Recent studies show that web users aren’t reading content on the web the way they used to. In fact, reports show that you have about 15 seconds to engage your readers’ attention and website visitors, before they’ll move on to the next site. It all hinges on the quality of your content. Here are our three most important points to consider when using content to grow your business.

1. People engage with newsworthy content more than evergreen content

So, what does that even mean? Evergreen content represents your blog and article posts relevant to your audience, compared with newsworthy topics, which will change over time and quickly become stale. Newsworthy content traffic spikes when it’s newsworthy, but plummets as soon as it’s regarded as “old news”. Evergreen content on the other hand, is slower in driving traffic to your site, but ultimately ensures a long term, sustainable growth. From a blog management perspective, blogging evergreen content is more effective than blogging date-orientated content, simply because evergreen content is enjoyed by readers over time and can be re-published at a later stage, without becoming stale.

So bottom line is, create blogs and articles relevant to your readers to focus on driving long term, sustainable traffic to your site which will convert to sustainable growth for your business, rather than newsworthy content which may bring short-term traffic but little returns.

2. Social Media has little effect on reading engagement

While social media certainly plays a part in driving traffic, leads and customers to your website, studies show that there is little or no correlation between the number of times a piece is shared via social media and the amount of attention an average reader will accord that piece of content. For the most part, people who find your site through social media are generally not your most engaged readers. Whereas as those who find your site through search engines are actively searching, looking for a specific answer. Understanding who you’re talking to and focusing your social efforts accordingly ensures you engage with your readers.

3. Banner ads don’t work

Now we’re not saying that advertising doesn’t work, but rather a more focused approach is called for. Instead of tracking views, a better focus is needed on reading time and page engagement to determine just how effective your content is. Using metrics like time and attention on an ad instead of views and clicks to determine the ad’s effectiveness, means better ROI.

According to user testing by the Nielsen Norman Group, no matter what the engagement level, people ignore banner ads. “Banner blindness” is a studied phenomenon. In fact banner ads can be plain ineffective if your whole purpose is creating quality, engaging content. So instead of buying ads, rather focus on creating quality content and engage your readers that way.