Less is More

May 30, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

Decrease Web Copy to Increase Leads

I’m a writer at heart so people are often surprised that the first thing I suggest when redesigning a website is to cut down on the copy. And be ruthless.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is most website visitors today have a limited attention span. Lots of copy just bogs them down or scares them away completely.

Your website needs to quickly engage people and incite them to act.

Bold headlines, vivid imagery, short videos, and compelling calls-to-action are proven to be much more effective than large blocks of text. Most web visitors are on your site for a minute or less, so you need to make your site easy to scan and understand in seconds.

This is hard for some marketers to accept. They’ve spent a lot of time writing and revising all that copy and it explains everything about who they are what they do. They’ve fallen a little in love with their own spiel. Cutting it seems cruel.

I get it. But I also remember Faulkner’s famous writing advice – Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings.

Your “darlings” are those precious and creative sentences that you love the most. And sadly, if you’re writing for the web, they probably must die.

Your web visitors don’t need to know everything about your business – at least not right away. They just need to know enough to get them curious and to reach out to you. Work on making a strong and fast first impression. Your sales team can take it from there.

Got Milk?

When I first started working here, my boss gave me some unusual writing advice: “Don’t use any commas.”

I laughed at that (and obviously don’t follow it) but the point was this: Write short sentences. Be clear and compelling. Cut to the chase. Some of the most successful ad campaigns ever were often just two or three words long.

The good news is that there are other places you can indulge your wordier-side – like in your inbound content marketing. Create and promote long-form blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers and other resources; be as loquacious as you like. This content will improve SEO performance and drive traffic to your site, as well as providing more of an in-depth education on your company, products and services for those who are interested in a greater level of detail.

But as for the top level of your website: Keep it clean, folks.

Want to turn your website into a lean, mean lead-generating machine? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.