Do Your Web Visitors Suffer from Content Overload?

February 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Content is king, yes, but its reign can be a bit smothering at times. In our information-driven society, there’s content everywhere we look.

Does the email alert on your cell phone sometimes wake you up before your alarm clock?

Let me guess—you grab a cup of coffee and check the news, the rest of your email accounts, and begin the commute to work with talk radio humming in the background. You no doubt pass dozens of billboards on the way, each demanding your attention while you try to resist glancing at the text messages announcing themselves one by one as you pull into your parking space.

The workday hasn’t even begun yet and you’ve consumed more content and information than your grandparents would have been privy to in a week. You realize the importance of staying informed, but on mornings like this, you wonder if all of this incoming information is a just a bit too much?

If the scenario above sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone, and you need to remember than when making web marketing decisions, especially in regards to content. Yes, you have a message to communicate, and that message is important to you, but in order to make it resonate with your target audience, you need to realize that they too may be suffering from content overload—in fact, unless they’re visiting your site from a post-apocalyptic cave somewhere, then it’s highly probable.

So, assuming your reader is suffering from all the tell-tale signs of content overload syndrome (i.e. blurry vision, fear of long paragraphs, and the inability to read an article or blog post longer than 500 words), the question is—how do you make your message relevant enough to stand out in the sea of words on the web? Here are a few tips:

  • Use short paragraphs and bullet lists.

There’s no getting around the need to communicate with your audience via the power of the written word, but you should do so in a way that doesn’t immediately turn your visitor off. Do you remember how you felt when your college professor announced the required reading for your Lit. class and you doubted whether you could pick it up much less make it to the final page? That’s how your web visitors feel when they land on a text-heavy page. Don’t think they’re not scrolling down to the bottom to see if there’s an end to the madness before they even consider reading the first word.

The bottom line? Don’t make your visitor work hard to get to the meat of your message. Instead, break up your content with pithy headings, short paragraphs, and lots of neat, easy-to-read bullet lists. You’ll have a lot better chance of pitching your message if your content appears less like a college text and more like a breezy flip through a magazine.

  • Vary your content genre.

Think every visitor to your website likes to read? Think again.  Even those who are avid readers don’t like to read all the time. Let’s face it—reading hurts after a while. It can lead to headaches, nausea, and that annoying blurry eyesight we were talking about earlier. Therefore, it’s a good idea to mix things up a bit. Consider conveying your message via a video, slideshow, infographic, or even cartoon. Your visitors will appreciate the break from the norm and thus be more inclined to come back for more.

  • Offer up only content that is relevant to the visitor.

No matter what type of website you run, there’s bound to be some material on your site that’s simply not relevant to all of your visitors. You’re probably aware of the different segments of your market and what their unique pains and desires are, but you may not know how to effectively funnel your content to them in a way that makes the experience on your site much more relevant to them, and potentially more profitable for you. Imagine being able to pinpoint exactly what each visitor is looking for and presenting them with only this information. Instead of suffering from content overload and bouncing off of your site due to disinterest, your visitors will be much more likely to continue down that path of conversion you’ve so carefully laid out for them.

Interested in helping reduce the epidemic of content overload by presenting only relevant information to the visitors on your site? Find out more about RelevantorTM, or request a demo today.


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