“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King
So it’s time to write new content for your website. If you’re like most companies, this was the part of your website redesign that you thought would be the easiest. However, it probably didn’t take you long to discover that this can often be the most difficult part of the project. Writing content for your website can be overwhelming and time-consuming. To help you out, we’ve come up with the 5 most common mistakes people make when writing content for the web. Keep these in mind as you begin writing to avoid major issues at the end.
- Using Jargon
Terms and phrases that are second nature among you and your colleagues may sound like a foreign language to your customers. You need to remember that there is no place for company jargon on your website. If you are going to use acronyms or business terminology, always include a definition.
Jargon makes web content difficult to read. Plus, throwing unfamiliar phrases around can make your clients and prospects feel “dumb”. And that is the last thing you want them to feel when they visit your website! Before you begin writing, identify all of the terms that could be considered jargon and determine how you will define them or what common phrases you can use in their place.
- Writing for Search Engines
While search engine optimization is very important for generating new leads online, it should not be your main focus. At the end of the day, you should be writing your web content for the user, not the search engine. Search engines look for metadata (keywords and page titles), and if you’re so focused on this, you may lose focus of grammar and the human element.
You will need to find a balance between SEO and speaking to the consumer. One way to do this is by writing for the consumer first then revisiting your content to meet certain SEO standards.
- Forgetting Keywords
Although we talked about the importance of speaking to the consumer in point number 2, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the search engines completely. Some writers become so engrossed in what they are writing that they skip over the step of determining and utilizing targeted keywords. If you want to get found for your services in search engines, you will need to identify those keywords and use them strategically in your content.
- Using Inconsistent Voices
Having one person write all of the content for a website can be a lot of work, but sometimes it is much safer than having multiple people write the content. If you do have different department heads that want to be responsible for their own section, that’s fine. You will just need to make sure that one person is in charge of going in and editing with a unified voice. Determine with your stake holders what you would like that voice to sound like and ensure that all content follows that definition.
- Not Consulting a Second Pair of Eyes
One of the worst mistakes a writer can make is not proof-reading their content. When we’re writing quickly, we can make silly grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that often go unnoticed by spell check. Thus, it is important that you proof everything you write.
In addition to proof-reading your own content, you should ask another person to do so as well. No matter how much confidence you have in your writing, we all make mistakes. Mistakes in your website content can really hamper your credibility. Avoid losing prospects over a silly spelling error by always having a second pair of eyes check your work.
Now you’re ready to get started on your website content! Keep these 5 common mistakes in mind as you move forward and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Informatics offers content development services to help you create high-quality, branded content that will boost your SEO. Contact us for more information.