We'll try to update this copywriting glossary from time-to-time with new definitions, but here's how it looks as of October 2023.
We've also included all of the definitions in a lovely little graphic, which you'll find at the bottom of the blog.
Above the fold: Traditionally, this meant the top bit of folded broadsheet newspaper that you could see on the shelf or the news stand. Nowadays, it also means the top part of a web page that you can see without scrolling down.
Backlinks: Links that point to your website.
Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who leave your website at a specific page. Let's say your blog has been viewed by 1,000 people, and it has a bounce rate of 50%. That would mean 500 people exited your website at that page (or 'bounced'), and the other 500 navigated to other parts of your website.
B2B: Business to business. A business which sells products or services to another business.
B2C: Business to consumer. A business which sells products or services to the consumer.
Content Writing: The practice of writing longer form, informational content such as blogs, white papers or case studies.
Convert: To convert is to turn a reader into a paying customer. Let's say a web page is viewed by 1,000 people, and 100 of those go on to purchase your product or service. That would mean the web page has a conversion rate of 10%.
Copy: Copy is basically promotional text. Marketers often refer to the words on a page as 'copy.' This very blog is full of copy, not words. The text on an ad is copy. The email you just received from a business contains copy.
Copywriting: The practice of writing shorter form, 'salesy' copy such as adverts or landing pages.
Copywriter: A person who writes copy. Duh.
Copyright: The legal protection of a name or brand. Nothing to do with copywriting!
Copyrighter: Not a real word. Do not use in conversation or otherwise.
CTA: Call-to-action. The thing that encourages the reader to take action and convert: 'Buy Now!', 'Learn More', 'Subscribe'
CTR: Clickthrough rate. The proportion of readers to clicker. So, if 100 people see your ad and 10 people click on it, you have a CTR of 10%.
Keywords: The words that people use in a Google search. Let's say I'm looking for advice about how to get over a cold. I would probably Google something like 'cold cures' or 'cures for cold.' To try and get their content to appear at the top of those search results, copywriters and content writers would optimise their content around those keywords. This is basically how SEO works (in a really simple sense), and how people find your content on Google.
Landing Page: A standalone web page (ie, not connected to a wider website) that has one aim in mind. Whilst normal web pages have navigation, lots of links and other distractions, a landing page is centred around one objective or goal - normally a conversion. In theory, more people should convert via a landing page than a normal web page.
Lead: Someone interested in buying your product or service. For example, if someone fills out the contact form on your website, they would be considered a lead.
Lead Generation: The act of generating new leads for a business.
Meta Description: A short description of a web page shown in search engine results.
Pain Point: Something that's bugging your target audience. For example, their pain point might be that they have to pay booking fees when booking gig tickets. In copywriting, we often write content to address specific pain points.
PPC: Pay per click. Paid advertising on search engines that costs more if more people click on it. Basically, the sponsored pages you see at the top of search engine results.
ROI: Return on investment. If you spend £100 on an ad campaign but get £200 back, the ROI is 100%.
Sales Funnel: The journey that customers go on before purchasing your product or service. They start at the top of the funnel, and move down as they come closer to making a purchasing decision. It normally starts with informing and educating them, before eventually persuading them to buy (or convert).
SEO: Search engine optimisation. The practise of optimising a website to make sure it can be found by search engines.
USP: Unique selling point. The unique thing that sets a business apart from competitors.
UX: User experience. Making things as easy as possible for a user to browse your website or app. If a reader is browsing your website and they get bombarded with pop-ups, that's a bad user experience.
UX Writing: The practice of writing copy that improves the user experience.
Therein lies the end of our copywriting glossary. But herein lies the start of our big graphic. Just make sure you open the image in a new tab to see the whole thing in its glorious fullness.