the internet ideas blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why text content is king

I saw an interesting post in Twitter today so I took a closer look. Steve Rubel had written an excellent post regarding the value of true text on the internet and why it is still the king.

Here are the reasons as he listed them and a couple of my own:

  • It's scannable - according to Jakob Nielsen users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average site visit and 20% is more likely
  • Three letters: SEO - For all that Google Universal Search has done to elevate video, search results are still largely made up of text and everyone wants better SEO
  • The workplace - It's much easier for cube-based workers to read text on the screen and get away with it vs. watching long videos. Watching videos (even work related vids) screams "slacker"
  • Mobile Devices - Yes, of course you can put a video on an iPhone and iPad. But it's work and requires planning. Text is easier to pull up in a nanosecond
  • Distribution - Nothing flies like text. It's so easy to cut and paste it and send it somewhere or to clip and re-syndicate it via email, RSS or social networks
  • Content is a core component to social marketing campaigns.  And having unique content on your own website gives people a reason to come back to your website over and over - great ongoing exposure for your business.
Although text is the best, the major search engines are always seeking ways to index alternative web content like videos. While we are seeing that videos are gaining momentum as quality content because, fundamentally, we are all visual people.  The fact is that people want to be able to have something tangible when they are comparison shopping, learning new information and etc. Text content is the best way to "hold on to" that information in a way that allows your brain to digest and your computer to store information.

So if you want to attract attention, get rid of the splash page and add some solid searchable, scannable content.  And remember to add images for distribution across social media like Facebook, Pinterest and Google plus!

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