Commercial or Informational Content? What's the Difference?

Last Update: February 14, 2022

So, what is the difference between commercial and informational content?

And what percentage should you have of each?

Let's break down the definitions and the numbers.

Commercial content may be thought of as your "money" posts, from which you hope to make an income.

They will typically have titles that include "best" or "review" or "top 5", and will have affiliate links to allow your reader to click and purchase.

You would likely be using keywords with buying intent.

On the other hand, informational content is the exact opposite.

The keywords will relate to answering questions and solving problems and will have no affiliate links.

They will not be product-based.

They are helpful and educational, with titles including how, which, when, why, etc.

So, how many of each type should you have?

A recent study has analyzed the content of top-performing sites, and come up with the following percentages:

Average informational content - 67%

Average commercial content - 29%

(Some posts were not included such as about me pages, contact pages, disclosures, policies, etc, hence why it doesn't add up to 100%).

Rounding this up, it equates to a 70/30 split.

(Which is similar to what Jay recommends in his webinars).

Looking at this another way, for every 10 posts you write, 7 should be informational and 3 can be commercial.

In other words, only 3 out of 10 posts should contain affiliate links.

Interestingly, if you have a site that falls in the Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) categories such as Health, Financial, Medical, or Legal, it is recommended to have less commercial content.

YMYL niches have a greater need to establish their authority and trust, and therefore should be even less about selling and more about helping.

And those of you who have spoken to me previously will also know that I disagree with the training when it suggests you start adding affiliates in level 3, as you will have very few informational posts at this point.

You need to build up trust and authority with Google to have your posts ranked high enough to be seen.

Adding affiliate links too soon hinders your trust-building efforts.

It's my opinion you should have at least 25 informational posts before adding commercial content.

Obviously, you will see a variety of different views from everybody here, so please make use of all the available information to make an informed decision.

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LDSewell Premium
Great information and an important post. I like the way you end it too by telling people to make an informed decision.

That is how I do business and how I teach and that is each person is responsible for their own selves and must make their own minds up as to what actions to take

I think your approach is a good one (though I do not always follow it myself ; )

Building TRUST is a key requirement to long-term sustainable success and your way certainly will help do that better and sooner I think.

(and yes I reread posts too ; )

Best regards,

L.D. Sewell
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tdbabineaux Premium Plus
Your question that begins your post is an excellent one. Though I'm building my website a little differently than a traditional blog type site, I too have wondered how much of it should be informational and how much should be commercial. In my case, a lot of my blogs are going to link to my commercial pages, so coming up with a percentage is a little trickier. But I think it will be pretty close to 70/30.

But there is a third category. Stories, commentary, entertainment, what have you, that relates in one way or another to a niche. Some of the more memorable web sites I've run across have stories to tell. One fascinating story was about a man who set about finding the remains of a crashed SR 71 Blackbird (a spy plane) that crashed near the infamous area 51 in Nevada. In his story he talked about backroads that led nowhere and stories told by old-timers living in the area. After many, many months, he found the crash site. Amidst a few remaining pieces of wreckage, he found a pair of aviator sunglasses. He located the wife of the deceased pilot and gave the sunglasses to her.

Just last week, a client at work was telling me a story about his father who was a B17 pilot in WWII. I won't go into detail, but this man's father had an amazing story to tell, from being shot down and a prisoner of war in Germany to spending months in Alaska during the coldest period of time ever recorded there. There is a website, and I have to look at it.

Though not strictly informational, why not inject stuff like this into our websites if it is somehow, even remotely, relevant? Sometimes it seems like everyone is following the same rules to rank, and that, to me anyway, starts making everything look the same and bores the you know what out of me.

If I want to buy something, I usually go directly to the company selling what I want. I need a reason to go to a blog - if I'm looking for something and land on a blog, I usually skip it unless something immediately catches my attention.

I think that a personal touch can help, but, at the very least, couldn't do any harm.

Terry
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MYJones Premium
Terry, that really does make sense 👍

Margaret
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bestleads Premium
Placing affiliate links in informational content can be debatable.

For example: I have read a really good information content. Decided on buying the product or service.

Didn't find an affiliate link or a buy button on that site.

Went to another site, bought the product.

The site giving me the information didn't get the commission. The commission was received by the site that didn't do any effort to inform me about the product.

If you are offering good information I don't see why you can't place an affiliate or buy button.

That information that you are providing might be what your site visitor needed to get into the buy now mode.

Luis Antonio
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petardz Premium
I aim for even higher percentages of informational content while the site is still new and without any authority on Google. However, I do put affiliate links in informational content, and they perform great.

Of course, I don't put them regularly, but when some product is needed to fix a problem, I'll recommend it, even though it's informational content. In the end, it all comes to user experience. If you think visitors will be happy if you recommend them some product, recommend it (as long as it makes sense).

One or two affiliate links per post won't make anything bad.
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Bootcamp20 Premium
Yes, I Agree building trust is the key. No one likes to be pressure in to buying anything because the need to understand the product has more interest to the customer and also knowing more about the Marketer (Their Branding).
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