How much content is enough?

Our new team member, a man with a lot of doubts, Mr Doubts is asking an interesting question, “How much content is enough?“. He is touching a different dimension of it, let me go my own way and I will go the visitor way. My Google experiment is also somewhat related to this. I asked, how many pages are needed in SERP?

Lets ask this question again, How Much Content is Enough Content?
Here is a simpler answer to it. If a visitor is able to find the needed info within

  • 0 click+ 15-30 secs (You have enough content)
  • 1 click + 30 – 1 min (you have average content)
  • 2 clicks + 1 – 3 mins (not enough content)
  • above 3 clicks + above 5 mins (You have no content at all)

How much is enough?
(Does more mean more satisfaction? atleast not for content, right content is imp than more content)

So its not about how much info you have but about availability of info for your visitor at needed time. This is the foremost reason why we search Google in Google. I liked Norvig’s comment, which says, “Data mining is more about data“. Content management is also about content.

Here are sms type hints
(I wish I had more time)

  • Forum -> Content generation (cluttered and unconnected)
  • Blog -> Content generation (Consolidated but still unconnected)
  • CMS based article -> Expert Content management
  • Wiki -> Crowd Content Management
  • Smart Search -> Avoiding extra click. I call it a link-less navigation. It takes care of cluttered and unconnected content.

I don’t like reading forums for information as it is too much of work for my brain but most of the time I am without an option. Forum+Wiki+Search makes a deadly combination for content but still a Forum+Search or Blog+Search can give you a better ROI. I am back to morning exercises, have fun. Happy Wed(n)(es)day!

9 Replies to “How much content is enough?”

  1. Hi Aji,

    I have a doubt.

    It is not always possible to cover all the required information in a single page. And some times we intentionally create more than 1 page to provide all the information, otherwise the page gets too long. In that case, it might happen that page get more than 0 click and time spent is also more than 30 Seconds. Then, will it true say that the page does not have enough content.


  2. Hi Aji,

    Another great post.
    However, we have forgotten another important page – the sitemap. What if the sitemap becomes the home page for a big forum?

    Am I moving wild? Perhaps not! 8)

    @ Manojit
    What is the use of content, if the visitor does not use it! It is more about content distribution and that’s where the issue of proper funneling comes in.

    There might be a lot of situations like:
    1: Visitor knows where it is and spends few clicks to reaches there
    2: Visitor do not know where it is and thus leaves
    3: visitor knows where it is but do not feel like reaching there
    4: etc and etc
    ……………… and thus you need to act accordingly. Success depends on webmaster’s efficiency of tracking user’s behavior. And Google analytics is not complete solution.

    In next generation web (the age has begun), the emphasis will not simply be on content management – it may go a step further – content catering.

  3. Why sitemap is not useful?
    Success of Google over DMOZ says it all. We want to get it at once and not want to scan, navigate or sail to the content. Sitemap is still more of a SE stuff. Categorization of articles is still a good idea, does it very well. Categorization is very useful in allowing a n-tree thinking, where when thinking about the first node of the tree you can forget about the other n-1 node, helping you to stay focused on one topic at one time.

    Categorizing/Sitemap is useful but still a search is better recruit.

    Manojit, good question. According to me a visitor goes through following stages

    • Visitor (first 15 secs) -> Looking for trust and information (You have no say on these people. It’s their take. They will not click on “click here” links). It’s very important that within the 15 secs you can establish your authority.
    • Visitor (>15 secs) -> Here the visitor is fairly impressed and started trusted you. Now you can hold his hands and navigate through multiple pages. You are permitted for more action and they will click on links saying “click here”.
    • NOTE: If your link takes time in loading then it is like leaving their hand, so make sure your links are loading really quick as speed means sales.

      Now getting back to your question “It is not always possible to cover all the required information in a single page”, each page has its own purpose and does not need all the content. Spend time in analyzing the content-purpose conflicts, remove as much conflicts as possible. As I explained in my classes, “Do I understand XYZ?” is more inline with the purpose of the page than “What is XYZ?”. Bigger things doesn’t give a bigger impact but a combination of smaller things will do.

      Here is a golden rule for TLs
      Focus on the first 15 secs -> make your content scan-able to let the visitor know that you have it and in building the trust(template, logo, punchline plays a role here).

  4. Since no content is enough to satisfy what every visitor wants, so we can use keyword tracker to check out what people are looking for and then focus on those aspects of a topic in the article. Even then we may need to divide the article as it might get too long. And, we can try to focus on what is searched for more in the first 15 secs of the page as it’s important to hold the attention of the visitors.

  5. @ Aji – I got your point.
    @ Susmita – This may apply when you have a website with limited pages. A few months back I wrote a post on almost a related issue (taking the liberty to put online newspaper and forum under same genre). You can take a look: “Guess your keywords to stay in the business – calculations wont pay” –

  6. Well, I don’t think so. In order to make a common man get what he is looking for, we need to know what he is actually searching for and then highlight on those aspects. It is important to know the user needs. There are 2 ways of doing it:

    1. Look through the keyword tracker (just to know what people want, not to use the same keyword again and again, otherwise it will be a typical SEO article)
    2. Learn about the topic in different websites (This is what i do mostly and that too in yahoo as yahoo gives more importance to content compared to links).

    And, if I am writing content, I am focusing on one particular page at that moment and how to make it the best page on that topic. My goal at that moment is to write content such that I can make the visitor read/scan (as they mostly scan) the entire article and help him out with some great info. It doesn’t matter (at least to me) how many pages my website has.. 🙂

  7. Hi Susmita,

    Good points but…..

    Doing extensive keyword research or measuring KEI is most common and primary techniques to write targeted content – no comment on effectiveness of the content.

    However, think yourself to be a journalist – you work on a topic that is unknown to the world. Nobody could guess the earthquake in Peru 2 days back, but it is now one of the highly searched terms. Do you think Wordtracker, Overture, or Google Adwords are powerful enough to predict these terms!

    Writing content for forum or news portals is different from writing content for regular websites. In forums and news portals, you must concentrate on “immediate needs” of the visitors. It is not enough to know what terms people “used” to come to your forum or news portal – you must “guess the trend” and write accordingly. All these apply only if a content writer is trying to “add some value” or trying to “help the visitors”.

    “Learn about the topic in different websites” – it is fine to learn about the subject from different websites – but what next. Are you adding something to what already exists?

    “yahoo gives more importance to content compared to links” – does yahoo announce authenticity of the information? We all know that .org, .gov or .edu sites provide trustworthy information – but is there any guarantee to it?

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