In the early days of Internet, content was the key factor in getting high ranks in search results. More content meant more space to stuff keywords. And higher keyword density and frequency led to higher rankings. Websites with lots of content would rule the roost. Over the period of time, with Google giving value to quality content and user experience, content has trimmed down from web pages.
But still we see websites and blogs with mega posts touching 5000 words and never-ending scrolling.
Good content doesn’t have to be lengthy. It needs to be meaningful. It needs to satiate a user’s needs.
Why not to write too much content?
- Overwhelms readers- Imagine a reader in search of an information hurriedly googling to your site and being walled with too much content. Will he stay to read your content or jump out if it in a flash?
- Impacts design- Designers hate a lot of text. It makes pages lengthy, clutters the look and overpowers the visuals. They like small chunks of text to support their design.
- Affects conversions- A page where visitors are finding it tough to stay will naturally have poor conversions, how good a offer you may have?
- Harms SEO- Search engines rate pages with good experience and quality content higher. As per MOZ report on ranking factors, 4 out of 10 non-keyword factors for ranking pages are related to user experience on the page.
When more visitors are bouncing off from the page rather than spending time, it signals the search engines that visitors are not liking the page. The result-lower rankings on search results.
How to avoid creating too much content?
- How much is too much- There’s no golden rule here. However, a copy that provides all key information is a good copy. Word count doesn’t matter. What matters is usefulness. So take your own call.
- Write for humans not search engines- When you write with search engines in mind, it fails the objective. You are creating content for your visitors to read, impress and influence. Quality content will anyway help you in rankings. So put humans first.
- Web is different from print- People come to commercial websites to shop, transact and buy. Information is good. But you needn’t need to go verbose with slow, measured flow on it. You have 2 to 3 seconds to make an impression. Catch his attention or say Bye! So get to the point and provide the most important information first.
- Structure your copy- Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to declutter the copy and to give it a structure. Make use of visuals to create breathing space between texts.
- Write in active voice- Passive voice makes a reader sleepy. And it also stretches the copy. Active voice is short and it hits the mark. Check yourself-
Active: The candidate believes that Congress must place a ceiling on the budget.
Passive: It is believed by the candidate that a ceiling must be placed on the budget by Congress.
Active: The dog bit the man.
Passive: The man was bitten by the dog.
- Edit, edit and edit- Write as you’re drunk. Put all that you have in your mind. And then edit like a sober. Choose every word, reason every sentence and be frugal with paragraphs. Trim down all the fat. Strike out all the jargon and unnecessary word.
- Don’t write to fill the space- This happens when you are writing after the wireframe or the design of the page is done. The designer has left spaces for your content and now you need to fill the space with text so that the design doesn’t break. Always insist on writing the copy ahead of design so that you’re out of too little/too much dilemma and are focussed on writing a crisp and clear copy
But don’t create thin content…
Too much content is not good. Equally is thin content. So strike a balance so as to cover all the information you want to provide in a copy without making it look heavy.
What are your rules to avoid creating too much content? How you do it in your websites? Share with us in the comments below. Liked the post? Please follow, clap and share.
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