Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

These days, if we land on the Home page of a business website, we not only want an instant summary of the service or the product/s, we also want it presented in a personalised, eye-catching, well-written nutshell. However, what we’re often faced with is poor grammar and jargon-riddled writing that shows an obvious lack of thought and editing. The ability of a business website to gain immediate interest and to encourage the online visitor or potential customer to ‘read on’ depends heavily on the quality of the content on the landing page. There is usually a short description of what the company is about, but what impresses most is a well-managed, up-to-date blog roll or news stream. This gives the online business a voice and a currency; but the writing needs to be engaging and informative—not an easy task.

The way I see it there are two major mistakes businesses make when they build a website: the essentials of a perfect landing page are often ignored and, once built, the website content is rarely rewritten. Most Home page ‘welcome blurbs’—the attempt to provide the visitor with an overview of the company, the service or the products sold—are so poorly written that a visitor can be ‘turned off’. Today, this personalised ‘welcome’ is being crowded out of the Home page with either a hard sell, or too many graphics and images. A savvy business will probably tweet and is sure to have a Facebook page; a great way to share company news. A really switched on business will blog or run a lively news stream on a regular basis.

bloggerA blog or a ‘Latest News’ stream is a simple, easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing timely and relevant information with customers. This direct communication channel enables a business to sharpen its focus and establish a unique way of ‘talking’ about new products or services, and a means of commenting on news topics or market trends related to the business industry. For example, businesses in the finance sector may gain credence by writing about industry developments and codes of practice, or by promoting ideas and thoughts about developments in their field. This content will not only help increase search traffic but also drive better quality prospects to the website. The website becomes animated and, if the voice is engaging and the writing good, it will promote the business brand. Encouraging comments on a blog post can enliven the process and constructive feedback is always welcomed by progressive businesses. The archive will form a rich bank of material.

The challenge for business owners and CEOs is to find the right blend of content for their ‘audience’ that is inextricably tied to their company’s identity. Everyone in the organisation should have a chance to write something for the blog or to find something appropriate to post as a news topic; once approved by management then it should be edited carefully before posting. Sometimes contracting a freelance writer who will have a fresh outlook on the business is advantageous. In the hands of the business owner eager for new clients or customers, there’s every chance that the content may be overzealous in using business jargon or marketing propaganda. Securing the services of a suitable writer or editor will ensure that the content will be fine-tuned and grammatically correct, and that an appropriate style and tone is maintained.

A high standard of business online writing is paramount in today’s competitive environment. Websites are all about communication—and delivering content that is relevant, well-written and refreshed on a regular basis. Maintaining a lively blog or news feed adds value to a business website. Writing top quality blog posts or articles is not as easy as it sounds; outsourcing the job to an independent professional writer or editor can ensure maximum impact.

Please contact me if you would like an assessment of your business web content, or ideas for enlivening your online articles or newsletters.

 

 

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