Your website shouldn’t be War and Peace

Posted on September 13, 2010


war and peaceOne of the biggest complaints about classical literature, about authors like Dickens, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky in particular, is that it’s always so damn long. Looooong. No-one enjoys having to lug a book around with them that can also serve as a doorstop, or act as a weapon of self defence against an attacker.

A similar complaint could be made about many pages on the net, which is bad for SEO. Not only is the download time longer for big pages, but the time needed to locate the right information on the page and then read it is just too long to tolerate. Although in reality it is just a matter of seconds, for the average internet user it feels like 50 pages of Dickens’ bleak, poverty-stricken London. It’s enough to make you want to grab Tolstoy’s epic and beat your computer to death with it.

It might seem like a good idea for search engine optimisation, but cramming things on your pages is a sure-fire way to lose the interest of your site users. There is a fine balance to be obtained. For a start, there is only so much information that can be viewed on a computer screen at any time. Much of it will be lost far below the fold. Although the search engines won’t mind, your conversion rate will be affected by the higher bounce rate over-filled pages produce.

Keeping pages lean, to an ideal length, is one of the easiest SEO jobs you can do. When composing your web pages, don’t set up a page that makes the viewer feel like they’re back in an English Literature class. Keep things simple, and avoid War and Peace.

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