terms we used were “topic sentence” and “conclusion” or “wrap-up sentence.” Most students with an American English background are trained to look for the main idea at the beginning and end of a paragraph. Make it easier for your readers by placing your main idea where they expect it to be located.

Utilize Heading Structure

A good heading structure is essential for several reasons. First, descriptive headings allow readers to more effectively navigate the page to find the information for which they are looking, making them less likely to leave your website. Second, these headings can be helpful to you while writing content, as they can serve as an informal outline of your content. Third, they help to optimize your content for search engines. (For more information on optimizing your content for search engines, check out our blog post on title tags and keywords.) Utilize heading structure to enhance readability.

Write Short Paragraphs

Short paragraphs are easier to read. Longer paragraphs tend to exhaust the eye, and they can intimidate readers. Try to say what you need to say briefly or to break complex ideas down into smaller chunks for visual and intellectual simplicity. Usually 2-4 sentences in each paragraph is enough.

Use Bullet Points

One way to simplify text for skimming readers is to use bullet points. Most complex lists can be transposed into bullet points. This makes them easier to read. Additionally, using concise and informative bullet points is a proven successful SEO tactic, so your site will likely rank higher if it uses bulleted or numbered lists.


Break copy up visually by utilizing relevant pictures, graphs, tables, etcetera. This both enriches the existing text and provides visual variety. (If you’re nervous about adding graphics, book a call with Evolve Creative–we have the best designers around. They’ll make your copy shine!)

Write Conversationally

According to Bretous, web copywriters should aim to write the way that they speak. “We often think that our readers use language that’s more advanced and elevated than our own,” writes Bretous for Hubspot. “But the truth is, many readers want to be spoken to like a friend.” Instead of trying to sound elitist by packing your copy with high-level vocabulary words, relax a little. The average person reads at an eighth-grade level, and you want the average person to be able to understand your copy. Write as though you’re talking to a close friend or family member so that the reader feels welcomed.

Good Copy is Web-Centric

There are subtly different rules for writing for the web. Two things that web copywriters must consider are microcopy and search engine optimization.


Microcopy is the text that gives web users directions throughout a page. It is easy to take lightly, but it can make or break user experience. When writing microcopy, it is important to be direct and specific. Even small pieces of content like calls to action (CTAs) are important to write well because they direct the reader. There should never be a doubt in the user’s mind as to what happens when they click on a CTA on your website. Use clear, descriptive, and actionable language (“Learn More,” “Subscribe Now,” “Schedule Your Free Estimate,” etc).

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Search Engine Optimization

Writing for search engine optimization means writing content that search engines can more easily match to user queries. When writing for the web, you should keep search engine optimization in mind, as it will help drive traffic to your content. According to Tushar Pol for Semrush, to optimize for search engines, you should:  

  • Write quality content. “Quality content is at the core of SEO writing,” says Poi. They define quality content as being accurate, valuable, original, engaging, and unique. 
  • Write readable content. You will want to include keywords related to your topic, but without “stuffing” bunches of them into your content and making it sound spammy. Neither search engine nor human readers like spammy content. 
  • Use subheadings. As previously discussed, subheadings help divide the text by topic so that readers can easily skim for the information that they need. Subheadings can also help you use keywords and related terms more organically. 
  • Link Internally. Internal links are links to content on your website. They help build credibility by showing Google that you are an authority on the topic you’re discussing.

There is, of course, much more to writing copy for search engine optimization. SEO is a complex and ever-evolving field. Still, you cannot go wrong with well-written, quality content that utilizes subheadings and has internal links. 

There are many factors to consider when writing copy for the web. It is important to research the topic and audience in order to be well-informed. You must consider your readers’ pain points and come prepared with knowledge about how your company or product can fix them. Copy also has to be accessible and welcoming. 

Much to the chagrin of this former high school English teacher, most people only read at a seventh or eighth grade level; when writing for the web, we need to meet them where they are. Use a friendly tone so they feel like they’re talking to a friend. Finally, position your copy for success on the web by considering microcopy and search engine optimization. All of these things add up to quality web copy.

Work with Evolve Creative

If writing web copy is not your passion—or if any of the above steps seem a little daunting–reach out to us today! We have on-staff writers, marketers, and designers who can help your company improve your web copy game.