Although it seems like people have shorter attention spans than ever, there’s a strong case to be made for long copy on therapist websites.
Here are two things that people commonly say about long copy:
“No one has time to read long website copy.”
“I hate long website pages. I never read them.”
Let’s first deal with the issue that people don’t have time to read long web pages.
While it is true that people are pressed for time and don’t want to read more than they have to, the full picture is more complex.
Yes, most people don’t read word for word when they land on your website. Once they arrive, research shows that most people quickly scan the page attempting to determine if your website has the information they want.
However, if they are interested in what you have to offer, many will dig deeper and read more of your copy in order to help them decide whether or not your services or products are for them.
In fact, many of your best clients will be those who read most (if not all) of your copy. AND, the more it resonates with them, the more likely they are to contact you.
In terms of the second statement, if you are someone who says you never read long website pages, you might consider that most people who say this is are usually talking about websites selling products or services that they are not seriously considering purchasing – or they are not the intended audience of the copy.
Of course, you won’t read long copy if you are not the targeted audience for the copy or are not seriously considering purchasing it.
So, the truth is people DO read long pages on therapist websites IF the copy resonates with them and they are serious about making a purchase.
BUT, long copy alone is not enough to get people to read it.
Your copy must be compelling. It must specifically address your potential client’s needs and desires. It must speak to your audience’s emotions. It must be convincing enough to make them want to contact you.
To summarize, in order for people to read long copy:
- It must be relevant to them – they must be the intended audience of the copy.
- They must be relatively serious about making a purchase.
- It must be compelling and convincing.
I’ve compiled 4 reasons why longer website copy works better (most of the time) than short copy for therapists and healing professionals.
1. Therapy is a significant investment. People want to be sure they are paying for something that will give them what they want and need.
A few general paragraphs or a few bullet points cannot possibly explain or justify the value of an investment like therapy. Potential clients who are going to be paying anywhere from $100-$250+ per session want to make sure they are making a good investment by choosing the best therapist to help them with their problems.
Longer copy provides the opportunity to explain in detail why your potential clients might want to choose to work with you.
Lower priced products or services don’t require as much copy to justify the price of the purchase because there is less for the potential customer or client to lose when purchasing.
If you are relying primarily on word of mouth marketing or referral marketing with people who trust you, you might not need long copy to be convincing as the referring person’s word will carry a lot of weight.
However, you still may need to have longer copy as the potential client referred to you may be checking out other therapists as well.
2. Long copy helps potential clients become familiar with you and your work, helping them decide whether they should contact you.
In addition to helping potential clients ensure they are spending their money wisely, long copy helps them get to know you.
The more you can say about how you can help your clients, the more they will feel like they know you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. If they don’t feel like they know you, many will need more information before making a decision.
If you don’t have a following that you have built via email or social media and are not creating regular content (e.g. blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc.), it’s even more important that you have more copy as they will have little else to help them make a decision.
When I write longer style copy for my therapist clients, they often tell me that their best clients chose them because of their copy. Their clients tell them that when reading their website, they felt understood and hopeful that they were going to get the help they needed.
3. Long copy can help alleviate any concerns, fears or skepticism potential clients may have about coming to see you for therapy.
There are still a lot of misconceptions about therapy and skepticism as to whether it works, or is worth people’s time and investment. Seeing a therapist can be scary for many, and others may not have any idea of what to expect.
Short copy can’t possibly address and reassure potential clients about their concerns. Longer copy allows you to address their skepticism, show empathy, and reassure them that you can help alleviate their pain.
Even if your web visitors are ready to hire a therapist and accept the idea that therapy is the right choice for them, they still may be unsure if you are the right therapist for them.
The competition for therapists in the vast majority of locations is stiff. If you have any doubts about this, just do a Google search and see how many therapist websites you find in your area. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you are going to have to use more words to convince people that you are the one for them.
4. Longer copy can get more web traffic to your site.
Google wants to show its users the best content possible. One of many ways Google does this is showing search result pages that have longer content because Google often deems the content to be of higher quality. In fact, most of the top web pages on any given subject in a Google search are at least 2000 words or more.
Longer web pages are often more likely to attract more backlinks (another Google ranking factor) because they go beyond scratching the surface of a topic. They provide more depth and are therefore more useful to people.
This doesn’t mean that a page of 2000 words or more will automatically rank higher than other pages. All Google ranking factors play a role in where your website ranks and the page still has to be of high quality – well organized, well written and scannable (use subheadings, bullet points, short sentences and paragraphs, etc.).
Long therapist website copy can perform better than short copy much of the time.
The key to website copy length is to make it as long as it needs to be (and no longer) to get your potential clients to contact you.
This means you must show empathy in response to your potential client’s concerns, show them specifically how you can help, address their fears and skepticism, and let them know what action you want them to take.
Above all your copy must be targeted to your audience and be compelling.
Do you want to make your website copy more compelling?
Check out my copywriting services here.