This is probably the one billionth blog post on website content. Give or take two hundred million or so articles. So what makes this web content different? Unlike most, this post will not tell you what to do when creating web content. Instead, it will tell you what not to do. By knowing what not to do, you’ll avoid making basic mistakes – and your website content won’t let you down.
Don’t start with a whimper
Never treat your homepage like any other page. This is where you introduce yourself to the world and is not the time to greet all those people with the equivalent of a limp, clammy handshake. You have just seconds to make an impression. Make it a good one with catchy headlines, well written introductory copy and eye-catching visuals, like a well-produced introductory video.
Don’t be too clever
No one likes a smarty pants. Big words that the average thesaurus hasn’t even heard of might look impressive to you, but not to the poor people who have to read your content. Your average reader will only stop and look up the meanings of little-used words up to a certain point; after that they’ll quit your site altogether. Keep written content simple so that everyone understands what you’re on about.
Don’t be too fancy
Same goes for the visual components of your website. Fantastic graphics and introductory videos add an exciting edge to your website – but when the visuals overshadow your information-laden written website content, then you’ve gone too far. Visuals should complement, not distract. Avoid the temptation to throw in another fancy visual trick just because you can.
Don’t be rude
Ignoring your audience is one of the worst things you can do when compiling website content. If you make the content all about yourself, without acknowledging the wants and needs of your readers, then you’re guilty of first degree ignorance. And nobody likes being ignored. Don’t just tell your readers how good you are – tell them how good you can be for them.
Don’t be irrelevant
Irrelevance leads to confusion, as your reader loses focus on what your website is actually about. It’s easy to get off track and meander into areas that have nothing to do with the primary topic. To stop this happening, regularly check your website content and make sure it is all relevant to the original concept AND your readers. Check that the funny story you’re dying to tell actually ties in with the rest of your written copy. Check your visual elements too. Don’t use that nice picture or entertaining video if it is not relevant to the rest of your website content.
Don’t be unprofessional
Never go online without checking your website content for spelling and grammatical errors. One small mistake can be more memorable than all the really good things on your website – people remember errors, and are distracted by them. Checking your spelling and grammar is the right, and professional, thing to do.
Your website is competing against thousands, maybe even millions of other sites. Having great content within your website will help lift it above the pack. Hopefully, all this “don’t” business will have that positive effect!
Tell us what you think. What other website content is a “don’t” for you? Leave us a comment below.
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