Writing By Numbers Will Ruin Your Reputation

May 17th 2016       Sally Ormond       copywriting, how long should copy be, long copy or short copy, website copy

How long should your copy be


How long should my content be? That’s the biggest headache most business owners have, in terms of boosting the effectiveness of their website.

It’s not something that’s kept me awake – here’s why.

First of all there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.

Some articles tell you the optimum number of words per web page is 500 and suggest that if you fall below that number you won’t rank for your keywords.


My site ranks pretty well for a number of keywords and yet I doubt any of my pages contains 500 words.

The argument about how long your copy should be (especially in the world of website content) will continue to rage on.

Granted, in some marketing formats longer copy out performs shorter, such as in direct mail. But on the internet it’s very different.

How can anyone possibly dictate the number of words you should write about your business, its products and services?

For a start, every business is unique so, as the old saying goes, one size can’t possibly fit all.

Focus on quality over quantity

The main aim of anyone writing web copy is to create content that’s engaging, interesting, relevant and compelling.

So what happens when you’ve said all you have to say and your word count is only 270? Do you ruin your carefully crafted, high quality content by padding it out to reach the magical 500?

No, you don’t because if you do you’ll ruin all your hard work.

You are aiming to impress and convince your readers, not Google. OK, yes, you want your site to rank well, but there are a number of other factors that will help that over and above word count.

It’s like saying keyword density is important – it’s not – it’s a practice that should never be mentioned within the world of marketing. Cramming your content with your keywords renders it meaningless, spammy and downright shameful.

Pretty much the same can be said for trying to dictate the number of words a web page should contain. If you restrict copywriters in that way, the quality of the words on the web will once again fall and we’ve only just started turning the corner after the great keyword density debate.

Good content should be like a mini skirt – long enough to cover everything, but short enough to be interesting.

It’s as simple as that.

Focus on your reader

Your content needs to tell your reader what they want to hear:

  • What you will do for them
  • How you will make their life easier
  • That they can trust you

That’s it – it’s not about you, it’s all about them.

Keep your message focused on those three elements and stop writing once you’ve covered them.

Whether your word count is 250, 500 or 1500 it doesn’t matter so long as what you say is interesting, relevant and compelling.

That’s all I have to say on the matter.




Tags: copywriting, how long should copy be, long copy or short copy, website copy
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