Digital Strategy for Startups - Website Copy Dos and Don’ts
Website Content : Avoid these costly errors
You already know that grammar and spelling errors can mar your online brand presence. As can inconsistency in sticking throughout to either British or American English. But there are other, more damaging errors, the main among which are:
Not focusing on the customer
An example would speak the best:
NO: We are great designers who have fantastic achievements. Our insights will be valuable to your esteemed business.
YES: We have designed sites for reputed enterprises across domains and countries. We leverage this experience to provide you a design that effectively materializes your business vision.
Not describing your services / products accurately
Consider the e commerce site that had to arrange for a reverse pickup and refund costs for an inexpensive earring just because the opaque glass shown in the photo was in reality transparent! A culture of poor copy throughout your content can lead to intense customer dissatisfaction and unforeseen expenditure. Imagine all your progress going to waste because of copy errors!
Not focusing on dynamic content
Brilliant static content on your site, when accompanied by poor quality blogs, press releases, product descriptions etc strongly reinforces reader opinion of you as a poor quality business that fooled people by hiring a great copywriter for a short while. Regular, consistently frequent quality dynamic content tells search engine crawlers that your site is up to date and in circulation. And it will more often be your dynamic content that is shown by search engines.
A common, but legally dangerous error happens when content is high-quality, but plagiarized. As a business owner, all your good work can be unravelled by one unethical writer. Be sure to use plagiarism detecting software, even free ones, and not Google alone. Ensure you give credit for using someone’s idea as a small part of a write up. Using any single source as a major chunk of your write up is plain unethical. It’s better to link to the author’s content if permitted.
Copy that does not target your audience
The final purpose of all copy on your site should be to market your services or to create your brand reputation. Who would decide to buy your services? What is their technical level? Why? Who do you want to think well of you? Why? Making sure your copy is targeted to the 'who' to effectively achieve the 'why'. The following examples will make it clearer:
- Service - Website building
Who decides to buy it? CEO / Manager, Technical knowledge level - High
Why? Increases Revenue / Easy to administer at the backend / Eases up workflow / Fewer delays / Less downtime
- Service - Online degree
Who decides to buy it? High school student / Parents, Technical knowledge level - Mostly low to medium
Why? Knowledge / Interest / Facilitates further studies / Jobs
Thinking high traffic equals good reputation
High traffic does mean high visibility. But two hundred people spending 5 minutes on your site for 6 months is far better for your business than a thousand of them leaving in 50 seconds! Analyse your traffic. While SEO and backlinks are vital for getting footfalls, it is the quality of your copy (and an impressive client list later on) that will ensure good footfall duration.
How to get affordable writers for your startup - Dos and Don'ts
Your primary need is to focus on your core business. You will probably not find time to focus on preventing the errors I’ve mentioned so far. Nor may you be able to hire an established writer as a long-term expense. Eliminate most problems at the initial hiring stage through these tips :
DO: Get great writers who value employer-flexibility over money. On social networking / freelancing groups such as ‘Put Me in Touch’ on Facebook, you may find experienced, quality writers who are working mothers / caretakers of sick people etc. They will often be very responsible, motivated and dedicated. Contact authorities in writing / technical writing institutes and ask them for good students who have to accommodate serious responsibilities. You will get employees who value the benefits more than the money.
DO: Ask for the writer’s blog URL (preferably) or writing samples. Check using a plagiarism checking software, and only then call them for a test / interview. You will save time.
DON’T: Worry if the candidate has little technical knowledge related to your product/service. Test the writer’s ability online/onsite to comprehend and edit a technical document. A fast and confident learner will be able to understand something at least. This will help you save costs.
DO: Give the candidate an onsite / online test to write quality content. Do ensure the video is on to prevent cheating for online tasks. Nowadays, we instinctively refer to the net for everything without really being aware of it. So be explicit in refusing smartphone access during hiring tests.
DON’T: Give the task as homework. You will learn only later if they’ve got the task ghostwritten!
DO: Conduct psychometric tests that can be easily graded through software. This will improve the probability of your writer being someone who can handle feedback, is mature, does not plagiarize and will stick on.
Warning - Great Copy and SEO alone do not increase footfall duration
The best writers, content and SEO will be of no use if your site is not easy to navigate, or your admin cannot work smoothly at the backend, or your site is bug ridden and hangs. Internet visitors are used to opening scores of sites in a mere span a minute. They will get irritated and instantly leave your site should they find it difficult to use. This is why choosing a site building software that works well despite being rapidly set up is so vital.
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