Making a content-rich website is the key to succeeding online, but "content-rich" doesn't mean having War-And-Peace-length content. You need a collection of short but informative pieces.
The more articles you have on your site, the more internet surfers you can capture. Because search engines provide page-by-page results, articles on different topics show up in search results for different keywords. So if you have a lot of articles on different topics, searchers can find your articles in the search results for a wide variety of keywords - hence, more traffic to your site. In reality, however, not every article generates the traffic directly from search engines. But having a large collection of articles generates consistent traffic far better (because there is less of an effect on algorithm changes) than the average SEO.
Many people think longer articles are better, but that is not so. Ideally, your article can be read within 60 to 90 seconds. This is how long the average person will pay attention. For my newsletter content, I try limiting the length of articles to less than 300 words. Considering the fast-paced behavior of internet users, I'd say 300 words is still rather long.
If your target audiences are members of low-literacy groups, such as children or people with developmental disabilities, writing short content will become more critical. Low-literacy users need more time to read any given article than average-literacy users do. Also, average-literacy users often scan and find the part of an article they want to read, but low-literacy users generally cannot do this; they read your content from top to bottom. Pay extra attention to every word you put in the articles to determine if each one is absolutely necessary.
© August, 2005