Thanks to changes to the Google search engine in the last couple of years, you can no longer stuff dozens of web pages with keywords to increase your page rank. The best way to get people to your website is to have REAL, USABLE copy.
Two things usually happen. Dentists either write about what interests themselves or they think nobody cares about dentistry. Neither is correct.
The best way to make copy interesting is to write about what the consumer of the information NEEDS. What do they care about? What are their pain points? All copy should answer your potential patients’ one question: “Why should I care about this?” If you answer that question, you will convert prospects to patients.
- Signing up for a newsletter is not conversion.
- Signing up for a report is not conversion.
- Signing up to attend a seminar is not conversion.
All of those things are permission to continue marketing. Conversion is when a prospective patient is sitting in your chair. THAT and ONLY THAT is a conversion.
And only conversions matter.
Conversions are the only reason to have a website or do any kind of marketing at all. Everything else is just a part of the equation whose sum is conversion.
Of course, copy isn’t the only content. There are pictures, maps and, of course, videos.
But almost every page has some copy on it, even it is just a paragraph introducing the rest of the content on the page. There is an open debate about the perfect amount of copy on a page.
On the one hand, some studies show that most people skim articles online. No one wants to see the dreaded “tl;dr” (too long/didn’t read) in the comments.
On the other hand, longer articles increase a site’s search engine results from Google and some studies suggest that longer copy provides better leads and higher conversion rates.
So what are you to do?
Here are five tips for writing copy that is the perfect length:
- Don’t assume that shorter is better – or that longer is. Depending on the content, either could be the right answer.
- Ask website visitors. Put a short questions at the bottom of each page: “Did this page answer your questions?” or something like that.
- Use your analytics. Which pages do people visit most often? Which ones do they stay on the longest? Which pages gets shared most?
- Ask yourself if the page does its job. Does it say everything that needs to be said? Does it overcome objections? Does it have a call to action? Has it integrated keywords naturally? Does it connect with readers.
- Finally, tighten up your writing. I asked our lead copy guy about this topic, and he deferred to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style:
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that he make every word tell.”
So, in short, pages need to be as long as it takes for them to convey the required information, and no longer.
Have a look at your own web pages and see how they stack up against these tips.