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How Much Text Is Ideal?
Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:49 PM
A lot of ecommerce type sites have a "above the fold" section that is a picture, the basic facts and key features all in point form or short snappy copy.
At the bottom of that are some related links
Below THAT is a long, detailed account of the product, it's functions, customer reviews, etc.
I like that - if I'm quickly browsing for info, I want the "executive summary" at the top, then some quick options (either in the text or in the menu bar nearby) to dig a little deeper if this is obviously not what I was looking for, and then a ton of information to help me decide if I'm not sure or have more questions.
Copy-wise, that makes me happy. Give me a quick look, then options to go lateral or dig deeper. It hits all my moods and surfing styles.
Sometimes I know exactly what I need and just want to know little more than the version and price.
Sometimes I've got no idea what I need and just make an educated guess in the general direction, hoping to learn enough there to make a slightly more accurate search the second time.
Sometimes I've been told about something, but I want to find out a LOT more about it before I decide to buy or not.
This is just me talking as a consumer, not as SEO.
Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:43 PM
Posted 07 February 2004 - 12:56 AM
I think you need to look at your target audience, as noted. How much time do they have to scan a web page? What type of product/service are you promoting?
Some concepts need more copy, to explain the service and its benefits. Others are well-known to consumers, and concise, "snappy" copy will work.
Also, what is the purpose of the web page? Is it a landing page, asking for a quick response, an article online, the index page for a site, an order page, or a short section linked to from another portion of the web site? Each will be treated differently, with varying lengths.
So usability comes first: the copy length should reflect the audience it serves, and the use it is put to. With that factored in, the shorter the better within those constraints.
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