The 80/20 rule of content

We’re assuming that when it comes to your website, you’re clear that you should be sharing content that’s valuable to your audience. That’s why you’re here, right? But your website also needs content that sets out your services and makes it easy for your clients to find out what you do, and to buy from you. You are a business so of course there needs to be a sales element to your site.

But how should your website content be structured? How many sales pages vs. how many pages of valuable content?

Strike the right balance

A great rule of thumb to help you strike the right balance is 80/20. That is, 80% of your website should be devoted to the helpful valuable kind of content you create with your clients firmly in mind, and the remaining 20% should be your sales content.

Aim for 80% valuable content / 20% promotion.

Your 80% includes content with the focus on your customer, your clients and their challenges. Your blog, filled with useful ‘how-to’ articles and tips is your biggest contributor to your valuable section. Your white-papers and e-books, podcasts, infographics, video guides fit here too. The function of this 80% is help, educate or entertain; it’s primary purpose is to engage and build relationships.

Your 20% includes content with the focus firmly on your company. The aim is to convince the reader that your business is the one to choose. Any sales related landing pages, plus your service and products pages fall into this category and you want them to sell.

If you want to win on the web, weight your website heavily in favour of valuable content. This means devoting far more space to useful, educational content overall than you do to sales pages. And it means devoting more of your marketing budget to creating this type of content too.

Improve your valuable rating with a blog

Now this is a BIG change for many business websites, and we’d suggest you aim to change the ratio over time.

The easiest way to make the change is to add a blog to your site and concentrate on writing valuable articles. Keep adding the articles and your valuable rating will improve, fast.

At Valuable Content, our blog is the beating heart of our website. As of today, if you include our blog articles, we have 185 pages of valuable content vs. 16 sales pages. So, if you like, our website is 92% valuable!

Our website is 92% valuable. What’s your valuable rating?

NB: a website needs both types of page. Remember to make a clear link between the two, so that once you’ve built trust through your valuable content, you’ll motivate potential clients and customers to take the next step with you.

How about you?

How about your website and content? What rules do you live by? Does the 80/20 rule of content work for you? We’d love to hear.

More valuable content:

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  1. Craig Martin

    Hi Sonja –

    Great advice! I never thought of the 80/20 rule for a website.. maybe within each post, but not the whole site.

    And I definitely agree that some businesses need to flip their ratios sooner than later.


  2. Sonja Jefferson

    Thanks very much Craig. It’s a useful balance to aim for I reckon with website content. We were looking at social media today and wondering about the right balance. 80/20 doesn’t apply for me here – it’s more like 95/5 in favour of valuable content over promotion. And as for blogs – they should be 100% valuable in my view! Every platform has different tolerance levels I guess. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  3. Russell Hallam

    Hi Sonja

    We hadn’t thought of our website ion terms like you suggest until we recently got a new marketing consultant, who analyses everything and constantly tells us about the importance of balance on the site and that, in an increasingly sophisticated world, visitors will notice everything, and pick up the website vibe very very quickly. Your 80:20 rule is an excellent rule of thumb and ties in exactly with our new strategy and philosophy !



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