First impressions matter…in fact, in the world of online content, absolutely everything matters. Every detail of your site will leave an impression. Every word, every comma, every period; every last, tiny detail of the content you place on your blog or website will have an impression on your visitors, for good or ill. You work too hard to bring visitors to your site to make silly mistakes which might cause them to leave.
Think of it this way. Everyone who visits your site is just looking for a reason to leave, especially if you’re trying to sell them something. Don’t give them one. You can’t afford to.
Online content mistakes that will cost you traffic
There is no excuse for poor spelling in your online content. You have spell check – use it. Then, check your text for contextual errors. Mistakes such as “your” when you mean “you’re,” or “their” when you mean “there,” will make you seem careless to your visitors.
If you’re selling a product or service online, lack of attention to detail on your site will make your prospect skeptical of your ability to take care of the details when they purchase from you. You can’t afford that impression.
Poor punctuation will make you seem lazy to your visitors. Sure, mistakes happen, and most people understand this. However, the online world is an impersonal place. You can’t smile back at your visitor and apologize for your error. If they leave your site due to a misunderstanding, you’ll never get them back. You can’t afford to risk that, no one can.
“She has a pretty big nose,” has a completely different meaning than “She has a pretty, big nose.”
You can’t afford to assume that your visitor will know what you mean when you make mistakes in grammar. Interpersonal communication is a different world from online communication. Don’t assume they’ll “get it,” just because you want them to, or hope they will. Be clear in your message and there will be no mistakes.
The way you construct your posts and other online content should follow a simple pattern: introduction, body, and conclusion. Tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them what you want to tell them; tell what you just told them. You learned this approach to communication in speech class in college; use it in your online content. Why should you do this? Because it works.
Even the online content you don’t create for yourself can have a negative impression on your visitors. Testimonials, comments and responses, advertising, etc., when done poorly, can have a negative impact. Using poorly written testimonials for example, might make your visitor wonder if your product or service is the right one for them. After all, if your satisfied customers are “illiterate,” perhaps your offering is not the right choice for them. Check all of this content and edit it as needed.
Online content is an investment
By now you know that the details of your business do not take care of themselves. The products you offer do not simply appear in your warehouse when you need them and then disappear when sold. The services you offer do not magically transform your client’s lives without your help. The details of running your business, from inventory control to payroll, from marketing to sweeping the floors, do not take care of themselves. Time, effort, and money must be invested in each of these.
So it is with your website or blog. You’ve already invested your time, and perhaps a great deal of money, in getting your site up and running smoothly. Do not waste that investment. Creating online content for your site is also an investment. It must be handled with as much attention to detail as every other aspect of your business. If you do take care of the details when creating online content, whether by yourself or by hiring someone to help you, the rest will take care of itself.
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