Zombie Web Copy

17 August, 2011

seo, web content, web copywriting

a zombie hand comes out of the graveIt walks at night. It never sleeps. It’s infested by black magic. (sorry, I’ve enjoyed a happy hour).

A colleague of mine the other day mentioned that the web copy never “dies.” Which brought another to name it “zombie.”

 

He was referring to the fact that even if you pay no attention to your site’s content for months on end, it’s not as if it ever goes away– your web copy doesn’t rest in peace. There is going to be copy maintenance to attend to. Tend to…like weeding a garden, scrubbing the boat deck and putting it into dry dock for the winter, turning manure into the vegetable garden, rotating the tires.

But here’s the revelation…there is NOTHING NEW!

We do have the iPad and tablet form factor to consider– which really stokes the fire for “abridged” versions or keeping it as short as possible. I can anticipate the question now b/c I’m asking it my own brain matter, “But how short is short? Because I have to make sure I have enough words on the page for SEO.” Yup. But what IS that word count? Eight years ago I wrote general web copy for vertical niches (gambling, travel, biz, finance, health and fitness–ah, those were the days 🙂 and my pages only had to be 350 words. Not much. In the last few years I’ve had internet marketers ask me to consistently write at least 500 words per page. Is this really necessary?

I know what some of my blog posts look like on my iPhone and I gave birth to that content, so the love and affection is there.  But I guaran-damn-tee you that few others wax so warm-and-fuzzy over 400 words crammed onto a mobile phone screen OR on a tablet interface.

 

SHORTEN IT! I’m not confident that 500 words are necessary. We’re dialing in to a different connection. Sharper. Authentic. Crystal clear. What doesn’t change is that we are still writing for human beings. We are a crazy species. And most of what drives us hasn’t changed for a few thousand years. Keep that in mind while you’re putting your zombie web copy to rest — for now.

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