06 Oct 2011

Back to Basics: Clean, Correct Website Text Reflects Well on Your Company

The number of online tools available for companies to promote their brands and target search engines is proliferating as the Internet in general, and social media in particular, become a more and more important part of people's everyday lives. But even the most cutting-edge 21st century electronic marketing tools rely on another fundamental tool that's thousands of years old – the written word.

No matter how replete a website is with eye-catching graphics, interesting pictures or engaging video, written language always has some place in communicating your business' marketing message. Having poor-quality text on your website sends the wrong signal to visitors, and can effectively negate the care and effort you may have put into all of the other elements of your site. Sloppy writing that's ridden with typographical errors and poor grammar always creates an impression of carelessness. That in turn acts as a red flag to readers that perhaps the same sloppiness carries over into a company's day-to-day business operations and affects the quality of its products or services.

Avoiding the most obvious text writing pitfalls will go a long way toward keeping your web content clean and your company's online image correspondingly positive:

Misspellings – Spelling mistakes are almost inexcusable given the availability of spell-check programs. “Almost” because spell-check programs themselves aren't perfect and text always needs to be double-checked by a competent writer. In addition to looking bad, misspellings can actually foil attempts at SEO. A few bad spellers might type in a search for something like “liscensed plummers,” but not many.

Bad grammar – Grammar problems are trickier to eliminate than misspellings, and even less amenable to correction by computer programs. This is another language problem that's best prevented or corrected by a skilled writer.

Improper punctuation – Punctuation marks may be small, but they're not trivial. Mixing up the variations of words like it's and its or they're and their can easily change the meaning of a sentence. Again, spell- and grammar-check programs won't always pick up on these errors.

Improper (or unnecessary) capitalization – As one book on writing puts it, “our language is not German,” referring to the only Language in which Writers use a capital Letter for every Noun in every Sentence. An even worse practice is capitalizing Every Important Word or even combining every available typographical device to Make Sure the Reader Knows This Is Important! The rules aren't any different because the writing is for the Internet. Some creative rule-breaking may work in marketing and advertising writing, but it can also quickly turn into chaotic overkill.

CyberMark International has professional SEO copywriters on staff who specialize in creating compelling, search-optimized content for websites, or who can clean up and improve the existing text on your company's website. Check out all of CyberMark's services at https://www.cybermarkintl.com/ or call for a free consultation or price quote.

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