I never cease to become amazed at what I see written online. Not only what is written or the way it is written but often in the copy as a whole. And not only that; the instances of duplicate content is even more astounding!
Only this morning I randomly selected 8 web pages from the travel sector and 3 of the pages had duplicate content issues (according to copyscape).
This article is not about online duplicate content (not directly anyway), but suffice to say that every man and his dog knows that the Google, Yahoo et al, can, at the drop of a hat, identify ¨dup content¨. Needless to say those affected pages will not be gaining much (in the long term) in the way of natural traffic, and worse it is detrimental to the whole site.
There is another kind of duplicate content issue!
I once worked as Marketing Manager for a major home improvement retailer and just happened to be at the IT office on a particular day. I was absolutely horrified to discover the outsourced web design company were preparing to copy (word for word) the companies brochure and offline promotional material straight on to a brand spanking new website.
Without intervention this practice would have been an un-mitigating long term disaster. It took me a full morning to explain that offline and online readers are different animals. Browsing a hard-copy brochure, with your feet-up on a Sunday morning is an entirely different ball game to surfing and browsing website copy [http://www.thomas-machado.com/webcopywriting.html].
The easiest way to consider the difference between online and offline communication is to imagine writing a letter which you intend to post using offline snail mail services as opposed to typing an email.
You would almost certainly approach the tasks differently. And so it goes for online and offline copy writing.