Your website is a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. It serves as the center of operations for your brand. It’s how your potential customers learn more about you and what you offer, or even complete purchases.
A website content strategy that communicates your unique value proposition and serves your overall objectives can be a powerful sales tool. But is there such a thing as too much content?
Long vs. Short Website Content for Driving Sales
Whatever your product or service might be, you probably have a lot of things to say about it. There are all those incredible features to brag about (errr…describe), how those features will benefit your customer, not to mention the “how-to’s” for more complicated products. Odds are, you simply can’t summarize all of this in a sentence or two.
You don’t want your customer to be confused about your product. So, when it comes to your website content strategy, longer is better right?
We have good news and bad news. With all the marketing data out there, you’d think the answer to this question would be simple. But the truth is, there is no definitive answer to ideal website content lengths. You can find incredibly different schools of thought about whether or not long-form content on your website is better than short-form.
The truth is data doesn’t clearly advocate for one way or the other. Long vs. short-form website content is of those endless marketing debates. We might say that we love to argue about it with a zeal equal to that of book lovers arguing over whether or not Harry should have ended up with Hermione.
So, where does that leave you? The reality is, there is no one way to determine the ideal length for your website content. There are a few factors that can help you make better guesses, though.
How To Create Website Content That Sells (Without Saying Too Much).
If you know anything about SEO, you might feel tempted to write lots of content. You imagine your perfect website, chock full of keywords. In fact, you will formulate it with so many keywords that it will magically entice Google to pick you above ALL your competitors for its coveted number one search position.
If only it were that easy.
This kind of approach to web content can backfire for two reasons.
- Quantity is not always quality. If users are clicking on your links and then quickly clicking away, Google knows. And your rankings will suffer for it.
- Keyword stuffing hurts your rankings too.
SEO is an important part of a website content strategy. It is worth hiring a professional website content writer who knows the ins and outs of how it works to do it. They can help you structure your website for optimal traffic, utilize keywords effectively, and make sure you don’t waste those precious few seconds you have to capture your audience’s attention.
But the key takeaway here is that website content length is not nearly as important as quality content. Google is like a human in many ways. It knows when your content is worth reading.
How complicated is your product?
One way to approach your website content is to ask yourself exactly how complex your content is. Luxury, high-end sales can be a more complicated, lengthy sales process than lower-ticket, less complicated products. In these cases, long-form website content might make more sense.
Think about your own spending habits. If you are spending thousands of dollars on a new product or service, you probably have a lot of questions. You want to mitigate your risk as much as possible and get your questions answered before you make that big commitment, right? If your product or service fits into this category, vague, pithy content might not serve you. Clear, detailed content might be a better fit.
On the other hand, if your product or service is simple and easy to understand, longer content may simply bore your customer. Overexplaining products like polka-dotted kitchen towels or waxing on and on about the superior thread count of your silk pillowcases might hurt your conversion rates.
How familiar is your user with what you sell?
Imagine a first-time user of a smartphone (in some faraway, imaginary universe, of course). A website explaining how all the many smartphone details work would be quite lengthy indeed. Not only does the user need to understand what the phone does, but they also have to understand how to use it.
But Apple doesn’t have to explain all of that. If you look at their webpage for the latest iPhone 12, it doesn’t feature walls of text. It contains vibrant graphics, and the product descriptions are concise and limited to key benefits with a few technical points. iPhone simply doesn’t need to explain everything. You already know their brand.
As you decide the length of your website content (especially pages dedicated to specific products or services), think about your users. Are they encountering you or your product for the first time? Maybe your content can be a bit longer.
On the other hand, warm users already familiar with your product or brand might need much less information. Short-form content with simple headlines and concise calls-to-action sometimes works best in these situations.
Consider your objective.
One key factor in determining content length is deciding what your key objective for your content is, exactly. Landing pages differ from websites, for example, because they sell one thing and solicit one specific action from the user. If you have too much text or more than one call-to-action, you might lose your audience.
Blogs, on the other hand, are meant to be read. These can be longer because they offer opportunities to educate and inform your audience with keyword-rich, valuable content.
4 Ways to Assess Your Current Website Content
Now that we have covered the basics of long vs. short-form website content, here are 4 ways to assess your current webpage and make adjustments.
1. Are your headlines powerful?
You might be surprised how important headlines are for selling your product, but trust us, this is one area you don’t want to skimp on. Making sure your headlines sell your product and encourage your customer to act (all at once!) is no easy feat, but it is absolutely critical to your success. If you need a few tips, check out our free Million Dollar Headlines cheatsheet.
2. Is your website content confusing or difficult to navigate?
Content length is only half the conversion equation when it comes to your website. If your website structure is confusing or difficult to navigate, you will likely lose your user no matter how well written your copy is. Remember, if your navigation is confusing to a human, it’s likely confusing to Google too. This will hurt your traffic.
3. Are links pointing to broken pages?
Encountering a series of broken links can be grounds for breaking-up with a potential purchase or even a brand. Most people just don’t have the patience to deal with re-direct messages or “we moved this page over here” messages.
Plus, broken links hurt your SEO. Use free tools like Ahref’s Broken Link Checker to ensure there are no broken links on your website.
4. Archive or Update As-Needed
If your website content is no longer useful for your audience, it might be a good idea to update it for relevance or remove it altogether. But before you hit delete on that holiday blog from 2017, take into consideration how you might re-purpose that same content in other ways. Could you put a new spin on it and send it out as an updated holiday blog for this coming year? Could it be broken down into social media posts for your Facebook page?
How to Create Website Content that Sells
In the end, creating a website that sells can be a tricky thing. There are so many factors to consider. Even your site structure can affect traffic and SEO.
This can be bad news for people who’ve invested a lot of money and time into their website, not realizing that they have invested in a website that might be beautiful but isn’t converting to actual sales. Why don’t the internet hamsters appreciate all that original content you painstakingly put together?
The good news is, you don’t have to beat yourself up too much. Even experienced marketers know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to website content. Sometimes, you have to experiment to see what works. Use a tool like LeadPages (a landing page builder) to split-test different versions of your website copy. By testing various headlines, graphics, and content lengths, you can narrow down the best website content length that works for you. Knowing this can have a considerable impact not only on your traffic but also on your conversion rates, sales, and brand growth.
Does all this internet science sound a bit overwhelming? If you don’t mind digging in and doing the work (but you would feel way more confident if you knew you had an expert in your corner), check out Sizzleforce Marketing Academy. It isn’t just a training course, but a community of expert-led conversations and dialogue. We’ll teach you how to bootstrap your business marketing from the ground up.
If you are still overwhelmed by the sound of all this work (you have a business to run after all), there’s another option.
Consider outsourcing your web marketing and watch your sales grow.
If you don’t have the time or resources to test various strategies for your website content, it’s time to consider outsourcing your marketing to a professional website content writer or marketing agency. Beginners make costly mistakes. Expert guidance from the ground-level up can be well worth the investment.
At SizzleForce Marketing, we have realized that even small changes can make a big difference in terms of increasing your traffic and conversion rates. The trick is identifying the key changes you can make that will have the most significant impact.
If you are noticing your webpage isn’t getting the traffic it deserves, we would love to help you identify places where you can improve. Let us worry about the marketing that gets results, so you can focus on running your business.