Here's an article I recently wrote for the Carlton Business Association's Newsletter:
When I was in high school “omit needless words” was the name of the game. Those three words from The Elements of Style by William Strunk led us to strip our papers down to make sure each word counted. But they have even more applicability in today’s world. We live in the age of the sound byte. The success of Twitter and text messaging show that people like short communications. Web site studies show that you have to catch people’s attention almost immediately or they will move on. People’s attention spans have shortened dramatically and it’s more important than ever to get your point across as quickly as possible.
As most of you know, I advocate having some sort of regularly updated content on your web site. For some web sites, this can be a blog, for some, it’s events and for others, it’s articles. This regular flow of content helps the site stay fresh, helps it stay relevant to current situations and helps make the web site a “bigger target” for the search engines to find and send more traffic to.
And while any content is better than no content, the better that content is written, the more people will want to read it and share it with their friends, which ends up getting you more business. So when you are writing content for your web site, make sure you write as concisely as possible. Make each word count. Try to catch people’s attention and keep them engaged.
Now this doesn’t mean there’s no place for longer content. If you do have something longer to write that’s fine, just break it up and include images. Have a bite-size intro with a “click for more” to get to the rest of the content. That way people get to choose if they want to read the whole thing. And the images make the content more “friendly” and keep it from becoming a wall of wordage.
Hopefully that’s helpful to you when writing content for your web site.