What about the pages on your website? Web pages should be at least 500 words, according to site-seo-analysis.com, but 2,000-word Web pages rank higher in search engines.
A study by serpIQ examined the relationship between article length and ranking on the Google search engine. The 10 highest-ranked articles in a search of thousands of keywords were all 2,000 words or longer (See the chart above).
Some marketers are moving toward short whitepapers or “mini-whitepapers” that are just a couple of pages. But many whitepaper experts, such as Gordon Graham, say the effectiveness and readership of longer whitepapers is better. A survey by Eccolo Media found that six to eight pages is the ideal whitepaper length.
The Myth of Copy Length
Why has the myth that no one reads copy, or that people won’t read long copy, persisted for so long?
In the pre-Internet days, this belief was definitely encouraged by ad agencies and graphic design studios. They believe for some mysterious reason that “white space” — areas on the page with no text or images — improves marketing communication. Many graphic designers I knew back then were not big readers, so it was inconceivable to them that prospects would read “all that copy.”
Also, many marketers assume that because people are so busy today, prospects do not have the time or patience to read long copy.
What we have always known is while non-buyers will not read long copy, buyers will because they are gathering information to make a decision about purchasing a product.
So when clients tell me they don’t like long copy, I ask, “For whom are you writing? Casual readers? Or serious buyers looking to spend their money on what you are selling?”
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.