This post first appeared in The Write Stuff, the blog of Write AngleSilicon Valley’s premiere creators and writers of technology content for the I.T. industry.

To get your online content consumed, you have to hook your visitor.  Problem is, there’s never been so much bait in the water.  Exercise: go through your website and try cutting it in half. Yes, half.

“If I had more time I’d have written a shorter letter” is an apt description of the quandary in which many B2B marketers find themselves today.  Smaller screens, smaller form factors and resistance to scrolling have made the creation of content that compels reader action a thornier challenge.  You have to grab attention faster, hold it tighter and compel action more irresistibly today in the at-a-glance state of mind that characterizes your busy, distracted target audience.

Making fewer words say more is the order of the day. This calls for instincts and aptitude long associated with creators of billboard copy and “transit ads” — what you see on (and in) buses and the roofs of some taxis.  This is where messages have always had the toughest job.  They had to say it all in a very few words, almost instantaneously.  The lesson here is to pay attention to the really great billboards out there.  The ones that convey so much in so little verbiage.  They’re useful models not only for informing your mobile web pages but inspiring all your marketing content no matter where it lives.

The cut-in-half exercise: Were you able to do it? What did you delete?  Is it more readable, more informative, more compelling?  What can you do to stay short(er) and sweet(er) online today?

When Stan DeVaughn is not ranting on this site, you can read him and his comrade-in-communications, Peter Davé, on The Write Stuff.

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