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How Long Should Web Copy Be? The Answer May Surprise You

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Let me guess, you clicked on this article hoping you’d find a set word count range for your website copy. Most people think that when we’re given a magic number (say, 1,200 words) it will make content creation easier and help us achieve all of our web copy goals. THINK AGAIN! 

We’re here to tell you that the success of your website copy is not in the word count, but rather the meaning behind the words you’re writing. Ask yourself this question: “Have I been writing to just fill up a page? OR am I writing to clearly communicate my core message?”

Web Copy Tip #1 Long Copy vs. Short Copy

Are you going back and forth between “my copy is too long” and “my copy is too short”? Let’s go ahead and squash that myth before we move any further. There is no such thing as “too long” or “too short” when it comes to how long your web copy should be! In a study completed by MarketingExperiments powered by MECLABS, they took a look at long copy vs. short copy and found that length should not be a writer’s core focus. Rather, the core focus should be whether or not the content is effective. 

Content should be long enough to engage the reader and communicate the point you’re trying to make with strategic language directed at your target audience. If that means your content is 800 words with a strong title and subhead, great! Or, if you find you need closer to 1,500 words to fully convey your message — wahoo! Both of those are fine. Because guess what –– you’re writing effectively!

Web Copy Tip #2: Avoid Cookie Cutter Copy

To write effective copy, you have to understand that every website, business and web page is unique. Successful website copy does not thrive in a copy and paste world! Your content length depends on the topic and its complexity. The goal is to communicate your expertise and unique value propositions, not to participate in a contest to see if your website copy is as long as your competitor’s. Length does not necessarily equate to subject matter expertise. It’s all about how much copy you actually need to get your message across in a clear, concise and engaging manner.

Web Copy Tip #3 New Brands vs. Established Brands –– Your reputation can make a difference.

Another key factor to take into account is the strength of your brand’s reputation. Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Is your brand well-known in its particular market? Are you launching a startup from scratch? When people think of your service offerings, does your company name immediately come to mind?

In a piece published by Quick Sprout, the author writes:

“I’ve tested long and short marketing copy with many different companies and brands, and I have noticed one thing that seems to be a common trend. When a brand is well-known, it doesn’t need as much marketing copy as a new brand does.”

This is a highly valuable nugget of information! If your brand is not dominating your particular space, it’s probably worthwhile to write a bit more about what makes your company different from others. The best way to discover whether or not your copy is making an impact is by measuring conversion rates and seeing if your website is ranking where it needs to be. Making adjustments to website copy is A-OK. As long as you’re sticking true to your brand. 

We live in a world where recommended word and character counts for pretty much everything on the internet is just a Google search away. (Like this Buffer article that’s jam-packed with valuable information.) But, we highly encourage you to avoid that approach when crafting your website copy. If you keep the #1 goal to effectively communicate your core messaging, you’re sure to achieve success. 

To connect with a strategic marketing partner who understands nuances of website content and copy, book a free Discovery Call with Carter House Copy today.

Copywriting, Website Tips

September 27, 2021

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