Examples: Before and After
The copy on your website is the primary interface between you and your audience. It's not enough to simply run it through a spell checker and cross your fingers, it's has to be designed and executed with as much expertise as any other programming.
But many site owners have difficulty envisioning what copy polishing or writing can do to improve their project, so we've compiled a list of before and after examples to illustrate the point.
Example #1: Emotional Connection
While our museums each maintain websites supporting their respective programs and exhibits, George Eastman House and ICP collaborate in building Photomuse to provide online resources for the study of an important cultural subject: photography at work in the world. We invite all students and scholars -- be they academic or recreational -- to use this site and to assist us in making this a useful and authoritative learning tool.
Photography is hard at work everywhere in the world, and Photomuse.org is proud to be your online study resource for such an important multi-cultural icon. Through the generous collaboration of the International Center of Photography and George Eastman House, Photomuse.org invites all students and scholars - be they amateur or academic - to not only use this site for their personal enlightenment but also to help us shape Photomuse.org into an authoratative learning tool for everyone.
This example from Photomuse.org is a good illustration of establishing an emotional interface with your audience. The original text started off by telling you about other unrelated websites and followed it up with an unimpassioned description of the topic at hand.
This is a site dedicated to the passionate pursuit of an artistic endeavor, why should its description be so bland? We refocused the attention back onto Photomuse.org and added a little flair, a little passion. The original text gave the reader some good information; our re-write made the reader want to know more.
Example #2: Interactive Copy
Born from passion for nature and the City, CentralPark.com is your complete guide to New York's Central Park. A place to reveal your memories of past visits and share photos of Central Park with your friends and family. A vibrant community. We pride ourselves in offering an entertaining experience, insightful resources and tools to all people loving this beautiful NYC landmark – check an always up to date list of events taking place in the park, read all about the history of Central Park, attractions, activities and the Central Park Zoo; plan your visit with our interactive maps of Central Park, locate a nearby hotel or restaurant or even plan your wedding in the park.
CentralPark.com was born from a passion for both nature and The City. It’s your complete guide to New York’s famous Central Park and a place to share your memories and photographs of it with friends and family. CentralPark.com is a vibrant community, fiercely proud of the unique experience we’ve designed for our audience as well the many insightful tools and resources we offer. There’s a calendar of upcoming events you can save and print or you can plan out your visit on our interactive Central Park maps. We'll show you the entire history of the park or you can read about its many activities and attractions, including its world-renown zoo. You can even plan a Central Park wedding and then locate nearby restaurants and hotels for after the ceremony!
This example from CentralPark.com clearly shows the difference between just writing some text and designing strong interactive copy. The original text was a series of broken and often unrelated sentences that jumbled the reader along an undertermined path.
Our re-write organizes the thoughts and relates them to one another in a fluid, concise message that draws the reader in, making it much more pleasant to read and easier to understand.
Example #3: First Impressions
Thank you visiting this site. Accoona Domains and Search Facilities was acquired by Masterseek B2B Search Engine in order to provide you with the same good user experience of quality company data you already know from Accoona Search.
Don't forget to come back here frequently! Over the next couple of weeks, Masterseek will launch new B2B Company Services and Search facilities with information and contact data of 49 mill. companies World Wide!
Welcome to the new home of Masterseek's B2B Search Engine! In honor of Masterseek's recent acquisition of Accoona Search, we'll be launching our new B2B Company Services and Search facilities over the course of the next two weeks.
Check back soon and often to watch it unfold, because the databases are packed with information and contact data from more than 49 million companies world-wide! Best of all, we're committed to the same level of exceptional service you've come to expect, providing you with the same or better user experience you've always known.
When you're planting the seeds of a future project, it's important to remember that you're setting the tone for the first impression you're about to make. This isn't just a blurb to take up space on an empty page, it's your one chance to build the positive anticipation you need for a successful product launch.
But it only works if you follow through... if they read the same copy in the same place two weeks from now, your site creditibility will evaporate.