Demystifying Web Content and its Royal Origin

January 30th, 2007 by Kev

People say content is king. When high-profile researchers like Forrester Research published findings that claimed content to be the single-most motivating force for getting people to go online, every site owner suddenly started loading their sites with massive amounts of content. Such sudden content hype made everyone think of content more critically.

However, in this post I’ll attempt to disprove the statement about the royalty status of web content—at least in one important instance.

So when isn’t content king, prince or any other royal figure? The fact that people go to the internet to get content is true. Many studies worldwide show that the internet beats radio, television, and magazines as an information resource. However, searching for information isn’t the same thing as shopping.

When shopping online, web users do not necessarily search for content. In this instance, content’s role is only to inform shoppers about buying choices. And when people want content, they don’t generally browse e-shops. Instead surfers will look for sites that specialize in providing credible, authoritative, and compelling content.

If you stuff your e-commerce site with content just for the sake of adding words, it will be hopeless at best. Why? Because your site won’t drive the right kind of traffic. Traffic does no good unless it converts at a reasonable 2-4 percentage rate.

Offline, when we go to a store, there is a salesperson to give us information (content) to help us decide to purchase something. Well, online, (at least for now :)) e-commerce sites need content to compensate for the absence of a real sales-person. So content for e-commerce sites must be concise, understandable, and stick to the point of supporting site’s sales objectives. To improve their content, site owners use lots of various cutting-edge analytics to spot the things that cause problems and identify opportunities to achieve the desired results.

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