Updated: May 11, 2019
Copywriting can be hard to understand if you use lots of long words and long sentences.
In general, a guide to readability is:
Less than 8 words- VERY SIMPLE
9-11 words- SIMPLE
12-14 words-REASONABLY SIMPLE
15- 20 words-NORMAL
Studies show that sentences of 21 words are fairly difficult. At 25 words, sentences become difficult, and 29 words or longer, very difficult.
Also mix up the length of sentences in your writing to add an exciting rhythm.
Can you mix long sentences with short ones?
Just using one word is ok!
Beware, too many short sentences will make your writing seem choppy and not flow well. The most common way to join short sentences together is by using coordinating conjunctions:
I.e.: Discover extra storage. Some of our beds have a gas lift. Some of our beds have a drawer base bed. We offer shelving in the bedhead. We offer matching side units.
By using coordinating conjunctions, we can make this writing flow better and hopefully keep the attention of our reader.
I.e.: Discover extra storage with a gas lift, drawer bed base or shelving in the bedhead. Otherwise, pair with matching side units.
Readers like to pause when they are reading. So generally, if your sentence is long and not punctuated properly, readers will find it hard to understand and connect.
This is mainly because people tend to scan, not read. In fact, most people only read around 25% of what’s on a page. This means it’s important to get information across quickly.
Readers don’t have time to deconstruct sentences and think about clauses, they just want you to get to the point. Being considerate with the way you write demonstrates that you respect your reader’s time and attention.
Good sentence lengths make your writing more accessible. You won’t just help your busiest readers, you’ll open it up to people who might otherwise struggle to understand it.