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WEBSITE CONTENT

Is there a Secret to Effective Web Site Content?
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-05-09

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    Is there a Secret to Effective Web Site Content?
    by Charlene Rashkow

    How often have you searched the Internet for information or a serviceonly to
    discover that many of the sites or articles were disappointing? Ofcourse
    that wasn't the intention of the writer but all too often writtencommunication
    on the Internet falls short.

    While we all have the freedom to put as much information on a web site aswe
    please, when presenting copy on the Internet, it's obvious that thematerial
    presented should quickly grab the reader's attention. But overly donecontent,
    poorly constructed verbiage and misleading information doesn't attractthe
    attention of a visitor.

    What Does Attract?

    When writing copy for the Internet keep in mind that you are alwaysselling
    yourself! Whether through a service or a product, consider that your website
    is your tool and can either draw people to your business or send them offto
    another site. You may have the most beautiful site ever created butwithout
    excellent content on your site, it will not reap the fruits of yourlabors.

    People often pay a fortune to have sites created that are overly done
    thinking that the beauty of the site is what sells. In truth all thatextra stuff
    does not attract the masses and in fact can detract from your purpose. What
    sells is good copy.

    The Secrets of Exceptional Web Site Copy!

    Of course a web site should be designed, constructed and presented sothat it
    piques the interest of your target audience, but there's more to it thanjust
    pretty graphics and design. The secret to a successful site stems fromthe
    way you use words to sell yourself.

    #1 Creative Headlines or Slogans
    The number one rule when it comes to selling yourself on the web isopening
    with an enticing headline, one that describes what you do or how you canhelp a
    potential client immediately. It is not enough just to have an opening atthe
    top of your home page, but more important is a good headline that grabs a
    reader's attention. Or better yet, a creative slogan that mirrors yourpurpose
    or goals. You've heard it said many times before that words have power,and
    that never changes. Take advantage of the power of communication byshowing
    potential prospects right off the bat that you're aligned with theirneeds.

    #2 What Attracts Visitors?
    When determining what verbiage to incorporate on your site, be mindful asto
    what attracts you when visiting other sites. Have you noticed that thereare
    words that grab your immediate attention? Notice what inspires you torequest
    information from a site? What emotion is evoked when you visit certainsites?
    Those are the clues that reveal the secrets of good web site content.
    Basically the message you convey should be sincere as a reader connectsmore easily if
    they feel comfortable. The more at ease with your words, the morequickly a
    visitor will choose your services or products over a competitor.

    #3 Descriptive Words or Emotional Content?
    The way you sell speaks volumes about you, therefore send a message that
    says: "My product or service will enhance your life, fill a need and makethings
    better for you and I can prove it." How is that achieved? By makingsure that
    you not only write descriptive words but demonstrate benefits. Thinkabout
    why the visitor is at your site. What does he or she really want? Togain
    access into someone's head, heart or wallet, your words must not onlyevoke
    curiosity but they must appear authentic.

    #4. Simple is Still the Way to Go
    Whatever content you choose for your site, make sure it's easy to read. Most
    experts will agree that content should be understood as easily by a young
    person as it is to an adult. Simplicity is what counts. Too oftenexcessive
    information can be overwhelming. The trick is to say a lot in as fewwords as
    possible. Well-written content makes it easy for visitors to buy yourproducts
    and services. Therefore, spend lots of time writing and rewriting yourcopy.

    #5 What is Your Intention?
    Having a real intention to help others comes through very clearly, aslittle
    else builds as much rapport and confidence as someone who genuinelycares!
    Rather than just selling your services or products, show your interest inyour
    clients by including tips, articles or suggestions that are considereduseful.
    Give something away in your copy and it will come back to you tenfold.

    #6 Make it Somewhat Interactive
    Since your goal is to make sure the content speaks to your audience in a
    manner that invites inquiries, instead of conveying only what you can dofor your
    potential clients, include some pertinent questions in your content thatevoke
    responses. Encourage your visitors to think. Making your contentsomewhat
    interactive engages visitors and pay off in dividends.

    Whether you plan on writing your own copy or hiring a professional tocreate
    or revamp your existing site, stop for a minute and define yourobjectives.
    What message do you want to convey to visitors? How do you wantnewcomers to
    view your service or product? What type of reputation are you trying to
    establish? Look around at other sites in the same industry and see whatappeals to
    you. Essentially, notice what works and then let your own personalityshine
    through in your copy. Overall keep it simple. And although you may notwin over
    every potential client, you can do a great deal to ensure victory byknowing the
    secrets to a well-written site.

    Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing
    Stylist/Consultant to her creative efforts as a freelance writer. She hassuccessfully helped
    companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstandingweb
    site content, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plansand all
    other forms of marketing material. You may contact Charlene at
    www.allyourwritingneeds.com or e-mail her atcharlene@allyourwritingneeds.com. You can also
    call her directly at (310) 514-4844
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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