Too much of a good thing: How to prevent content overload

People are busy. Highlight your best content so you don't overwhelm website visitors.

People are busy. Highlight your best content so you don’t overwhelm website visitors.

Which seems less daunting:

“See our 10 most popular blog posts”

–or –

“See all of our 1,698 blog posts”

 

Let me guess. You chose the first one, right?

People are busy and they want information that’s helpful. Reading through a list of 10 blog posts is going to take much less time than sifting through 1,698 of them. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to archive most of your posts or reduce the frequency of your posts. If you highlight your best work, you can still keep your library of content without overwhelming your visitors.

Hopefully by now you’ve identified what kind of content is “evergreen” and “time-sensitive” and a plan for archiving the time-sensitive pieces (if not, you have a little work to do to catch up, but that’s ok – you’ll get there!).

You may have some categories of evergreen content that has a lot of resources or articles in it. In this case, it’s important to highlight the most recent and/or most popular pieces of content so visitors don’t have to sort through a long list.

For example, let’s say you offer classroom activities to improve early childhood development and every year you add 20 new activities. At this rate, the list will get long very quickly. Arranging them by date or in alphabetical order will help keep the activities organized, but it can still be overwhelming to sort through so many activities. To help out your visitors, at the top of the page showcase your five most popular activities, or highlight the two most recent ones.

 

To do:

You have several options to make it easier for your website visitors to navigate long lists of content:

  • Highlight the most recently added resources or articles at the top of the list
  • Highlight the most popular resources or articles at the top of the list (look in your analytics to find out which content is most popular)
  • Create a hybrid of “featured” resources or articles that includes a few of your most popular pieces of content, as well as some that were recently added.
  • Write a blog post of your top 5 or 10 most popular resources in a particular category
  • Create multiple ways to sort your content

Note: Besides writing a blog post to highlight your top articles, you will likely have to work with your web designer to implement the rest of the suggestions. These will be relatively small changes that will make a big improvement in your site, and are worth the investment! Plus, if you have your web designer help you with the changes, it will help save a lot of time in the future because the feature will be built in to your content management system.

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