Short VS. Long Content: Which is Better?

There’s been a long-standing debate over which converts better: short or long content?

Advocates of shorter content say that the attention span of the average person today is significantly shorter and long content will only end up getting ignored. Including images and videos with short, punchy content are now a great way to grab people’s attention.

Those who think longer content is better argue that the more people learn about your content, the more likely they are to convert.


So which is which?

Apparently, our answer resonates with the rest of the world: it depends.

The length of your content is heavily determined by the type of audience you are targeting, the medium and what you want to achieve. There are cases when short copy is better and some instances when longer content performs better.

The rule of thumb is: Your content should be as long as it needs to be and no longer.

It may help to ask yourself a few of these questions while writing:

  • Have I made my point clear in this paragraph?
  • Do I need to add another section to make it more impactful?
  • Does this section help me achieve my goal?

These points will help you decide whether or not to go short or lengthy on a piece of content.


Some helpful guidelines

The good news is that there are a few guidelines that will help you determine when it may be better to write shorter or longer content.

Writing longer copy is better when:

1.You want to build trust with your customers

This is especially important if your company is new in the industry. Giving more information about your business and product/service will help form trust among your customers.

2. The product or service is priced high

If your product or service is expensive, you may find the need to elaborate more on benefits so you could justify your pricing.

3. There’s a need to explain the product or service more

If your product or service is relatively new in the market, then you may need to explain your offering more so your customers will understand and not walk away confused.


Shorter copy is better

1.When it’s a sign-up form

Sign-up or opt-in forms typically use shorter copy. Generally, if you want your audience to take immediate action, you need to condense your copy into its most effective, shortest form.

2. When writing ads

Ads allow us very limited space to explore on words. So the challenge is to be able to convince a customer to do something with as little words as possible. The good thing is that images help increase the effectiveness of ads. In this case, short copy accompanied by an image is enough. Putting more words might only distract audiences from taking action.

3. When offering discount promotions or freebies

Offers like discounts and freebies typically don’t need a lot of convincing to get noticed. People want to know right away how to get the offer so excess words will only get in the way.


Shorter or longer blogs?

For purposes of search engine optimisation, Google requires a minimum of 300 words to index your content so we recommend covering this word length at the very least. But the short answer to this is that if your blog is well-written and interesting for your audience, they will read it. Content doesn’t have to be long to be substantial. Once you feel you have expressed your point fully, you can stop. You don’t need to exhaust yourself just to get to an impossible word count.

Ultimately, if you really want to determine the effectiveness of your copy, we recommend testing your content. This will allow you to see which length works best for your target audience and help you focus on developing this type of copy in the future.


Which do you prefer, shorter or longer content? Which is more effective? We’d like to know what you think!