Today’s trend in websites and other marketing content is to pare words down and make quick connections with customers and their problems. That’s a trend I welcome and support. How do you know when you are writing too much marketing content and need to stop?
- If you find yourself writing list after list
- If you repeat the same information (other than contact information) on several pages
- If you read the content aloud and get tired of speaking
- If adjectives take up more than 10% of the content
- If acronyms take up more than 10% of the content
- If you could distill everything to a few tweets–but you haven’t done that
- If you can’t figure out where to add subheadings or how to name pages on the navigation bar (an indication that the content is confusing)
- If you can’t remember where or if you wrote something important to your business
- If you haven’t looked for opportunities to explain content visually, with tables, graphs, photographs, and videos or with downloads.
Most business owners over-write from fear; they’ve heard that customers have short attention spans so they try to cram as many words as they can into that first minute when customers find the website. Unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave a website if they have to search through a mountain of words for the one diamond of information they are seeking.
Another motivation for writing too much is confusion over the business’ strengths and primary focus. If a business is defined too broadly (“we fix cars, weave textiles, and write operas”), then naturally the website content will be confused and unfocused.
Finally, some business owners believe that customers cannot possibly understand their business unless it is described in minute detail. Most customers have one primary interest: finding someone to solve their problem. If you approach your website from a problem/solution viewpoint, you will naturally tighten up the language.
Clear, concise, and customer-focused are the gold standards for marketing content. If you need help with any one or all three, please contact TWP Marketing & Technical Communications. Writing is what I do and I know exactly when to stop.