140 Characters or Less
Today's users want information fast, clear, and to the point. They are living in a world where content is produced and consumed continuously, shortening their attention span to mere seconds. This has resulted in brands forgoing traditional approaches of presenting content for more creative, eye-catching methods. Gone are the days where users would read the three paragraphs describing your company due to the growing popularity of videos, QR codes, and infographics. Users today want concise content, on-demand videos, and immediate access to information.
According to Larry Weber, author of Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era, 'Web users don't have time for small talk; they want to get right to the beef. You can - and should - eliminate as much happy talk as possible.' Weber urges businesses to be direct in their outreach by targeting a specific audience with clear, straightforward messaging. Add in the challenge of standing out among the 100's of websites an average user visits daily and the task becomes increasingly difficult.
The secret in achieving concise, relevant content lies in a tactful online strategy. Finding the right balance of textual content, website goals, and layout will position your company as a leader in the online marketplace. But before cutting text and creating informational videos, consider the following to optimize your website content:
- Content Goals: It's easy to lose focus of the goals your content is set to achieve amidst the many features and possibilities of websites today. It's not about having the most unique design or elaborate animation, it's about presenting content in the method that most effectively reaches your users. What is the main message you want to communicate? Your content should be focused on the goals of your business and your users whether you are encouraging users to register for a demo or providing information about your products and services.
- Content Length: Twitter has mastered the strategy of focusing users to generate concise, direct content by limiting posts to 140 characters. Its success in connecting more than 21 million active users stems from the platform's ability to provide relevant content in the most efficient way possible. What we've learned from this practice is that messages can successfully be conveyed through limited content. Being concise and delivering content with a focused message makes it easier for users to interact with your website and optimizes the brand experience.
- Content Layout: A Yahoo eye-tracking study recently noted that the aesthetic layout of a website is likely to be more important for connecting with users than the actual content on the page. The manner in which your content is presented should be the method that best enhances your website's design whether it be embedding a video or publishing a bulleted list. Incorporating graphics and images in place of copy can improve your website's appearance while still providing valuable information.
- Content Relevance: No matter how dynamic and visually engaging your content may be, it carries no strength if users can't find your website in their keyword search. As you realign the content of your website it is important to consider how the changes affect your Search Engine Optimization. Include enough content with strategic keywords and properly tag videos and photos to help drive users to your website.
A proper balance of technology and strategy is the most important piece of developing a successful online presence. It's about generating content that utilizes the right message, length and search presence to achieve your online business goals. For a website that most effectively connects with users and enhances the online experience, let concise content drive your strategy.