For a copywriter, Google search is a wonderful way to conduct initial research while you are getting to know a topic. You can explore top-ranking sites to find out more about the subject, and you can quickly research how your client’s competitors are writing about the industry sector.
But did you also know that there are some really useful commands you can add to the search box on Google that will give you super quick answers to common copywriting tasks?
1) Find the right words
A copywriter might be gifted with the ability to turn a catchy phrase, but we don’t always know the full meaning or usage of a particular word. That’s why we have specialist tools to hand like dictionaries, thesaurus, dictionary of quotations, and style guides.
Helpfully, we can also tap into the power of Google through a special command in the Google search box that will quickly check the definition of a word and link to several online sources to confirm the usage.
Define [yourwordhere] will query Google’s sources for word definitions and return the best fit. Perfect for a quick lookup or when your Oxford tomes are out of reach.
2) Check spelling
This one is so transparent within the user-functions of Google search that you may not have even considered (or noticed) it at work.
Google’s software automatically checks the spelling of a search query and returns what it determines is the correct spelling of the search term with the results.
So, if you’re unsure of the spelling of a word, just searching for what you think is the correct spelling will reveal the answer.
For example, searching for ‘rhithm’ returns results for ‘rhythm’; and this handy note just under the search box points out the spelling difference to you: Did you mean rhythm?
This can get tricky with UK/US spelling differences, but you’re a pro writer so you should already know some of the differences. If you’re not sure, try adding ‘US spelling’ to your search and you should get some guidance from the sites listed.
3) Quick conversions
I’m a self-confessed maths-lazy copywriter. So, I love tools that helps me crunch numbers.
Once I had to ‘translate’ an American copywriting document into UK English. This task included converting square yards into square metres and changing dollar values into Sterling.
Thankfully, I could use the Google conversion command. Just type the quantity you want to convert ‘in’ the quantity you want to convert to.
150 USD in GBP
100 square yards in square metres
This works for money, volume, distance…the possibilities are endless! The results are returned at the top of the listings and are part of Google’s interface, rather than a search result. Excellent!
What are some other features that you use to help with your copywriting?