Do you wrangle with writing content for your business? Whether you’re writing a small business blog or penning posts on Facebook, you could be one of the many professionals who would rather lose a toenail than start clicking on the keyboard. But the fact is that the written word is a necessary part of doing business in a world that’s increasingly virtual. Check out these 4 do’s and don’ts for making web writing for small business less painful:
- Don’t write an essay. Is my thesis in the right spot? Have I used the thesaurus to insert as many 6-syllable words as possible? These were the kinds of conundrums that kept many of us up late into the night (in my case, plugged into a Walkman). But web writing for small businesses is not about writing a 5-paragraph essay. Keep writing clear, paragraphs short, and, for heaven’s sake, toss out the thesaurus.
- Do write for human beings. We’ve all visited one of these sites: a well-meaning small business owner reads an article or two about the power of using keywords—and then goes crazy loco inserting them into web page or blog content. Using keywords as part of SEO is important but, ultimately, too many keywords will send a visitor clicking away to a competitor’s site. Keyword use is like eating ice cream: a little goes a long way. (Okay, at least theoretically a little ice cream goes a long way! You get the point…) For friendly reading, keep keyword density under 5%.
- Don’t bore customers away. Long blocks of text is actually web-speak for bye-bye visitor. The web is a place to get information—the fast and dirty kind (no, not that kind of dirty!). Consumers and buyers want their info in easy-to-scan bites. When writing web content for small businesses, use visual cues to break up the page. Think bullet points, numbered lists, and sub-headings.
- Do be yourself. When you’re writing a small business blog or posting an update on a social network, it’s tempting to mold yourself in the image of a competitor or an industry expert. But, ultimately, your value lies in your own experiences and personality. So write the same way you would speak to a long-time customer or a friendly business colleague.
As a busy small business owner or decision maker, you may not have the time (or desire) to tackle writing web content—but the web is often the first touch point for consumers ready to make a purchase decision. Don’t push those people to a competitor by populating your site or social media outposts with stuffy, long content. Now get out there and start writing the content that gets customers clicking!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.