Content vs Copy

Many people make the mistake of thinking that copywriting and content writing are pretty much interchangeable terms. But, they are two distinctly different forms of writing.

It's easy to get confused, so remember this phrase: Content tells, while copy sells.

Differences Between Content and Copy 

Content writing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content online to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.

Content can help a company build brand awareness, increase buyer confidence, and establish your authority as an expert in your field. 

Typical content examples include:

  • Articles
  • Newsletters
  • Listicles
  • Podcasts
  • Social Media posts
  • Press Releases
  • FAQ pages
  • About pages
  • Blogs and Vlogs

Copywriting involves advertising and promotional materials for companies, typically either in print or for their websites. Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is about getting the reader to respond to your CTA (Call To Action).

And that CTA might be to:

  • Opt-in for a newsletter
  • Sign up for an autoresponder series
  • Engage with your product, service, or company
  • Click through to learn more
  • Make a purchase
  • Schedule a call or meeting
  • Download a case study or white paper
  • Watch a video

For years, content writing was all about educating or entertaining the site visitor, and copywriting was about persuading the visitor to take action.

Benefits of Content and Copy

Further blurring the lines between copy and content are the benefits each brings to the table from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) standpoint.

When the Google spiders crawl your site for indexing purposes, they don't differentiate between copy or content.

Instead, these digital insects look for supporting information relative to the page keyword (or keyword phrase) or the searcher's inquiry.

The best way to illustrate this point is to compare two websites that sell widgets.

Widget website #1 has the following pages:

  • Home
  • Product
  • Parts
  • Blog
  • Contact us
  • About

Widget website #2 has the following pages:

  • Home
  • Product 
  • Parts and Service
  • Accessories
  • Site blog
  • Virtual factory tour 
  • Widget wonder stories (customer reviews)
  • Widgets across the globe (international customers)
  • About our widget company
  • Meet our founder
  • Meet our widget team
  • Contact sales
  • Contact service

Now let's imagine you're the potential widget buyer, and both sites sell the same widget for the same price.

Which one would you choose? 

Next, let's say that both sites are selling the same widget, but the widget website #2 price is $20 higher. Which one would you choose?

Just like you, most people would choose widget website #2 in both scenarios. 

It's true, there is a tipping point concerning pricing, but that's a topic for another day.

Even without actual websites to compare, widget website #2 appears more legit, approachable, friendly, customer-centric, and just a better place to do business.

So both copy and content are critical for a marketer or business owner trying to:

  • Increase organic (search engine) traffic 
  • Improve your web ranking 
  • Get more leads 
  • Close more sales
  • Retain customers

And Google doesn't care whether you and I call it content or copy; it's all about the supportive information your website provides to visitors, relative to the keyword or search term.

If you'd like to learn more about content or copy options for your website, you can contact me via email.

Or schedule a free consult call (30-45 minutes) via my calendar.

Curtis Dennis

Your Freelance B2B Copywriter