Talking about your business like it’s a sparkling playground for the beautiful and bearded, where your clients majestically ride bears and cavort naked under waterfalls that are just the right temperature isn’t easy. The absence of saddled bears and jungle waterfalls might have something to do with it, or you just don’t really know how to talk about things in general. Either way.
You see, what your existing and potential clients read about you – both online and in printed material – will make or break their decision to give you a try. Granted, they might not encounter chiseled, bearded Italians and tanned, classical goddesses when they walk through the doors, but you can at least offer them something a little more than the standard “we offer the best service”. Sure, buddy so does everyone else.
It comes down to giving your clients what they need and what they want. It’s a fine balancing act – which we’ve talked about before – but the world of writing for business and marketing is a strange and terrifying combination of dramatically snow sledding through Siberia but at the same time wondering if the wolves pulling you forward are going to eat you the moment you pull over at the Ultra City.
We mentioned in a previous article that your website is the front door to your business these days, since (according to Google) around half of the people check you out online before deciding to choose you over your competitors. So it would probably come as no surprise then that most of the writing projects we do at Vivant are for website content. We die a little inside whenever a client says, “I already have my own content for my new website, just use it – no, I don’t need it edited!” Yes, you do. You really, REALLY do need it edited, or rewritten entirely. Here’s why:
- Google takes your website content into consideration when looking at what ranking you get on search results pages. They want to see a certain volume of text on each page, certain readability levels, search relevance, clarity, and so on – and when last did you check what those requirements are? Branding agencies know what they are so you don’t have to.
- Keywords will also make all the difference to how high up you rank on search results pages. Inclusion of keywords – and how often they’re included – must be a consideration; otherwise, your chiseled Italian beard-men will turn out to be overweight cretins with the personality of a piece of toast.
- Engaging text is hard to come by these days. A 2015 study by the American National Centre for Biotechnology Information found that the average number of words it takes before someone stops reading a web page is 111 words. So you only have 111 written words at most to capture the attention of the average person out there before they decide whether or not they’re going to continue reading. To give you an idea of how much that is, points one and two on this list are exactly 111 words combined.
- Relevance is what your audience looks for – obviously. If you’re waffling on about the great service you offer and how lovely your staff members are and how your offices are in a great location BEFORE YOU REVEAL THAT YOU SELL THE DUBIOUSLY-ACQUIRED EXOTIC PETS YOUR AUDIENCE IS LOOKING FOR will turn your reader off. Be upfront, be relevant, give your audience what they want and then go on about how lovely your office park is this time of year.
- Perfection is non-negotiable. Your sentence structure, grammar, spelling, even just adherence to acceptable language conventions must be flawless. When you’re looking for somewhere to take Henry VIII’s gilded pocket watch that you acquired at auction for a service, and a business comes up with two spelling mistakes on their website, the precision of their work is immediately cast into doubt. Don’t be like that. Ask a professional to do your website text for you.
There really are decent content writers and editors out there who have the knowledge and expertise to make your content shine in much the same way a marshmallow doesn’t. Pick up the phone, type out an email, send a noble announcer, whatever – just get in contact with a good branding agency that can help get you out there and make you irresistible.