a single source of truth

Copywriting for pa.gov Web

This guide was designed to help simplify and streamline the process of copywriting and content editing for all by establishing and providing a single source of reference for anyone writing or refreshing copy for the new pa.gov.

In tandem with a new, streamlined site design - establishing a singular style of writing (voice, tone, and content structure) for all authors, across all agencies, to familiarize themselves with and follow will not only help site visitors recognize they're on a pa.gov site, it will improve their overall experience. 

However, if you can remember just one thing as you write, it would be to keep it simple. Here are a few best practices to remember, as you write to help ensure your copy is fully optimized. 

Keep it simple

No need to over tell or oversell. Simplicity is key. How can you say what you need to as efficiently, and effectively, as possible?

Make it actionable 

Set your readers up for success by telling them exactly what actions you want them to take. You can achieve this by leading with verbs, like 'make it actionable,' for example. 

Rely on Titles

In Content Workflow, your titles act as your headlines. By keeping them simple, clear, and intuitive, residents will be able to scan and consume your content quickly. 

Write like a human 

Keep a visual of your intended reader in mind as you write. Ask yourself "how would I say this to them in person?" Then, write that way. Use words you would use in real life. 

Lead with benefits 

All people really want to know is "what's in it for me?" Therefore, leading with benefits will help them understand exactly how your services can help them. 

Go back and edit

The best copywriters are even better editors. There's always an opportunity to trim, cut, shorten things up. By keeping it light and tight, you will keep it right. 

Most importantly, if you can keep it simple, you will be successful. And this guide will help you do just that. Let's start out by defining what a brand voice, and a brand tone of voice, are.