Webreality Webreality is a team of 19 digital specialists: business strategists, designers, copywriters, information architects, usability consultants, software engineers and online marketing experts.

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Writing for web: when to keep it short and sweet

06/06/2013 | Simon Mobey

Stopwatch

Web users often have a short attention span, so when writing online it’s sometimes best to get straight to the point.

Here are a few tips for giving the user what they want, quickly. 

  • Make sure your copy is engaging and relevant
  • Use lists instead of paragraphs
  • Limit list items to 8 words
  • Put forward one idea/concept per paragraph
  • Don’t make sentences too long 
  • Check your word count, then cut  
  • Make hyperlinks part of your copy

You don’t always need to use short copy. For example, a blog reader will generally have more patience than someone scouting for the latest news.

The primary target is to gauge your audience then deliver your information as quickly and concisely as possible. 

After all, only 10% of web readers will hang around long enough to read this sentence.