Your website sucks because it's inordinately circumlocutory

In other words, it’s wordy.

I know your website visitors are smart. Possibly the smartest people in the world - after all, they’ve decided to learn more about your amazing product.

But they’re also humans. They’re distracted, hung over, and half-paying-attention to a Zoom meeting.

They have 10 other tabs open on desktop, and on mobile they’re forever feeling the pull of their favorite dopamine fix.

They’re not about to read pages that look like this:

They scan and skim, and if you present them with novel-dense prose, you lose them.

Here's what you can do

Trim

Zoom out and visually scan your main web pages for the proverbial Wall of Text.

Where you see it, break it up with images, headings, and bullet points.

And shorten it. Turn paragraphs into sentences, then turn the sentences into phrases.

Here’s a great example of concise, easy-to-scan copy:

Baublebear could easily have written an essay about the joys owning a blanket and the breadth of their selection. But they’ve boiled the message down to a few words.

Get feedback

If you want a quick evaluation of your website copy, try pasting it into HemingwayApp. (It’s free.)

You’ll get a readability score, like this:

The app’s default suggestion is to aim for a Grade 9 reading level.

That’s a good target. But why not be more ambitious?