Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world in which a person would “be judged by the content of his character.” Of course, human beings are naturally predisposed to reacting to the cover of the book before they open it. Unless, of course they can look past that, or if they’re blind.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”
2. The Character of Your Content
Albeit not as profound, your website and social media stream is judged by the character of its content. And once again, visuals matter, but once they get past the surface, what are your visitors and fans (read: potential customers) going to get that’s going to keep them coming back? That is the character of your content.
On a related note: Google’s crawler is blind. It can deconstruct your page, but it can’t judge how pretty it is. So Google doesn’t rank based on appearance (in fact, the reverse is often true as in the case of Flash and AJAX-based sites that aren’t easy for it to index). If they cared about looks, sites like wikipedia, webmd, and so many other resources wouldn’t show up at the top of your search results. Google’s goal is to give a searcher the most relevant (read: current, popular, valuable) information they’re seeking.
Combined, the visuals and the character of your content create an online persona, or brand for your business. If it’s not a persona that your potential customers want to spend time with, they have plenty of other options.
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