5 Smart Writing Strategies for your Website
What pops into your head when you think of a "bad" website? Is it gaudy 90's design - like clip art on a neon background? Maybe it's a cluttered homepage or hideous fonts. There are still plenty of poorly designed websites out there. But really, there isn't an excuse for that anymore. Good design isn't as hard to achieve as it used to be. (Thanks, SquareSpace!)
Good writing, however...that's another story. A fantastic looking website falls flat in the face of lengthy, unclear, or typo-ridden writing. Read on for 5 ways to give the writing on your website a boost.
1. Say what you mean. This goes for your headlines, navigation links and every other word on your site. I can't tell you how many jargon-filled, overly repetitive paragraphs I've seen on an otherwise beautifully designed and executed website. If you're a consultant that specializes in HR technologies for school systems - say that. And you don't have to come up with a fancy new phrase for your contact navigation heading - just call it contact. People respond to simplicity.
2. Clearly communicate your value proposition. And do it quickly - before your reader has a chance to click away. What are you offering that your prospective clients want? What makes you different? If I can't find the answers to these questions right away, I'm probably not going to keep looking. Not on your site, anyway.
3. PROOFREAD! If you're not good at proofreading, admit it - then find someone who is. If I'm considering hiring or working with a business and I see a typo on their homepage, I'm instantly turned off. Typos and grammatical errors scream loudly and clearly - that I can expect laziness, lack of attention to detail, and less-than-stellar communication from you.
4. Don't make visitors guess what to do next. Yep, you've got a navigation bar at the top of your website, just like everyone else. Fantastic. Now, make it even easier for them to find the information they need. Guide them through your site using buttons and links that clearly show them where to go next. Link to some examples of your work on your services page, and link to your contact page from the examples of your work. Use calls to action. Make it flow.
5. Consistency is key. These days, most businesses have a robust online presence - between their own websites, social media sites, blogs and more. When you create consistent messaging across all your platforms, you appear professional and unified. And - bonus - consolidating and focusing your message forces you to confront how you really want clients and potential clients to see you.
Fixing writing mistakes on your website is a must. Remember, your online presence is either the very first opportunity you have to impress potential clients, or your first opportunity to reinforce a face-to-face (or other) impression you've already made. Don't miss out on either one!
And if writing's not your thing, or you don't happen to have a great writer on staff, well...that's what professional business writers are for!