How long does it need to be?

in Blog and website content copywriting

A little while ago I gave a talk about copywriting at a local network group. One of the questions at the end was seemingly simple: how long does a webpage need to be?

Unfortunately, the answer was not similarly simple, unless ‘it depends’ counts as simple.

In short, there is no universally right answer to this question, only the answer that is right for you.

To help you get to the answer that is right for you, here are some things to think about.

Who will be reading your page and why?

For example, if it’s busy office workers wanting an answer to a quick query, short might be better. On the other hand, if it’s academics wanting to expand their knowledge of a particular topic, longer is likely to be better.

How much is there to say on your subject (that will be interesting to your readers)?

If there isn’t much to say, don’t artificially inflate something just to make the content longer. On the other hand, if you’re covering a complex topic, don’t try to cram everything into a short page.

How much is the product or service you’re selling?

If you’re selling a 99p widget, people won’t need to much persuasion to make a purchase. But if you’re selling a training course that runs into thousands, you’re going to need to give plenty of information and cover every possible angle if you want to make a sale.

Rather than thinking about the length of the content, my advice is to think more about how you’re going to structure it.

Have the most important information at the top

You need to keep the most important information at the top of the page, not buried half way down. (The exception to this is the price, especially on pricier items because you want the chance to make your case before revealing the investment.)

Make your text readable

Break up your text with headings, short paragraphs, bulleted lists, images and so on so the page looks appealing to read not overwhelming.

So my best advice? Don’t write long for the sake of it but don’t write short for the sake of it either. Instead, make sure your words are relevant, well structured and useful.

If you’d like help achieving any of these things, get in touch and let’s have a conversation.

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