10 Important Copywriting Terms Explained
Being a good copywriter involves more than having a way with words. You’ll also need to know how to work with clients and communicate with them effectively. To do that, there are quite a few copywriting terms you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Some copywriting terms, like “headline” or “audience,” are self-explanatory. Other terms, though, might not be so obvious. Here are 10 common copywriting terms you should familiarize yourself with before you begin working with clients.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Every business has something that sets them apart from the competition. Maybe they’re offering a product that can’t be found anywhere else, or perhaps they’ve got a special service that goes above and beyond similar options. To effectively pitch a product or service, you need to know the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. Communicating the company’s USP in your copy will help the reader understand why they should purchase from that business rather than a competitor.
Split testing can be an effective way to experiment with different versions of copy. During a split test, you create two unique versions of copy with the same basic messaging. Then, the audience is split into two groups with each group getting one version of the copy. You (or the client) can then track the results to see which audience had a better response and, in turn, which piece of copy was more effective.
Image Source: Conversion XL
Direct Response Copywriting
There are all kinds of different copywriting sectors, but direct response copywriting is one of the most common. This type of copy involves asking the reader for immediate action. You’ll usually be asking a user to subscribe to a list, click a link, purchase a product, or download something.
You might think that all copywriting falls under the “direct response” category, but that’s not the case. Sometimes, copy serves to educate or entertain rather than to push a specific action. Or, at the least, copy might be there to help a brand’s name stick in your mind for future reference. This type of copy is more passive and doesn’t require immediate action from the reader.
A backlink is a link to another web page that’s included in the copy you produce. Backlinks can be either internal or external. For example, if you write a blog post with the phrase “best sneakers for women,” you can turn that phrase into a backlink. Linking to another post on your own website would produce an internal backlink, while linking to a different website with a relevant resource would produce an external backlink.
Backlinks are important because they can help improve a website’s SEO performance. When a website receives lots of high-quality backlinks, Google begins to see that website (and the company, in turn) as a valuable resource. The search engine will then prioritize that content for the appropriate searches. Backlinks also help solidify a business as an authority in its industry.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
When you’re adding those backlinks in your copy, you’re putting them there for a reason. The hope is that readers will click on those links. Click-through rate, often abbreviated as CTR, is a metric that tracks the number of readers who actually click on a given link, whether it’s embedded in an email or listed on a landing page.
Within a piece of content, the higher the CTR is, the better. A high CTR indicates that readers aren’t simply looking at the link and leaving it alone; they’re clicking through, and they want to know more. Adding relevant, high-quality resources as links can help increase CTR.
B2B and B2C
These two terms are some of the most common yet misunderstood copywriting terms. B2B and B2C refer to business models that can impact your copywriting. B2B, or “Business to Business,” involves one company offering products or services to other companies. B2B copy is aimed at a professional audience, typically the purchasing managers for potential clients. You might create email chains, landing page copy, or newsletters for B2B companies.
B2C, on the other hand, means “Business to Consumer.” As you can likely guess, B2C involves companies selling directly to customers. Nearly any advertisement you see promoting a clothing brand, home appliance, or other personal need comes from a B2C operation. When writing for B2C clients, you could write anything from social media posts and blog content to emails, video scripts, and more.
When you search for something on Google or another search engine, your results will feature short paragraphs underneath, summarizing what you’ll find within that resource. These small introductions are called meta descriptions. An effective meta description will include the target keyword and will intrigue the audience to click the link and find out more. Keep in mind that the ideal meta description will be around 155 characters; any longer than that, and the text will be truncated. You can see the meta description for our main webpage below, just under the headline.
If you’ve ever been asked to sign up for emails or text alerts from a company, then you’re familiar with opt-in campaigns, whether you realize it or not. When a customer opts in, they’re agreeing to the prompt they’ve been offered. When they opt out, then, they are removing previously given consent.
Opt-in/opt-out prompts are usually short and simple, like, “Click here to unsubscribe” or “Enter your email to opt-in to our newsletter.” If you’re putting forth an opt-in, there must also be an opt-out feature available. Be sure to check the opt-in and privacy laws that apply in your country.
Call to Action (CTA)
One of the most common yet still misunderstood copywriting terms is the Call to Action, or CTA. As the name implies, a Call to Action encourages the reader to take some form of action after reading a piece of copy. Typically, CTAs are included at the end of a given piece of copy, but they may also be sprinkled throughout (especially in long-form content like blog posts).
CTAs can be simple and subtle actions like contacting the company for a consultation or signing up for the company’s email list. Or, they can be more direct, asking the customer to purchase today. Either way, CTAs should always feel natural within the copy and should never be misleading.
Click-through rate, which we discussed earlier, is a type of conversion rate. In general, a conversion rate is the number of users who have performed the desired action. Most companies use the term “conversion rate” to refer to the number of prospects who have purchased a product. To calculate your conversion rate, divide the number of conversions by the number of total interactions.
Working with WriterArmy
Knowing these copywriting terms is just one piece of becoming an effective writer. At WriterArmy, we continually train our writers on all the latest best practices, helping you improve your skills while earning a stable income from home. Contact us today to learn more about starting a career with WriterArmy!