Is my copy too long? Why having too much copy can work against you
Since I am a writer by trade, you'd think I'd be all for walls of text and meandering paragraphs that don't seem to end.
In fact, I really don't like them at all.
I am a minimalist when it comes to copy, and in this article I will share with you why (and when) I think less is more.
First off, copy length is a contentious topic among copywriters and I'll be the first to admit I don't have all the answers. However, when it comes to website copy (particularly the homepage) I'm convinced shorter copy works best. This is because as a business, you should be able to explain your offering as succinctly as possible when a potential customer lands on your homepage. The homepage copy should provide just enough information to get them to the next stage of interest.
But how short?
Recently, I've come across a few websites that were very text heavy, and not in a good way. The problem with too much text is that unless the content is very engaging, people won't pay attention. Especially if it's all about you and the reader can't relate to it or see how it's supposed to help them. For a website's homepage aim for no more than 300 words, but be sure to provide links to other pages for your visitors to get more information.
Remember, you can communicate in other ways, through video and graphics if you find that works better for your business.
Now, I am not suggesting that you never write more than 300 words on a page ever again — there's a time and place for text heavy content. That is, when your audience is ready for it. Things like long-form blog posts, long-form sales letters, eBooks and even appeal letters can be incredibly powerful in getting readers to act. The difference is, readers have likely opted into these content pieces and are prepared to take the time to read them. Also, there are certain businesses where lots of copy just seems to work better.
In my experience, working with a graphic designer has made me more aware of how much wordy copy can hinder a message rather than strengthen it. It's important to realise that words are not the only way you can communicate your brand.
I'll leave you with this piece of advice from Neil Patel:
"The only way to know for sure is to test the response rate your copy receives to see which converts at a higher rate — long or short copy."
Can't really argue with that!