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How Much Content Do I Need on My Website?
If you’re reading this blog post, you probably understand the importance of having content on your company’s website in order to be found and ranked by search engines for common keywords and phrases your potential customers are using. Although most business owners we work with are quick to grasp why they need content on their website, it’s never as easy to explain how much content they need on their website.
I get it.
It’s not laziness; it’s efficiency. Actually, in my case it might be both. After all, if I could sell you on Blue Corona’s services in one single blog post as opposed to 100 blog posts, I’d rather just write the one and spend the rest of the week eating Doritos and pulling a string up and down my stairs for my roommate’s cat to chase (wow, my life is sad.).
So yes—writing a lot of website content takes effort. In addition, large blocks of uninterrupted text on a screen can be just plain intimidating for your site users. Some suggest that people don’t even really read things on the Internet. Instead, “the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better,” Nicholas Carr wrote in his book, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.”
Regardless of whether or not your potential customers cling to your every written word like Justin Timberlake is clinging to MySpace making a comeback, they still need SOME content in order to make an educated decision on your product or service—and the search engines still need this content so they can find and rank your website.
The question remains—how much? Let’s first examine how much content your customers need (after all, they pay your bills), and then we’ll discuss how much content the search engines need.
How Much Content Do My Customers Need?
So what is the minimal amount of content you can have on your site to make sure it’s still effective? In Copy Hacker’s 30 Days of Persuasion e-book, the book’s authors write that this is actually the wrong question to ask. The right question is:
“When my users are on my site and are trying to find a product without wasting their time sorting through content, how much copy is enough copy… and how much is too much?”
Who Is Your Target Audience?
In order to understand whether you have too little or too much content, you need to understand who your target audience is. According to Copy Hackers, there are two primary groups of consumers:
Maximizers, who seek out content and options to help them make the best decisions possible
Satisficers, who feel more rushed and are willing to make adequate (as opposed to the best) decisions in order to save time
If your target audience is primarily the latter, you can get away with less content. Maximizers, however, need enough content to know that your products or services are the best ones out there.
How Much Content Do I Need to Rank in Search Engine Results?
In a blog post titled “Does Google Still Need Text,” The Great Ben Landers wrote that although Google’s technology is technically improving, it’s not going to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) anytime soon to translate the text in the images on your website—a.k.a. if you want to rank on Google, you still need a decent volume of well-written content on every page of your site.
So how much content do search engines need? Based on everything we know about how the search engines rank websites organically, Blue Corona built a piece of software in late 2012 to crawl, analyze, and score various websites based on all the measurable SEO ranking factors.
All in all, we’ve reviewed more than 9,000 HVAC/plumbing company websites and over 3,000 window and door websites. One of the things we found is that websites that rank well organically tend to have a lot of text-based content on each page of their website. The highest ranking HVAC and plumbing websites have, on average, nearly 900 words per page. Content appears to be even more important in the window and door industry. The highest ranking window and door sites had, on average, just north of 1,600 words per page.
Ideally, you should have a landing page on your website for each of the specific products or services you offer, as well as a supporting blog posts and FAQs that answer any questions your potential customers likely have.
How to Add Content to Your Website without Making it Look like Sh*t
I’d consider myself a word nerd, but even I’ll admit that large blocks of uninterrupted text on a page aren’t the most appealing thing. It’s kind of like Taco Bell—even if it tastes good (or in the case of website content, is written well), it still looks pretty disgusting.
Fortunately, there are a lot of handy tricks webmasters use these days to add content without making their sites look like college history textbook.
For example, you can use mega-dropdown or UberMenu navigation menus to add content within your navigation. Check out Window World for an example of this:
Sealy also takes advantage of its navigational menu for adding extra content to its site, as well as a JQuery slider in the footer:
Believe it or not—that site has a whopping 1,028 words of content on it!
“But Lexie, I Suck at Writing!”
Guess what? I don’t. And neither do my coworkers. At Blue Corona, we’re writers first and SEO nerds second—not the other way around. This means that not only can we provide you with a kickass content marketing strategy to get you ranking well in search engines (to get your business more traffic, leads, and sales from the Web), but we’ll also make sure your content doesn’t read like an outsourced company in India wrote it.
Not to mention, we have a girl who edits all of our content who looks like this:
Can’t you tell just by looking at her that your content is going to be free of errors?
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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