Thursday, March 14, 2013

Write your way to a better website

(Photo courtesy morgueFile)
What do people want from your website? No matter what you're trying to communicate, the right words can get you there.

No matter who is your users are, the key to effectively communicating with users is simple: make sure that your website answer questions and meets needs.

This starts with strategically planning content that is smart and strategic and written in a voice with a tone that matches your brand.

Focus content.

When a user comes to your website, they don't want to hunt for the content they need. No user is happy when their web browsing turns into a game reminiscent of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? or Clue. Users are depending on your website for information, enlightenment, entertainment, and/or guidance. Focus content to help them meet their goal.

Chances are that your users aren't stupid; however, they are likely very busy. Respect people's time. As you're writing, follow the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) philosophy to focus your content. When you keep the writing simple, you'll make it easy on your users. Remember:
  • Plan your content. 
  • Think about content as a conversation. 
  • Label your links accurately.
  • Make your content scannable; add subheads and bulleted lists when useful.
  • Less is more. Keep to the point.
By using the right words presented in the right place, you'll meet your users' needs.

Determine tone of voice.

Voice and tone are critical in shaping the success of those experiences, for both you and the audience. Clarity is critical. Remember:
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Use the simplest word that works for the meaning.
  • Write accurate and helpful titles.
Aim for consistency in your voice and tone across your website's content. This consistency will help users know that they are in the right place. Writing with a consistent voice and tone builds trust and rapport, and ultimately, better relationships with users. Don't forget that you're writing content for people, not robots.

Does your website content need a tune-up? TBH Creative specializes in website writing and editing for organizations and businesses. We'll help you write your way to a better website. Let's get started.
Joy

About the author | J.O. Miller

Joy is the creative director at TBH Creative and helps companies use their online communications to build, design, and manage their brands. She likes to blog about latest trends, social media, conferences, and share tools.

View more posts by Joy
 

Subscribe to this blog