Interactive Content vs. Static Content

January 10, 2012 | SnapApp Marketing

In education, the difference between interactive and static materials is clear: interactive is simply better, and always worth the investment if your budget allows.

In the world of internet marketing, the differential isn’t as simple. Interactive content can engage more sets of eyes — and keep them on your site longer, but not necessarily longer enough to justify the additional investment of time, money and complexity.

When making content decisions at this level, you need to understand the benefits in context of your business and marketing strategy.

Interactive Content and Search Engines

From the standpoint of the content itself, interactive content won’t increase your site’s rankings on search engines. However, what your users do with the content may.

A poll that users can report on Facebook or similar platforms creates one more linkback to boost your positioning. Content that encourages comments can increase the natural keyword density. This is a noticeable — albeit indirect and non-guaranteed — benefit of interactive content.

Conversion Rates

This field of commerce is new enough that not a lot of data supports one opinion or the other — though some companies that design interactive content will suggest it can increase conversion rates by 10% or more.

An?Allurent?study found more than 80% of online shoppers say they would order more from sites with interactive elements. Research presented by?Harris Interactive?suggests that online reviews and other product details are the most advantageous of interactive content for retailers.

Time on Site

This is one point where interactive content is an unmitigated win. Solid interactive elements on your website will keep eyes on your page longer — and is the mechanic most responsible for the other benefits of this kind of content. Exactly how much depends on the amount, variety and quality of the content you provide. Free, advertising-driven, video game websites have a business model based entirely on their interactive content.

Bounce Rate

“Bounce rate” is the percentage of users who spend only a brief time on your site, then leave for another website — people who reached your site by mistake. A high bounce rate is one of the best ways to keep your site low on the search engine rankings. Interactive content engages viewers long enough to reduce bounce rates considerably — especially if users find your site through a backlink or share specifically describing the content.

Customer Experience

Effective interactive content relies on generating the experience your customers desire. A retail website will benefit from guide videos, customer reviews and advice. A fan site for a celebrity won’t get traction from that experience, but will see benefits from polls, quizzes and exclusives. As with almost all other aspects of successful business, it boils down to understanding your customers, your industry and your market — then applying your understanding to this new marketing technique.

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