Is Your Website Too Wordy?

I have in front of me the Google Analytics reports for 10 of our clients at Sales Growth Group, and as I stare at the reports, I start making some rough calculations. (32)

From those calculations, I think I can predict when you will stop reading this article and when your website visitors will stop reading your website. (57)

Each of the websites in these reports are relatively new and reasonably strong designs. Most of these are companies marketing to consumers; some are marketing to businesses, but none of them are e-commerce sites. (91)

When I add up the average time spent on each site per visit for all of them and average it out, I get a little more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Not bad, but let’s look further. The average pages viewed per visit is 4.5. Not bad either, but let’s see where that leads us. (150)

That’s a little more than 33 seconds a page. Now the average person reads about 250 words per minute and several studies show that reading from a computer monitor decreases that by about 10%. So let’s use 200 words per minute as an average (because I’m a creative person and I like to make math easier any time I can). (206)

Playing this out you can see that in 33 seconds the average website visitor can take in a little more than 100 words from a page on your website. In fact, if you noticed, I marked at the end of each paragraph the word count so far in this entry. The word “on” in the fourth paragraph is the 100th word. That’s about how much copy per page, per visit your average website visitor can digest. (294)

So how many words are on the average page in your website? If you’re like a lot of companies that come to us for a website design, it’s too many. (324)

Count the words on your home page to see. Just cut and paste the text into a MS Word document and then click on “tools” then “word count.” Or for 2007 users, the word count is under the review section. I think you’ll be amazed. (369)

Remember that people don’t really read websites, they skim them. Having large bodies of copy prevents that. (386)

I’d write more, but my calculations show I’ve already written 360% more than you’re willing to read! (Too many!)

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