Web copy is still, for the most part, being written in much-less-than-ideal circumstances by people who aren’t writers and don’t have any time. That’s a problem, but it’s not one we’re likely to solve in the next few years – particularly not with a recession forcing many people to do ever more with ever less.
The good news, though, is that anyone who touches copy can make a difference by insisting that every chunk of text on the site is doing something concrete. And alas, “selling product!” doesn’t count: “selling” is a muzzy, undefined process, so you can’t tell if you’re doing it properly just by looking. Copy needs specific goals to accomplish. For the moment, let’s take the product page – that is, a page designed to sell a product – as an example.