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The Benefits of Brevity
2 reasons to reduce your website's copy


Let's say you are creating a new service page on your website. How much copy should you write? How much is too much? 

Important Reason 1

If you consider how busy we have all become, you might think that it's best to get right to the point. I would agree with this. We are busy. There are more distractions than ever. An email alert here, a ringing cell phone there, meeting requests, proposal deadlines, calendar reminders, kids, radios, texts, and so much more.

Distractions like these make it much harder to earn the attention of your reader. Your prospects are multi tasking. Therefore, you must be highly selective with your words. Most of your words will not be read, so the ones you include must be important. They must move your reader to a greater understanding of the point that you are trying to make.

As part of my job, I have the benefit of studying people while they interact with websites. Most people I watch scan a page, looking for something that attracts their attention. If something does grab their attention, they tend to read a bit further, but this is still scanning just at a slightly deeper level. So, it's critical that the words they do read deliver an important point. You don't want to waste a fleeting opportunity with filler words or poorly constructed sentences. You must eliminate waste to enhance clarity and memorability of the message.

If you have a couple of long paragraphs, it's best to break this content into small, bite size chunks supported by related visuals. This makes your page visually less intimidating.  Your copy should be inviting rather than a scary, vast ocean of words.

Most Important Reason 2

The second, most important reason is what restriction does for the effectiveness of your words. By forcing yourself to write within constraints, you force yourself to choose the best words and the best combination of important points. This allows you to thoughtfully consider your goal and then write with intent. Without constraint, it is far too easy to make a point with two paragraphs when two sentences would have sufficed.

A great example occurred in 2001, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPod. He could have introduced it by describing the hardware, the software, the state of the music industry, or another verbose set of attributes. Instead, he chose "1,000 songs in your pocket". This simple statement focuses on the core customer benefit. It focuses on the benefit that would be most important to the most people. It's brief, it's concise, it's memorable, and it just works.

In the interest of being brief, I'll end with this. Write only what you need to. Eliminate waste. Think about your goal and focus on the prospect's needs. Do this and your web pages will be more effective and much more memorable.


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