Sky-Bolt Logo

Where great ideas come
out of the blue

Sky-Bolt Article Page

More Articles    Home    More information   Contact Us

Sky bar

Front Door to your business is the worldDoes your website make 
the  best  first impression? 
It's the front door to your business.
By Ginny Stibolt 

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 course?

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 the apostrophe:

  • Its and it’s – “Its” is the possessive for a non-person.  “It’s” is the contraction for "it is".

  • 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 person.   “They’re” 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.

Top of page

Sky bar

Where great ideas come out of the blue.

Home  More Information   Articles   Contact Us

© Sky-Bolt Enterprises 2001-2014