If you’ve been to any internet marketing seminar, you were probably told that writing keyword-rich articles will maximize search engine optimization. While this strategy holds true, oftentimes articles are so focused on attracting the search engines that they forget about the readers. And if you follow the adage that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” articles written primarily for the search engines will turn off readers, leads and ultimately, customers.

When choosing an article for your website, make sure that it is a length that is optimal for search engine optimization efforts. Articles that are as short as 200 words or as long as 500 words should fit into this category. Even if search engine optimization is not your goal, it is still a good idea to keep your articles at this length for your reader’s sake. They are likely to not finish your page if it is any longer. This could leave them with only half of the information you wanted them to have or leave them with the impression that your site is too “wordy.”

Most Internet readers do not read a website page as they would a book, so the shorter the better. Even if this means splitting one long idea into 4 or 5 pages. Be sure to label them so that the reader can pick and choose which part they want to read and know what is coming up next to help them determine if they want to continue reading.

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