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E-Marketing Performance Blog

How to Train Your Content Not to Overstay it’s Welcome

We don’t often realize this, but we can train our website content to do tricks. Unfortunately, most website content just lays around all day. This is why you see high bounce rates and poor conversion rates on so many websites. About the only “trick” this content knows how to do is to roll-over and play dead. But, those aren’t tricks at all. The opossum that streaked across the highway after getting hit by a truck can do that!

What I’m talking about is teaching your content how to “engage”, “inform”, “speak” (call to action), and “convert”. Teach these tricks to your content and you’ll see a whole new level of performance on your website.

The first thing to train your content to do is not to overstay it’s welcome. Like a neighbor you enjoy having over occasionally, there comes a time when they must leave. In the same way, you can train your content to know when to stop talking and show the visitor the door to the next page or pages of your site.

Leave them wanting more… and then give them more

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

We often try to do either too much or too little with our content. The “old school” rules of SEO said you had to have a minimum amount of content. Is it 100 words…200 words? There is a minimum number of words you need per page, but it has nothing to do with counting. It’s the amount of content that is needed for the text to move the visitor to the next step.

There are three simple rules to training your text when it comes to the quantity of text to be used:

1) There is no magic amount. Some pages require a lot of text, but some don’t require much text at all. But, bear in mind, that all pages need some text. Text is what convinces, persuades, informs, and helps your audience decide that they want to buy from you.

2) Keep your text as brief as possible. This doesn’t mean your text has to be short, just that you don’t go for length when length is not needed or warranted.

No magic amount of text. Keep it brief. Use no more than needed to convert.

3) Use no more words than needed to convert. Your audience isn’t just one person. It’s many people looking at many items for many purposes. Once you start looking at personas and personalities trying to target everybody on a single page can be daunting. But, you don’t have to hit everybody perfectly on a single page. Figure out what the next step is for each group, and provide that opportunity. It could be a link to an “About Us” page, a link to “Shipping Policies” or a “Buy Now” button.

The basic idea is to train your text to be minimalist while still providing ways for the reader to request an encore. They do that by clicking further into the site to get even more information, where, hopefully, that page is also trained to provide the audience what it wants as well.

Inconceivable ContentThis post was inspired from The Princess Bride themed presentation I gave in early 2010 at SEMpdx’s Searchfest titled Inconceivable Content: The Dread Pirate Robert’s Guide to Creating Swashbuckling Content, Pillaging the Search Engines, and Commandeering a Treasure Trove of Conversions. If you enjoyed this post you also might enjoy other posts inspired from the same. Search for “inconceivable content” on this blog to find them all.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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