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consistent, compelling contentSo, you have a website. Maybe it’s your own, maybe it’s for your company—whatever the case, you’re in charge of running it and building an online presence. You know that it’s not enough to simply create the website, sit back, and wait for the web traffic to flow in. In order to guide potential readers to your website, you have to be proactive. That involves familiarizing yourself with search engine optimization strategies. You’ve probably already begun that process, and that’s why you’re here. The number one best thing you can do to boost your website in search rankings: create quality content. Here are some qualities you should aim for when deciding what types of articles to put on your website or blog, and why they’re important.

Unique

If you’ve been using something like article marketing websites to generate content for you or your blog, now’s the time to switch gears. The problem with buying generic, pre-written articles is that other people can buy them too. The Internet is saturated with these types of articles, and if you want your business to really stand out, you want to avoid publishing the same articles that other people are using too.

A much better idea is to hire a professional writing company to write specific articles that are tailored to the goals of your business. You won’t have to sacrifice SEO expertise in favor of good content; almost all professional writers have experience crafting web content that incorporates keywords and SEO strategies seamlessly into interesting, engaging articles that are unique to your website.

Fact-Based

Publishing research-driven articles is one of the best ways to gain legitimacy in the eyes of your readership—and in the eyes of Google as well! Internet advertising has been around for years, and by this time most of us are able to recognize which articles have been written for the sole purpose of selling a product or service, and which ones actually have some substance to them. And search engines can tell too! The Google Panda update of 2011 has been working to filter out spammy content-farmed articles and prioritizing the ones that contain useful information with trustworthy references behind them. When you publish articles that make claims, be sure those claims are backed up with facts and research.

Sources Cited

Incorporating research is only half your battle: you also need to be able to cite your sources for that research, and make sure those sources are credible. It’s unfortunately all too easy for companies to pay “experts” to endorse a product, whether or not the actual science backs it up. This has had the side effect of making readers far more skeptical and harder to convince. Citing trustworthy sources (like the New York Times, other major newspapers, or academic journals) is the best way to ensure them that what you’re saying is legitimate.

Not Too Short, Not Too Long

If your articles or blog posts are too short, you won’t be able to really cover your topic in depth, so your readers will only have a basic surface understanding of what you’re trying to convey. If they’re too long, you risk your readers merely skimming the articles or losing interest as soon as they see the length (ever seen the comment “tl;dr”? It means “too long; didn’t read”, and the fact that it’s so common speaks to the value of brevity). Aim for quality content that covers a subject efficiently, bringing in details but not info-dumping on your readers.

Remember these four guidelines when you’re deciding what kind of content should make the cut on your website or blog, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a trustworthy web presence that will keep your clients coming back to read more.

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