When developing content for your website, it’s important to be clear. Now, you might think I mean “clear and concise”, but the fact is that sometimes being concise isn’t realistic in terms of content. Some webpages have a lot to say, and readers have a lot to learn. So, what do website owners need to keep in mind when creating pages with a great deal of content? And how can they organize that content with the best SEO practices in mind? Let’s discuss.
Make Sure the Length is Appropriate for the Content
First, you need to analyze the theme of the page and if a long-winded passage is appropriate for the content. Some pages demand extended information, while others would be hindered by the same. To determine how much content you need, try to imagine the question or questions you need to answer on this page. What does a reader want to know? Can you answer their questions quickly, or do they need to be explained more thoroughly?
For example, on the USF homepage, you can see that the “Mission and Vision” page is short and concise. It wouldn’t be appropriate on this page to have extended content. Frankly, if there were more content on this topic it’s likely readers wouldn’t read through it. The reader likely clicked on this page because they had one question: What are the missions and visions of USF? That answer can be provided in 300 words or less, and so it was.
In contrast, the “History” section from the USF homepage takes quite a bit of scrolling to complete. But, if a reader is looking for decades worth of history, they are not looking for a short excerpt. The question “What is the history of USF?” demands much more than a few paragraphs to answer comprehensively.
Organize the Content Logically
If you do decide that you need a great deal of content to answer any questions your readers may have, you need to find the best ways to lay that information out. It’s vital with any writing you publish that it is clear and organized. This is especially important with a large chunk of content on one page.
The most common way to organize content on one page is with headers, much like this blogpost is organized. It’s much easier for a reader to consume small chunks of thematic information separated by headers than one seamless passage. Take a look at what one of our articles on navigation best practices (almost 2,000 words) might look without any organizational breaks (left side of image, below) next to how it looks with headings and images (right side of image, below):
Such a chunk of text with absolutely no clear breaks is just intimidating for readers. Likely, most readers would skip over this article for one with a more pleasing and clear aesthetic without proper organizational methods in place. Keep in mind, the amount of text isn’t the problem in this case – it’s the improper formatting of said text.
Lay Out Content With User Experience in Mind
There’s that term again – user experience. It may seem like everyone is talking about UX, but that’s because it’s very important. It’s especially important when you’re considering jamming a lot of content into one space. The organizational techniques above are going to aid you in your UX efforts but you should also keep in mind your website’s front facing interface and audience needs.
One of the most common techniques for laying out a website is in a grid. News sites very often follow grid patterns since they do have so much content and need it to be well organized.
Here you can see that the Huffington Post adheres to this grid layout. Separated by lines and columns, users are not going to be overwhelmed by a hodgepodge of content at first look.
When preparing to brave the content storm, be sure to keep the things listed in this article in mind. Make sure that the theme you’re following can be appropriately discussed with a large chunk of traffic. Then, make sure to organize that content with headers, images, etc. You also need to be sure that when necessary, your website is laid out to withstand a great deal of information.
What are your favorite ways to organize large chunks of content? When have you made the decision to cut parts of your text to match your site’s theme? Let us know on our Facebook page!