Long or Short Copy - How Much Do You Need? | Melotti Media

Long or Short Copy – How Much Do You Need?

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  1. How much copy does my website need?
  2. What word count should my content include?
  3. Which eBook length will attract the most readers?

As a copywriter, I get asked questions relating to copy length every day.
What works best?  

Our audience’s attention spans are becoming shorter and more selective, and yet businesses are not adapting to these changes, which reduces your copy’s effectiveness in achieving the results you are aiming for.

So what’s the ideal length?
It’s an excellent question! Let’s get it answered once and for all.

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What’s The Ideal Length?

Ok- the answer is that it depends on what type of copy you’re writing, and who your audience is.

Let’s go through each version.

Headlines

Ideally, we want these to be short, at around 8 words. Why? Because it’s the first thing that your audience sees and it needs to be sharp and snappy to grab their attention immediately. When they are searching their feeds for interesting content, and up pops your piece in amongst the clutter, it needs to give them a reason to click in about three seconds or they’ll scroll right by.

In those 8 words, you need to convey:

  1. The topic
  2. How it relates to them


If it does this effectively, they will want to read the rest. 
Look at the title of this article! Plus, it worked, as here you are 🙂

For more information about writing excellent headlines, read my article: Is this headline clickbait?

The Long and the Short of Copywriting – What is best?

We encounter copy of all different lengths every single day, from eBooks to websites, advertising copy and blogs. 

The reality is, while it’s easy to just assume shorter is better, it isn’t always the case. People are actually quite happy to read longer form content when it offers value.

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Your audience will read longer copy if it offers them value- it’s as simple as that.
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Think about the last article or media release that you read from start to finish: you may not have even realised how long it was! It could have been 2,000 words or more, but because you were finding it interesting or you wanted to know the entire message, you stuck around.

The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that people will only read three words and move on, because you begin by expecting your copy will fail from the start. Sure, make it concise! But don’t cut yourself (and your audience) off before they’ve had a chance to become invested.  

For many products and services, long copy outperforms short copy by a significant amount. The golden rule of copy length is as long as necessary- nothing more and nothing less.

By this, I mean don’t waffle on or go round and round in circles, but do cover enough to get your customer interested.

You can read more about this in my blog, Is Your Content Disappointing Your Audience?

This is why hiring a copywriter can be so helpful, because we do this day in and day out. We know when the point has been made and when it hasn’t. Once the message has been conveyed and we feel the audience should get it by a certain point, we put a full stop, hit save and it’s done.

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Don’t assume that people will only read three words and move on, because you begin writing by expecting your copy will fail.
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The key is writing copy that is interesting and informative to someone who actually cares. In essence, you shouldn’t be looking at copy based on word-count, but on the content contained within to determine length.

But beyond that, here are some guidelines to help you.

The length of your copy can depend on three things:

  1. The Product: the more benefits and features that your product has, the longer the copy.
  2. The Audience: Certain people want as much information as they can get before making a decision. This is true when it comes to people using the Internet, and especially true with information.
  3. The Purpose: What’s your goal? Generating a lead for a service business requires less detail, but an advert or campaign which aims to make a conversion must meet all of the needs to the potential customer before they decide to go ahead.

Choose The Length That Works

The length of your headline and your copy will depend on whatever works for whatever you are selling.

This means that you will have to experiment and speak to a Marketing Copywriter who can help guide you with the benefit of years of experience across several different platforms, audiences, products and industries.

The ultimate question is: does more or less work better at producing the desired action?

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You shouldn’t be looking at copy based on word-count, but on the content contained within to determine length.
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How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You With Your Content?

At Melotti Media, we understand that high quality copywriting is essential for business success, but it is easier said than done. You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and marketing needs!

If you need further clarification about content, or if you need a quality copywriter to get the results you need, contact me now at chris@melottimedia.com.au. Or leave a comment, below.

I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!

Christopher Melotti

Melotti Media Copywriting and Marketing Solutions
www.melottimedia.com.au
 
Click here to view the Copywriting FAQ page for all you need to know ​​

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