It All" with Good Web Content
No matr how goud th infomation... why wood you tak content like
this seriusly? No mater how good the infomation, if is riddiled
with typos its asta lavista baby. You lose.
Typos, misspellings, hideous grammar, exclamation overkill and
run-on sentences all undermine a Web site's message. Your reader
will have to work too hard, and you won't have that reader long.
Grabbing a reader's attention is a key point in getting your message
out, but there is such a thing as too much grabbing--and the wrong
kind of attention. Negative attention can lose a great many visitors
and potential clients.
Clean content and neat appearance are not merely a matter of aesthetics.
It goes to the core of establishing trust and reliability between
a Web site and visitor. Relate it to a deli. A potential customer
heard about you through an ad. Cool ad, got his/her attention, so
he/she stops by on the way home. On the outside everything looks
nice, meets expectations, so the visitor walks in, looking for tonight's
sandwich goodies. Once inside it only takes a few seconds to notice
the dust on the shelves, the dirty footprints, the unidentifiable
smudges on the glass counter-fronts. No matter how good the food
smells, if the counterperson has dirty hands or there are papers
littering the floor, how many people are going to feel comfortable
reaching over a crumb-covered counter to pay for their dinner?
That may sound like a silly comparison to Web content, but really,
it's not so far off. The principle stands: clean, neat, appealing
content builds comfort and trust. Sloppy, haphazard or distracting
content repels, and breaks down credibility. And the principle is
very easy to apply to all Web content. Just remember the acronym,
"Get It All"
G- et another set of eyes to take an objective look
E- xtra attention to spelling lends credibility
T- ell your message with exciting words; don't rely on graphics
I- talics, bold and all caps are rough on the eyes, use
T- ake the time to read the entire content... backwards
(you'll be amazed at what you'll notice this way)
A- lways do one last look-see after it's finished
L- et all content sit for at least a full day before a final
L- ose the guesswork--keep a dictionary and grammar/editing
reference at your fingertips, and use them often.
Whether your content is a one-line ad or five-page report, taking
that little extra time and effort will improve your site, build
customer confidence and add respectability. Saving time now and
risking poor content quality can end up costing you more later.
After all, the object is to get and keep customers at your site;
to keep them reading. How long would you have kept reading this
article if it had all been written like that first paragraph?
About the Author
Cherie Davidson owns Suitable Words (http://www.suitablewords.com),
where she provides site content development, on-line writing services
and promotion services such as press releases and articles. You
can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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