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BUSTED: The “Content is King” Myth

Content Marketing

Jun 18

If you've spent more than 15 seconds reading about content marketing or online business, you've undoubtedly been bludgeoned repeatedly with the phrase "Content IS King."

It's sexy. It rolls off the tongue so nicely. It makes sense. Everybody likes to say it. Hell, we like to say it too.

But there's one little problem with the statement.

It's not true.

Yep, I said it. Sorry pal, you've been mislead...

"Wait," you say, " that can't be. After all, content is how you attract traffic. Content is how you build a happy and loyal following. Content is how you share your message with the world."

All true. But there's more to this story than meets the eye.

The Problem with "Content is King"

You need great content, no doubt about it. But the statement is misleading. You see, in order for someone to actually read your content you've got to do a few things first...

Catch their attention.

It only takes 50 milliseconds (.05 seconds) for someone to form an opinion about whether they like your website or not.

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Below the level of consciousness they are analyzing details, comparing the look of your site to that of other sites, and deciding whether or not to trust you. 

If your page is ugly, takes too long to load, or is hard to navigate, people will instantly hit the back button, leaving your content out in the cold, regardless of how kingly it is.

Just like momma always said...​

​You never get a second chance to make a first impression...

All Hail the Real King

Since 2004 numerous studies have been conducted to examine the process by which people come to trust or distrust online sites.

Guess what happens...

When the participants are asked why they distrust certain sites they credit design problems 94% of the time, on average.​

94% ? Now that's a big damn deal!​

But the even bigger deal is that this information has been available for the past 11 years!​

So why in the hell is the maxim "Content is King" still being shouted from the rooftops when it's quite apparent that design is king?

Maybe they don't know. Maybe because it's much simpler to repeat what we so often hear than to address, in detail, the real culprits that will make or break you.

Regardless, here we've laid out the top 10 reasons people cite for distrusting a website. Adjust your designs accordingly to ensure potential readers actually get a chance to read you stuff.

1. Poor search functions.

If people can't find your content, they can't read it.

2. Big blocks of text.

As we've discussed before, big blocks of text are hard to read on mobile devices. And, people have the attention span of goldfish. Big blocks make your content look "hard" and "time-consuming." 

3. Corporate look and feel.

Avoid this, and for God's sake this.

4. Slow load times.​

No brainer!

5. Teensy-weensy fonts.

Nobody wants to try and read this shit! Keep it bigger than size 14.

6. Pop-up ads.​

Think Forbes​... Sorry Forbes, but I would love to punch your site in the face. Then shoot it with nuclear missiles and launch it into space. Just sayin...

7. Lame Web Design

Avoid this.           Do this.

8. Hard to Navigate.

Your site is not a maze. Don't trap your readers, yo.

9. Cluttered Layout

I'm so glad that more people are taking note of this and simplifying their sites. Avoid decision fatigue, less options= higher conversion rates.

10. Confusing Site Names

Don't be too clever.​

​Are you guilty of any of these with your site? Can you think of any others?

    ​P.S. If you have a second, sharing this article on Twitter via the button on the left would be really awesome of you. 

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