your website make
the best first impression?
It's the front door to
By Ginny Stibolt www.sky-bolt.com
Just think how many people will see your site from
all over the world–what a fabulous opportunity. This
is the first of a series of articles on web
content to remind you of steps you may take to make the
most of your website.
Launching a website is only the beginning of a long-term project. If you
are going to make the best use of this great resource, you must follow
through with regular updates. I recently did an informal survey of several Baltimore area business
websites and found at least four that are still posting that they are
ready for Y2K! in 2001!
Rule #1: Make sure that your site is updated regularly.
Assign someone in your company to have this responsibility –
once your page is published, your web providers should provide you
with training on how to access your pages.
Regularly scheduled updates are important because they:
make sure old references (like Y2K) are replaced.
provide news about what is happening in your company.
show that your company is paying attention to the details.
provide reasons for prospects and clients to come back to use your website as a resource.
Rule #2: Make sure your website visitor can easily find important
information about your business.
This is accomplished on several fronts:
Make sure your navigation
is easy. No guessing and no surprises.
Highlight your benefits.
The visitor needs to know, “What’s in it for me?” A list of features, no matter how detailed, is
not the same as the benefits.
Reduce the details on your
page for ease of use, but make it easy for your visitor to request more information.
And of course, you’ll then have the contact information for
people who are interested in your products or services.
Rule #3: Fix your language.
Grammatical and spelling errors make your company look careless. Even though
errors are rampant on the Internet, prospects may still hesitate to do
business with you if your website has blatant errors.
I looked at a site for a local technical training company–there were dozens of errors,
un-sized large graphics, and many poorly constructed paragraphs.
Would you pay thousands of dollars to take their web design
There are dozens of websites and other resources to help you
with grammar. (As a math major I don’t pretend to be an English
know-it-all, but I have taught technical writing at the college
level.) It is my belief that most of the time people know the correct usage, but just don’t
bother to double check the grammar. You certainly should use the spelling and grammar checkers when composing
text for your website, but this is only a start. You must check and recheck.
Some of the most common errors I’ve noticed have to do with the misuse of
Its and it’s – “Its”
is the possessive for a non-person. “It’s”
is the contraction for "it
Your and you’re – “Your”
is possessive – belonging to you. “You’re”
is a contraction for "you are."
Their, they’re and there
– “Their” is possessive for a group of people: it is quite often
used instead of his or her when referring to one
is the contraction for they are.
“There” refers to a place that is not here.
Business’s and businesses
– “Business’s ” is the possessive for a single business.
“Businesses” is the plural: “Businesses’ ” would be
the possessive for more than one business.
This holds true for many other words that end with an "s" as well
according to Strunk & White's Elements of Style.
© Ginny Stibolt (You may not repost this article, but you may
quote parts of it with a link back to this page.)
This was the first of a series of articles on web content for Digital Harbor On-line
in 2001 and updated in 2014.
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