Content websites aren’t just great ways for you to promote your brand or to generate ad revenue. They are also important vehicles for consumers to get the information they need.

CodeFuel recently conducted extensive research about online users and how they access information, and we published it in a Free ebook. Here are some of the key findings of our research related to content website users:

Second to The One

What’s the first place you would think that your users would go when they need information?

Google, right? You’re right.

The search giant maintains its hold as the gateway to the Internet. But what would you say is the next most popular way for people to access information?

You might be surprised. It’s content websites.

These are information-rich sites like The Huffington Post, The New York Times, or TechCrunch. They are sites that provide plenty of articles or posts and are updated regularly.

Our research found that 82 percent of online users visit these content websites every single day. These people tend to be highly educated, and they have higher levels of income on average.

eBook key findings

About 36 percent of people use Google to find relevant content, but 26 percent use content websites. The majority of users spend about two hours per day on content websites, though some spend even more time on them.

Timing and Motivation

Users go to content websites at specific times and for specific reasons.

We found that the majority of people are visiting content websites first thing in the morning. This makes sense when we consider why people are visiting these sites.

Primarily, people are visiting content websites to get the latest updates about a topic. They check the site in the morning to see what is new and relevant, either for their own edification or as a means of staying in-the-know for their own content curation or other business purposes.

Is your site offering fresh content with newsworthy or up-to-date information? If not, you are missing out on an opportunity to connect with more of your audience.

Not only should you be publishing a fresh stream of content about the latest information, but you should also be sure you are doing so either late at night or early in the morning so that it is ready for users when they log on in the morning.

Home Page Hub

We found that the majority of people like to use the home page to explore content on a website.

They will start from the home page, click on an article, and then return to the home page when they are done.

Our research found that 58 percent of people will stay on a content website longer when they navigate it from the home page.

What this means is that while content recommendation tools are certainly helpful and have their place, you also need to invest a lot of time and resources into creating an exceptional home page design with user-friendly navigation.

What do your menus look like? Are you including a lot of sidebar links and drop-down menus to navigate content? Is the home page divided into navigable blocks? These are just a few of the things you need to consider when analyzing your site.

Ad Content

Investing in ads is a great way to get more exposure for your content website.

However, if you want to get the best return on your investment, you need to make sure that you are using the right ad formats and including the right information.

Our research found that 39 percent of users will click on an ad if it presents an interesting offer, and 26 percent will click on it if it is from a brand they know and like.

When we drilled down to look at ad behavior based on age, we found that users in the 18 to 34 age group were more likely to click on ads that contained video, particularly those that involved cooking, technology, entertainment or sports. The same held true for content, not just ads.

Video offers a lot of opportunities for promoting your site and engaging users with your ads. Not only does video attract more attention, but it also gets you positioned higher in search.

It is important that you create an ad and content strategy that work together.

CodeFuel’s free ebook offers many more insights into online behavior, including what people are accessing content at different times of day, what other ad formats engage users, and how people access online content with their mobile devices.

Download the ebook to get more insights that you can use to shape your marketing strategy or your online ads. The more information you have, the more power you have to get the results you want in less time and with a smaller investment.