Probably since you first decided to have a website for your business, you’ve memorized the maxim, “Content is King.” Clichéd? Perhaps it is. Meritless? Certainly it is not. This is an absolute truth. For your website to resonate with visitors, as well as rank highly in search engines, it must have excellent content.
So just what makes content “excellent”…and what doesn’t?
A number of qualities differentiate content from great content. A website that provides visitors with accurate information that is conceptually original as well as valuable is already on the right track. It should promote thought and inspire sharing. Variations in presentation (blogs, videos, infographics, etc.) keep things interesting and dynamic. It’s difficult to imagine a website with these characteristics faltering.
And yet it happens so often.
It reminds me of a time I went dress shopping with a friend in a rather expensive boutique. The dresses she tried on were certainly stylish and eye-catching. But there was something else that caught my eye, and it spoke volumes. The zippers on these dresses were positively cheesy! It was as if they were a sort of afterthought… something that no one would notice. Well, we did. As dreamy as the fabrics were in these dresses, the carelessly chosen, shabby zippers damaged the overall impact. Suddenly the dresses no longer looked glamorous. Their value was lessened, and we moved on.
What are the “shabby zippers” that lessen the value of otherwise impressive websites? Let’s look at the “jokers” who undermine King Content.
1) TXT SPK…OMG – It may be suitable for a tossed-off text message to a friend, but it’s never suitable for your business’ website. Why do we use “text speak” in the first place? It’s because we want to shoot a message out quickly and with little effort. It’s for the sake of convenience and speed, not quality. A funny thing about “text speak” is that many people find it either annoying, corner-cutting, or simply impossible to understand! Is your website really a place where you want to annoy, appear careless, or confuse? That thought should make you LOL (that’s laugh out loud)!
2) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Do you see my “point?” Certainly your new product featured on your site is wonderful. Of course you’re excited about it, and it’s right to display it prominently and in a way that expresses its value. A line of forty exclamation points (or question marks, or other emotive marks of punctuation) is not the way to achieve this. Not only does it result in a website that looks like the notes you used to pass to your friends in middle school (“He likes you!!!!!!!!!!!!!”), but it also is an ineffective and cheap looking way to feature a product (or a sale, service, etc.). Clever use of graphics or video, as well as skillfully crafted sentences, will never be eclipsed in value by a conga line of punctuation marks.
3) MISSSPELINGGS – I don’t know who is telling you that people don’t notice misspellings, but don’t you believe it for one second! True, there are some who won’t notice it, but there are plenty of those who visit your site who do notice. Personally, these errors leap out of the screen at me like a young gazelle. Site visitors’ reactions to this can be lethal for your business. Internet entrepreneur, Charles Duncombe, asserts that an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can actually cut online sales in half. Mr. Duncombe, who runs mobile phone, travel, and clothing websites, believes that poor spelling is a serious problem for the online economy, stating, “Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.” Thank goodness for Spellcheck, right? Yes and no. It’s a great tool, to be sure. It is not, however, the last word in correctness. Most spelling programs cannot differentiate between to, two, and too or where and wear. I assure you that a significant number of your website visitors can. The solution? Proofread everything before publishing anything.
4) GOT GRAMMAR? – Whether it is an effort to sound “natural” or “folksy,” or whether it is purely accidental, the English language is butchered on a daily basis online. Much like the issue of spelling, correct grammar is often pooh-poohed as something that concerns only the snobs. The hard truth is that people will often detect improper grammar when they are not even looking for it, as it can give your text a sound that is almost “off key.” For those who do look for such things, poor grammar can be a deal breaker because it implies (fairly or unfairly) that the business owner simply does not care enough to pay attention to detail. If grammar is not your strong suit, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional website content writer who understands how to use language (adopting suitable tones and styles) without abusing it.
5) #@!*[email protected] – Is coarseness a substitute for wit? Perhaps it may pass on late night television, but certainly never on a professional website. I am not even necessarily speaking of “swearing.” There are certain terms used in daily language that have become quite commonplace, however these may still be considered rough or even vulgar to more sensitive visitors. Consider screening your content with a variety of people and ask them for their honest feedback. You might be surprised to find out that certain terms found humorous by some will actually work against you with other demographics.
By combing through your website and weeding out the gimmicky jokers, and careless elements, your website’s excellent content will be king, free to shine regally, illuminating your site and enlightening your visitors… and not glaring angrily like a cheap zipper on an expensive dress.
Bola Olonisakin is the Creative Head & Chief Online Strategist at GTechDesigns. Bola specializes in coaching entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporations in achieving the MAXIMUM PROFIT from their website by increasing visibility and using laser-focused marketing strategy. Download the Ultimate Guide To A Money Making Website to help you discover the 8 Tech-Riffic ways to PROFIT online at http://bit.ly/17beYnp. This post was originally posted at www.gtechdesigns.com
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