1 Good Reason – Social Marketing

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5 Tips for making the Words On your Site Better

December 15th, 2010 · 1 Comment

This is a guest post from my friend Nancy Passow with some excellent advice for your website.

There’s more to a website than just looking good, you need content or as C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley say in their new book, Content Rules! Words help bring people to your website. And once they get there, words help to keep them there. Here are five tips for making the words on your website count.

1. Define your audience.

Who is going to read what you write? What do they already know? What do you want them to learn? And what do you want them to do once they are at your website? Make sure you use language that your audience will understand, no jargon. Words that make sense to you may not mean the same thing to your readers.

2. Less is more!

No one has time to scroll through lots of words, so keep it short and simple. Make use of white space – avoid looking cluttered. This is especially important now that so many people access websites on mobile devices. Use headlines to help your ideas stand out.

3. Write the way you talk.

You want your website to reflect who you are so make sure it sounds like you. You do need to sound professional, but that doesn’t mean you must be stiff and formal. Let your personality shine through.

4. Use keywords, but in context.

Remember in the old days when we had to write a story using the week’s spelling words? You’d get down to just having a few words left and would finish with: “And then I found a piece of paper with these words written on it . . . . “ It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. SEO is important but that doesn’t mean just listing words on your website.

5. Proofread, proofread, proofread!!

Nothing causes a reader to move on faster than a typo or misspelled word. It’s very hard for us to see our own errors because in our mind we know what we meant to say, so that is what we will read. This is where you should enlist a friend to help review what you’ve written. Printing out your draft is another good way to proofread; it will look different on paper than it did on the screen.

Nancy Passow is the owner of Write for You in NJ, business & technical writing, providing the words for all of your marketing needs, on-line and on paper. She is also an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, teaching Technical Communications. @write4unj on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

You should also take a look at Nancy’s blog which is a always a good read in my opinion- Chris

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Pat Ferdinandi // Dec 15, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Very true and well written. This applies to all communication: written, verbal (as in a speech), and video.

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