If you’re a copywriter, you’ll know the importance of the humble word count. Without it, the work you do would easily lose focus and risk becoming either too long or short for the task in hand.
Similarly, the ability to keep track of keywords and structure while maintaining a solid handle on grammatical accuracy is vital if you’re to satisfy clients and show everyone what you’re capable of.
The word processor you rely on day-in, day-out will undoubtedly have a rudimentary form of text analysis, but there are free tools available that take this element of copywriting to a whole new level.
One such tool is Wordcounter.net – a free, web-based app that is proving popular among copywriters and content creators alike.
But how does it stack up?
Enter Wordcounter.net, and you’re met with a brilliantly-simple user interface that features a prominent word and character count, large text area with various controls and a sidebar that promises detailed text analysis.
To use Wordcounter.net, you simply start typing into the text area. Most copywriters will likely paste text in from another application, but whatever your preferred method of entry, the real fun starts when the words are present.
An auto-save feature ensures you won’t lose any work (should you decide to use Wordcounter.net as a word processor) and the presence of spell checking and rudimentary formatting make it a compelling alternative to heavyweight writing tools.
As soon as you enter some words into Wordcounter.net, the word and character count will change to reflect what’s there. For a web app, it’s remarkably responsive, and during our tests it was impossible to confuse it by quickly pasting, deleting and editing text.
The ease with which you can view the word count is great, but look to the right-hand side of the interface, and you’ll spot an even deeper analysis of your text.
Wordcounter.net keeps track of the number of sentences and paragraphs, but also gives you an indication of the time it’ll take to read your piece and the assumed ‘reading level’.
The reading level is calculated via the Dale–Chall readability formula, which works from a list of 3,000 easily recognisable words. Any words that aren’t on the list but which exist within your text will raise the difficulty level slightly. It’s certainly not an exact science, and it should be noted that the reading level isn’t a reflection of your writing ability.
If you regularly write speeches, you’ll be delighted to see the ‘speaking time’ metric which offers an estimated time for how long it would take to deliver the text vocally.
For copywriters working in the SEO field, Wordcounter.net also provides keyword density. This is a fantastic little feature which will be devoured by anyone who has to keep a close eye on the number of keywords they’re using in a piece of web copy. Clicking the keywords highlights them within the text, too, in case you need to make changes to the density.
The hidden stuff
Beneath the viewable text analysis, there’s a an innocuous ‘More’ link. Click that, and you’re given the option to view average word length, the number of lines, unique words and even handwriting time, among others.
Wordcounter.net also offers an account feature, which you’ll encounter if you try and use certain features. Accounts are free, and if you’re happy to hand over your email address, you’ll gain access to the aforementioned auto-save feature, the ability to set writing goals and an introductory offer for their companion app, Grammarly, which enables you to check for plagiarism and other writing issues.
Lastly, for the productivity conscious among you (aren’t we all?), Wordcounter.net also enables you to keep track of the number of words you write each day, providing an invaluable insight into just how productive you are.
Great copy isn’t purely about the number of words you write, but keeping an eye on the word count remains a vital task for copywriters and content creators.
Wordcounter.net takes the principal much, much further, resulting in a suite of tools that should occupy a space in every copywriter’s toolbox. If you write for a living, add it to your bookmarks list – now!