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The Internet is a wonderful tool to work with. For a writer, the ease with which it enables you to publish your work is only matched by its instantaneous global reach. Simply put, you can post something up on your website one minute, and the next, someone on the other side of the globe may be reading it – all they need to do is open that page in their browser.

But this can have its downsides as well. In an online world where there’s a clear relationship between traffic and revenue, there’s always a tendency to focus on techniques that drive people towards your website. But while it’s important to ensure your site has the best SEO possible, it’s also worth sparing a thought for the quality of the copy itself.

Why good SEO needs good web content

SEO may be crucial in attracting visitors to your site, but that really is only half the battle. Irrespective of whether your aim is to get them to sign up for an account, sell them a product or click an affiliate banner, you’ll still need to convince them to do so. And it’s at this point that good copy can really help.

Fortunately though, if you stick to a few simple rules, this can be done relatively easily.

1. Keep it clear, keep it simple

One of the great misconceptions of writing is that certain types of texts need to be certain lengths. Another is that filling them with complex language will also impress a reader. Neither of these is true.

Word counts are great for giving you a target zone to aim for, but ultimately they should only serve as a framework (especially online). A good article will (within reason) always define its own length.

It’s true that certain types of article – such as in-depth reports – will naturally be longer than others. But this should only ever be a reflection of the amount of information they need to contain, rather than a desire to hit a predetermined amount of words.

Nor should its wording be too complex. Don’t use elaborate wordplay and phrases in an attempt to look clever, as you just run the risk of confusing your reader. If you want your piece to inspire confidence, do so by ensuring the points you present are adequately supported by the facts.

2. Planning and research

By far the easiest way to instil a sense of confidence in your reader is to demonstrate that you have a genuine grasp of the subject matter.

Research is key: look not only at facts, but developments and issues as well. This will not only give you evidence to support the points in your text, but also an angle that people who are interested in the topic will find engaging.

The sheer size and interactivity of the internet can help in this regard. If you were to write an in-depth report on online gambling regulation in a particular country, not only can you look at official documents, other reports and news for facts and figures, you can also contact interested parties, or even view forums, to develop an understanding of what its main talking points are.

Once you’ve decided on your angle, you can then arrange your main points – and the evidence that you’ll be using to support them – accordingly.

3. Grammar and spelling

They may sound so obvious as to hardly be worth mentioning, yet spelling and grammar are two issues that frequently blight copy.

Irrespective of the factual accuracy of the content in question, if it’s riddled with spelling mistakes, poor punctuation and suchlike, it will undermine the authority of the piece as a whole. That’s not to say errors won’t happen, but don’t leave anything to chance. If you’re unsure about something, ask someone or look it up.

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