Is Content Still King?
The short answer:
Yes. (Short, accurate answers are best — especially online.)
The longer answer:
The Internet has changed. The way people use the Internet continues to evolve, but the core will always be information.
Most people don’t go online to see pictures. (Some “adult” site owners may disagree.) The vast majority of folks online aren’t just “surfing” randomly. They are in search of answers. The questions are amazingly diverse, but the premise is “If I want to know the answer, someone has probably got it on a website somewhere on the Internet.” And that’s how they begin their search.
In most cases they are correct. In the other cases, they soon will be.
“The Web’s strength comes from narrowly targeted sites that provide users with highly specialized information that they need or care about passionately.”
(from Prioritizing Web Usability)
Search has become the essential tool for all things “Internet.” Search engines that go across the globe, search tools that dig into a specific web site, and the “control F” or “command F” browser search to find terms on a specific web page are all used to locate information quickly and efficiently.
How to improve your content
Your content should answer the questions your visitors ask — no matter where they pose it initially. In a perfect world, a question typed into Google (or another global SE), will result in your article, site or page popping up in slot one, page one, where over 60% of the searchers will click.
The world is less than perfect, so the skill to use headlines, scannable text and tags to make that information readily available via search is the key to being “found” online.
Deep links (those pages beyond your index or “home” page) are usually the entry pages for your visitors. Recognize this fact and create useful web content on each page. Design your navigation to make it easy to find answers (and learn more about you, if they are so inclined). Offer them similar pages and resources on related topics. Keep them engaged in your site.
Craft your content carefully. Keep it simple. You have only seconds to capture a visitor. Don’t waste even one. Use obvious text links (I prefer colored links that underline on the mouse-over) to offer additional “drill down” information while keeping pages short and focused.