QUESTION: I don’t want too many pages on my website. What’s the big deal about putting all my services and company information on a couple pages versus breaking down everything onto several pages?
ANSWER: When’s the last time you visited a video arcade? Close your eyes. Remember walking in the door and being bombarded by all the ‘beeps,’ ‘dings,’ ‘buzzers,’ bright lights, and audio bytes on the pinball machines? Do you recall any ONE specific game that demanded your attention or was it more like ‘information overload?’ Like most people, a cacophony of sound and visual bombardment leads to no specific focus—in most cases, the loudest and brightest games probably stood out while the skeet ball games sat quietly awaiting your attention.
Like arcades, websites that have too much content on one page may make it too hard for search engines to crawl, and websites that contain too many keywords (an unethical SEO practice known as Keyword Stuffing) will be considered as offering negative user experience and receive lower search engine rankings. Too much information, especially all crammed onto one page—like all a company’s services on one ‘services’ page—make USABILITY, the ability to actually FIND what a visitor is looking for a poor user experience which also contributes to receiving a lower search engine ranking.
So, what’s the point? Usability is vital for rankability. Content is KING but content density IS a pretty big deal if you want to outrank your competition in the search engine results page (SERP) when your potential customers are looking for you. Websites that take care of content density usually contain content that has keywords and is easy to understand and find throughout a website. In simple words, when users visit your site, they are looking for content. The longer they take to locate and understand your content (because it is such a small proportion of your web page), the less usable your web page is.
There’s a reason that grocery stores organize items on multiple isles—grouped somewhat by type. Could you imagine walking into a Home Depot only to find EVERYTHING that they offer in a pile when you walked in the door? Search engines love to see information organized in a website – by channel and by subject material. Websites that take care of content density usually contain content that has keywords and keyword phrases that are easy to understand. Providing the right keywords and easy-to-read channels, pages and paragraphs help websites rank higher in search engines.
Decades ago (it seems), people used a card catalog to find books in a library. Everything is digital now, but back then if someone wanted to find out how to grow better tomatoes, they’d look in a drawer under ‘G’ for ‘gardening.’ After rifling through the row of cards in the drawer, they would find cards with ‘gardening’ at the top (headlines), then continue the ‘gardening’ search for ‘tomato plants’ (subheads), and finish up on ‘how to grow bigger tomato plants’ (body content).
This is similar to how search engines prefer to catalog content on an each-and-every web page in your website. When a search engine robot crawls a site, it is looking for structure and keywords that will help assign it to the right category and give it the right ranking. The better the ranking, the higher it will appear on a search result listing. This gives it a better chance of being found when users perform searches that contain specific keywords.
Search engines despise commotion and unorganized content chaos and penalize websites with poor rankability yet REWARD those websites who speak softly with organized content and carry a big stick through keyword and content density. Knowing how and when to talk loud—on each-and-every page of your website—will speak volumes toward increasing your ranking. Based on your comparison of these observations against your website, you may need to tweak your content. Does your content provide your target readers with what they require so as to achieve their goals yet, at the same time, contain an optimal number of keywords in order to be ranked? We subscribe to the ‘two-three click rule’—every visitor should be able to find what they’re looking for in two or three clicks—preferably, the third click is a conversion!
Do your web pages demand more efficient content structure and organization? Contact us today to learn more about how to improve your site’s ranking. You’ll even find enough time help out Grandpa Stan with turning off his ‘caps lock’ button!