Copywriting tip - write shorter sentences

Whether you're writing marketing material for print or for digital here's one copywriting tip that you should definitely embrace. Write shorter sentences.

Why are short sentences important?

  1. Longer sentences are generally more difficult to read and understand than shorter sentences. 
  2. Poor readability negatively affects search rankings.
  3. Increasingly readers are impatient and want to get to the point quickly.
  4. Shorter sentences are clearer, sharper and more compelling than longer sentences.

What counts as a short sentence?

The general rule of thumb is to keep sentence length to around 20 words. But, don't stick rigidly to this. It's OK to have the odd long sentence if you really can't say it in fewer words. Also, vary your sentence length to make your copy more interesting to read.

How to write shorter sentences?

Use fewer words

Avoid the tendency to use more words than necessary in an attempt to sound more important and professional.

Here are some common examples that we come across, and how to correct them:

  • On the basis of your report – based on your report
  • In order to deliver – to deliver

Chop longer sentences into more shorter ones

If your sentence has more than three commas, split the sentence. Use transition words such as "however", "otherwise" and "again" to join the sentences.

Also, find the conjunctions in your sentences and see if you can remove them and make two sentences instead of one.

Remove redundant words

Redundancy is when you use two or more words together that mean the same thing. Here are some common examples that we come across and how to correct them:

  1. In my opinion, I believe - I believe or In my opinion
  2. I currently have - I have
  3. Collaborated together - collaborated
  4. Past experience in - experience in
  5. The reason why - the reason

It requires more effort to write short sentences. But, your copy will be easier to read and understand if you follow our copywriting tip.

Straight Marketing
Tawny Bank, Maer Lane
Exmouth, Devon

01395 901116
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