Should web copy look consistent? Or interestingly different?


Should web copy look the same on similar pages of a website?

For example, if you have ten product pages, should the copy look consistent across those ten pages? Should the copy use the same formatting and follow exactly the same pattern (eg opening question, list of benefits, explantory paragraph, call to action)?

While it might seem desirable to use a consistent approach, this does bring problems.

Firstly, you can quickly find yourself trying to force content into a shape that doesn’t work.

The other problem, I believe, is that your ten pages (or whatever) all look the same. And they may even read the same, or have echoes of each other. Kinda boring, no?

What do you think?


  1. Context beats consistency.

    Comment by Danny Hope — January 11, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  2. It’s a good question. Images and art should aid in making pages distinct, but I guess it depends on the nature of the product. Detailed technical info, for example might benefit from consistency so as to enable comparison; hard-sell highlights less so.

    Comment by Adam Powley — January 11, 2011 @ 10:18 am

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  4. I think that a website should be consistent throughout, yes. However that doesn’t mean the copy has to follow the same pattern on every page. Typeface, line lengths, colour scheme and use of imagery as part of an overall theme should ideally follow suit, but some pages may well require more or less copy and a different sort of text depending on whether it’s an “About us’ page or, for instance, a technical specification page.

    Comment by Alconcalcia — January 17, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  5. I think it depends very much on the site. If for example you’re running a PPC campaign with lots of different landing pages then perhaps consistency is not so important.

    If you’re offering say two or three relates services and people are likely to check them all out when visiting your site then I’d say consistency was a good thing.

    Comment by Jamie Fairbairn — April 28, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

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