Website Copy: Why Less Is More
There is absolutely no doubt that copy on your website is a wildly important asset to your digital presence. It should be engaging, compelling and descriptive but at the same time... simple.
Our very best web design projects come from designing around content. We start the process by gathering all content from the client. This includes photography, copy (all text on your site), and anything else the client may need on their site like video, e-commerce, etc.
Side note - we do offer a package that we write all the copy and curate all the photography for you if writing isn't your jam or you feel lost when it comes to images.
Then, we read over the questionnaire that helps us get inside our clients brain - find out what makes them tick, and what is the main goal of their site. We then jump into combing through all their goodies and brainstorming ways to make their business shine.
A large majority of the time, clients will write their own copy. But, we recommend you hire a copywriter! Occasionally we run into an issue where a client has A LOT too much copy. Like 3000+ words on a single page - YIKES!
So how much is too much copy and what can you do while writing your copy to ensure people are actually reading it?
reason 1: overwhelmed readers will leave your site
Too much text can be overwhelming for your reader. They can become easily disinterested or simply not want to invest that much time. Keep in mind the average reader is at a middle-school level. Don't send your reader to another site that is easier for them to ingest.
reason 2: short focus time
New studies are limiting the attention span of a human to 8 seconds. For those competitive readers, that is lower than a goldfish. Too much copy can slow down your site's load time and any time wasted is another chance your reader has gone off to another task. If your copy heavy site does load quickly you may risk losing your reader's interest because the text is not condensed enough.
But we don't want to give you a list of DON'TS without providing some suggestions.
3 tips for writing copy
1. Keep things concise.
We suggest looking at your copy after it is written and cutting it done. Take out the fluff. Don't worry about word count so much that is it paralyzing but double check that each word COUNTS. Your copy length should be appropriate for your business. It should take into account your target market, what you do, your brand, and your goals. Your pages should have keywords that fit your business. These keywords will help your SEO. The text on your site should be like a skirt: long enough to cover everything but short enough to keep things interesting.
2. Keep things scannable.
This means take advantage of headlines and bold text. An overwhelming amount of readers skim the surface when reading. Strategies to break up big chunks of text like headlines, sub-headlines, and bulleted lists can help. It allows the reader to quickly ingest your content. Consider linking to a blog post or another page for committed readers who want more. Scannable copy is easy, accessible and has a clear direction. Don't forget those call-to-actions that direct even the most distracted.
3. Be objective.
“We are the BEST, MOST AMAZING CHIROPRACTOR in the world! EVA LONGORIA's cousin swears by this office. You will walk out 84 INCHES taller after an adjustment." Nope. Don't oversell yourself and keep things real. Your copy should identify what you do and prove why you are the ideal choice but don't be salesy or icky. People will leave your site. Stay neutral in tone and try to avoid sounding like an infocommerical.