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Beauty Tips for Editing Your Website


Did you know that most first-time visitors to any website arrive trigger-happy to move on?  It’s an internet fact of life that time is of the essence and capturing your visitor’s attention—right away—is the only way to hope to entice them to stay long enough for you to sell your products or services.

 

This is where superb editing comes into play.  Your visitor may have arrived at your site from any number of different inbound links, so he or she may not have a lot of knowledge about your site and its content.  For this reason, you must make certain that you use clear, prominent page titles which will easily telegraph what each page is, and therefore why it’s important to your visitor.

You must also ensure that each paragraph contains only one main idea.  The reason for this is that a second idea placed lower in the same block of text will probably be missed as the reader skips down to scan the leading text of the subsequent paragraph.  They’re all in a hurry, remember?

Careful copy writing and editing will keep your pages short and allow them to be absorbed in small, bite-sized pieces that correspond to a web reader's attention span.  Evidence shows that significantly shorter text produces higher recall and retention of the information—and leads to greater sales. 

Your page content should only contain important information for its topic and level of detail.  Move longer, supporting text to other pages, and insert links for the reader whose interest you have captured.

 

There is, however, one notable exception to this general “shorter-is-better” guideline.  A few (typically single-product) websites contain very long, what’s called “direct-response” marketing text that has been proven time and again to significantly outperform shorter versions.

The beauty of this approach lies in quickly drawing the reader in and spinning such a fascinating narrative that the reader becomes compelled to continue reading to learn more—often times spending a great deal of time on one long whale of a page. 

The “point of no return” is reached when the visitor’s attention and investment in time spent reading builds to such a point that he or she is moved to make the purchase.   

Keep Your Writing Simple

 

Most web readers respond negatively to obvious over-the-top promotional writing.  It’s easily identifiable and usually involves a lot of boasting and unsubstantiated claims.  Ever heard of a company being the "world's leading provider of ________”?  Of course you have.  In fact, a recent Google search returned over 8 million matching results for this very phrase! 

This type of hype requires your visitors to work just to ignore the bombast—and this effort on their part to ignore parts of your message drains their energy and attention, forcing them to waste time separating the important content from the fluff. 

So, work?  No thank you.  This is not why they came to you, so don’t make them do it!  Top-notch writing and editing can help you avoid the mistake of obvious hype by doing the following simple things:

  • Focus on your audience’s needs.
  • Supply only objective information.
  • Use adjectives very selectively.

 

For the sake of pleasing and retaining your visitors, edit out the BS factor—and the aggravation that goes with it—and make your copywriting entirely visitor-centric.  Here are some basic beauty tips for how to do it:

 

Write Factually

This is really stripped-down writing.  It’s straightforward, no “promo,” no fluff, no boasting-allowed text.  “Just the facts, M’am.”  Writing this way goes against the “marketing” grain as we have all come to know it. 

Initially, writing factually takes a little work.  It’s a different mindset for sure than just writing hype and using hyperbole.  In fact, it can be difficult to stop making promo statements.  But keep at it—you can do it if you just keep your mission-critical objectives in mind—and a tight rein on your editing.

Your mindset has to be:  Your visitor has come to you to deal with a specific need or problem they have—they are not looking to be marketed to in an obvious manner.  So don’t do it!

Write Precisely


It is crucial that everything you write be crystal clear.  Since the internet is global, your audience can bring a variety of cultural backgrounds to their interpretation of your language.  So, be aware of this so that you can take care in choosing your words. 

Avoid using puns, local or colloquial expressions, insider-type jokes, or anything political or too current-event oriented.  These can leave people mystified or even angry—so they’re generally best avoided.

 

Edit Concisely

The best way to craft your language is to think in terms of making every word count.  If your language doesn’t support your objectives—that is, if it’s not clearly mission-critical (designed precisely to meet your objectives)—change the wording until it is.   Again, tight editing required!

Ask yourself at every juncture, “What is really necessary here?  Do I absolutely have to say this right here, or can I put it somewhere else—or leave it out?"  Making your communication concise has two wonderful advantages that amount to real pay-offs for you.  They’re both going to be pretty obvious to you by now, but here they are:

 

Your visitors—hopefully soon to be your customers—are able to grasp your information more quickly—and the recall of that information is enhanced when there’s less of it to have to commit to memory.

The time your visitors have to spend reading your content has been shortened for them, so they’re much less likely to experience impatience and frustration—in fact, just the opposite occurs.  They will feel validation and an increasing affinity with your site.  This is what leads to sales—and it’s all about tight editing and carefully-constructed copy writing.



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