What Makes Good Copy?

Can you really tell whether copy is good or bad just by looking at it?

The answer is yes and no.

It rather depends on what the copy is, what it’s meant to do and what form it takes.

For example if it’s SEO copywriting and it’s very obvious what the targeted keyword is, like in the example below…

bad seo copywriting

…then it’s pretty safe to say it’s bad copy.

The problem is a section of text can be very well written (grammatically correct and no spelling errors) and yet, from a sales perspective, it’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

That’s why it’s not always easy to spot bad copy.

It’s probably easier to look at this from a different angle and think about what makes good copy.

The traits of good copy

Luckily there are 5 characteristics that good copy has. No matter which format it’s written for or what it’s trying to sell, good copy will always:

  1. Grab the readers’ attention immediately
  2. Be clear and unambiguous
  3. Answer all the readers’ questions and so counter any buying objections they may have
  4. Build trust and rapport with the reader
  5. Motivate the reader into taking a specific action through a strong call to action

What it comes down to is this – copy is written for a purpose (generally to sell something) but if it doesn’t fulfil that purpose it’s not doing its job.

Selling through text alone is difficult. You don’t have the personal contact with the customer; you can’t think on your feet to counter their buying objections and you can’t shake their hands.

Your copywriting has to do every thing:

  • Inform
  • Build trust
  • Convince
  • Convert into a sale

That’s not an easy thing to achieve.

What are your thoughts? Can you think of any more traits you find in good copy? Why not share them here along with any shocking examples of copy you’ve come across.

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