Orange title saying How To Rewrite Web Copy to introduce Carolin Gibson's video about how to edit web copy

How To Edit A Client’s Website In Your Browser

Edit web copy direct on a client’s website

Explaining how you might improve the copy on a client’s website, showing a piece of highly polished web content in a Word doc or providing a new copy style for a website rewrite is all very well, but ….

Instead, why not show a client exactly how your rewritten, revamped and revitalised web content can look on their actual web page.

Visual saying How To Rewrite Web Copy

Credit: Music by Conrad Barrington

A very simple, very free web copywriting trick

In this video ‘How to rewrite a website in real time (well, almost)’, I use a simple trick to make changes directly to a company’s website content and show my copywriting recommendations instead.

The changes aren’t permanent; they’re just a copy demonstration which only appear on my screen. As soon as I refresh the page, the rewritten web copy disappears.

This Javascript trick is an ideal copy trick if a client can’t quite visualise suggested copy changes. You can demonstrate how to rewrite their copy by sharing your desktop. Or else, send them screenshots.

How to get this JavaScript editable content trick

You don’t need to be a coding whizz kid to use this and edit web copy. (Oh and by the way, this trick doesn’t work on images.) Just do this:

  1. Copy this line of code: javascript:document.body.contentEditable = ‘true’; document.designMode=’on’; void 0
  2. Paste into a Word doc
  3. Now select this line on your Word doc and copy again
  4. Drag the text into your bookmarks bar – a symbol will appear (and rename however you want e.g. ‘Web Editor’

Ta dah! All done!

There are other ways to get this trick, such as using the Inspector option (on a Mac, you need to enable Development Tools) or, if feeling really lazy, use Edit The Web.

Why show copy styles in the first place?

As a branding and creative copywriter, I always believe in giving my clients choice. You wouldn’t expect to see one logo from a graphic designer, after all. So why only offer up one option when it’s so important to get a new tone of voice nailed?

A client may declare they want copy that’s ‘dynamic and inspiring’. Yet their idea of ‘dynamic and inspiring’ could be very different to mine. So I like to offer a safe copy style option, a route that pushes things a little further and a somewhat-left-of-field offering.

Of course, any copy style needs to be based on a firm foundation. And to fit the brand.

And the best way to achieve that? Start with an agreed client brief. (Feel free to download my creative briefing template.)

I hope you enjoy discovering how to edit web copy. After all, just think of the possibilities for April 1st.

Written by Caroline Gibson, freelance copywriter and web editor – either in a browser or on a piece of paper.

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk T: +44 7957 567766

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