More and more people these days are opting to manage their own business websites. There are plenty of good reasons to do this; you save money, have a more hands on approach and you know more about your own business than anyone else.
Whether you’re updating site content, writing a regular blog or even doing your own SEO work, there are a number of content mistakes people tend to make that could be avoided quite easily. Take note of these simple fixes and you’ll be able to avoid the little mistakes that get in the way of creating easy to read content.
1. Use a Word Program with Spellcheck
No one expects a website to be a source of award winning literature. Visitors to your site are just expecting easy to read content that clearly explains what you have to offer. While you may explain this well, spelling and grammatical errors take away from your credibility as a business. People may wonder “how can they be expected to do their job properly if they make mistakes on their own web page?”
A simple solution to this is to write your content in a word document that has a decent spell check. Any problems with your spelling or grammar will be underlined so you can review the suggestions spell check offers, and fix the mistake. Many of these checks will even take note of the wrong word used even if it is spelt correctly, such as there, their and they’re. Once you’ve checked for mistakes you can copy and paste what you’ve written back into your Content Management System.
2. Check for American Spelling
When using a word document to check your spelling it’s important to make sure your spell check is set to the correct English for where you are. Most computers use US English as the default language, which can cause you to misspell words like organization, specialize, center, meter, defense and license to name a few from a long list.
For content on Australian sites, use UK or British English for your spell checks. You don’t want possible customers to think they’ve stumbled onto a foreign site and leave straight away.
3. Don’t over-stuff with Keywords
Anyone who has done any SEO research will understand the use of commonly searched Keywords can help to boost your site’s rankings in search engines. Unfortunately this has led to ‘Keyword Stuffing’ on many sites. While it’s great to have keywords on your site, content that’s heavily laden with these terms can become rather impractical:
“If you need Gold Coast Carpets there is a huge range of Gold Coast Carpets at our Gold Coast Carpets superstore – just talk to one of our Gold Coast Carpets experts today.”
This kind of thing just looks spammy and doesn’t really tell the reader anything other than what the site wants to rank for. Use keywords where they fit, not everywhere you can stuff them. The easiest way to find out if you’ve gone too far is to read your content out loud. If you feel like a parrot you might want to cut a few keywords out. Your site has to help visitors find out about your business as well as rank well.
4. Break it up into Bite Size Bits
A lot of the time when people are doing a web search they’re in a bit of a hurry, or at least they think they are. If you have whole lot of content on your page it can look pretty daunting at first, and may lead to visitors leaving your site without reading any of it.
Break your content up into snippets of information. Have a new paragraph or heading for each topic and sub-topic so it doesn’t appear as though it was written by Leo Tolstoy. Visitors will be more willing to read a short paragraph to decide if they want to read the next one.
5. Use Bullet Points
Spending a couple of paragraphs talking about all the services you offer may deliver all the information, but it’s a bit much to read and hard to skim. Where possible, lists are a great way to break up information and present it quickly.
If you offer a range of services and products and a visitor to your site is searching for just one of these, they’ll be able to see it in a bullet point at a glance, as opposed to skimming through four paragraphs to get to the one thing they really wanted.
So there you have it – 5 simple fixes for really common content mistakes. What it all really comes down to is making things easier for the visitor to your site. They shouldn’t have to sift through wads of information about what your company was doing as a side project in 1995, nor should they notice little mistakes all over the place.
You want them to notice who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them. By making sure your content is written well, without errors and is clearly set out, you can reduce your bounce rate and get far more conversions.