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by Nathan SContent writer hard at work

With Google pressing business owners with new guidelines which seek to penalize “over-optimized” sites, many people are concerned that their existing content may suffer penalization under these new guidelines. However, in most instances, there is no need to be worried. Even still, now might be a good time to do a content audit of your website and see how it stacks up.

What to Look For

Actually, this header should be “What to Listen For,” because making decisions about the content on your website should involve reading the content aloud. As you read your content aloud, you will naturally hear the things which sound awkward. Since most people read by mentally “sounding” words that they see, they will pick up on these same awkward moments. If something you are reading aloud isn’t put the way you would say it, rewrite it so that it is put in such a way. This one step will greatly improve the quality of your content.

However, that’s not really the question that I asked at the beginning of this post: How much content is too much?

I think the answer to that question is a little bit elusive, because it often depends on how much you have to say. I could go on for pages and pages about something if it is interesting to me, and I may even bore the reader along the way. “I just wanted to know how to make brownies,” they say. Meanwhile I’m off talking about the history of brownies and all of the different varieties.

…What was I talking about again? Oh right! Content! I think that, as long as your content reads fluidly, and does not come across as repetitious or boring, then you don’t have too much content. I also think that the best way to test that is to read your existing content aloud. You will find plenty of things to cut or rework with this one exercise.

The bottom line is this: If it’s boring to you, the person who should have every reason to be excited about it (I mean, it’s you! You love you!), then it will undoubtedly bore the reader. And in today’s online, information-based business world, boring your audience is a death knell.

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