Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quality Website Content

Tips for Creating Quality Content

Keep it simple. People using the internet are looking for quick easy information. Give it to them. The typical internet user wants to sift through quickly to find what they need. If they click on your site from a search engine and it takes more than about 1.5 seconds to load, there’s a good chance they’ll hit backup before they even get a chance to see what you have to offer. Resist the urge to load your site with large image files and impressive Flash files which will just drive potential traffic away. Strive to keep your load time short.

Keep it easy to read. If they wanted to read a book they’d go straight to Barnes & Noble. Keep your content short and easy to find. Long paragraphs are your enemy. Stick to short paragraphs and sentences. Make use of bullets and numbering. Make keywords bold in select locations. Use italics where appropriate. The typical web browser is skimming. Make it easy for them.

Be original. Write your own articles if at all possible. Search engines love unique content and you can improve your rankings if your site has a great deal of original content. If you are not confident in your skills as a writer, consider asking someone for help or even hire a local college student. Just give them a bullet list of points you want to make and ask them to write it up for you.

Use spell check. Any decent word processor will have a spell check function as well as a grammar check function. Make use of them. You want your website to look professional and misspelled words say to viewers that you are unprofessional, incompetent and untrustworthy. It’s harsh, but true.

Proof read. Don’t rely on spell checker alone. There are a great many spelling and grammar mistakes that word processors will not pick up. You may have a missing word, duplicate word, phrase or sentence. You may have simply used the wrong word like ‘too’ instead of ‘two.’ Get someone else to proof read for you. It’s harder to catch your own mistakes than someone else’s.

Keep it relevant. Make sure your content is consistent with the aim of your website. Make sure it is relevant to the needs of your viewer. If your website is selling garden products, it might be best to avoid writing articles about your favorite sports team. You can start a new website for that.

Keep it current. Don’t let your content get out of date. Review your articles regularly and update as needed. Check to make sure your facts are still true. If you have links to outside websites, and you should, make sure they are still active. Make sure any contact information on your site is up to date. When you are finished reviewing, start again.

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