How Much Should I Say on My Website?

Do you wonder why people aren’t reading all that great info you posted on your website? Maybe it’s too wordy or too much info too soon, and their brains turn off. There are times to be brief, and times to elaborate. What is the sweet spot?

Here are the basics on when to say more or when to say less.

Keep the Main Pages Short and Scannable

Website content should be easy to scan because people scan on the web, they don’t read word for word. Less is more.

Making your content scannable is most typically achieved with the use of lists, charts, and bold headings. It takes more time for the writer to format this way, but it means your reader will grasp it and respond to what you’re asking.

billboardThe easier it is to scan, the more they will relax and look around.

We’re thinking ‘great literature’ (or at least ‘product brochure’), while the user’s reality is much closer to ‘billboard going by at 60 miles an hour.’

—Steve Krug, web usability consultant and author of Don’t Make Me Think

When To Say More

4 good reasons to be expansive on your website:

  1. To give more details on subpages when the reader is ready.
    For instance, keep it brief on the entry pages to each section, but let readers click for more details, such as product reviews or film synopses.
  2. To use a variety of terminology to be welcoming to multiple audiences.
    You might even have two different pages about one topic, but one audience group knows your technical jargon and the other group does not.
  3. To boost search engine presence.
    Search engines love content. But this is tricky. They can actually tell when you’re just stuffing words into a page, versus providing new valuable details like product reviews.
  4. When it’s a helpful blog post.
    That’s the perfect place to expand on your ideas. Longer posts tend to do better, IF they are interesting and provide real value.
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