If you have a website, you’ve probably heard the hype about how important content is. You may have even heard how much Google loves websites that have original, authentic content and how much it dislikes little or no original content. Google has an even more disparaging view of sites that use duplicate, scraped or poor quality content. What can you do to improve the quality of content on your site? Try these five tips.

Tip 1: Keep It Real

Straight and to the point, like the page on this website, is what users want. The same goes for your content pages. Neither users nor Google like fluff. Instead, give them authentic and useful information. They also don’t appreciate finding information about home decorating on a sports equipment website. Your content has to relate to your company mission. It has to be current. Nothing turns visitors away faster than old, outdated or irrelevant information.

Tip 2. Write for the Web Not Print

This is where a lot of people get confused. They take content straight from their printed sales advertising materials and put it on their website. It’s great content, so why not? The reason is that people read information on the web much differently than they do a printed brochure. With print copy, people can slowly browse through their information and take their time. You don’t have the same luxury when it comes to web content. People don’t have time or want a leisurely read on the web. Your content has to be concise and chopped up, so users see the most important points at a glance. Web viewing is a more frantic world. You have to catch the viewer’s attention immediately.

Here are some tips for formatting web content that grabs attention:

  • Use bold, captivating headlines.
  • Break content up with bold subheads.
  • Highlight points using bullet or number lists.
  • Make each paragraph short with concise sentences and on a single topic.
  • Break up areas of text with graphics.
  • Add relevant links, both internal and external, to add validity.

Tip 3. Write in Inverted Pyramid Style

Above the fold is a term applied to web design and content almost from the beginning. The most important information should always be at the top where viewers are most likely to see it. The same is true with your content. Write content so that your conclusions are at the top. Use the remaining portion to support your broader opening points. Readers get your main ideas if they only read your opening and can read on to learn more if they choose. In these days of short attention spans and constantly being on the go, the inverted pyramid is an efficient method of delivering great content.

Tip 4. Write Substance, Not Fluff

It seemed for a while that web content was full of market-speak and keyword stuffing so that a reader looking for substance was at a loss. Some sites still use fluff for content. Google takes notice and so do your visitors if you do. The content on your website has to offer something of value to the reader. That’s one reason how-to articles are such great web content subjects. For example, if you sell flooring, articles on floor care, installing flooring yourself and choosing the right floor for your home make perfect sense. The possibilities are endless.

Tip 5. Write for People, Not Search Engines

Sure, you want to use your main keyword and keyword phrases in your content. But not so much that your keywords are easily picked out because of their frequency. Used in natural, readable language, however, keywords in content can help you with SEO. Your keywords or phrases should never be repeated in the same sentence and never more than twice in the same paragraph.

And, last but not least, use the word “you” when you write your content. You’re writing for people not computers.