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
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
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
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
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
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:
This is really stripped-down writing.
It’s straightforward, no “promo,” no fluff, no
“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
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!
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.
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
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.
Denver Business Editor | Boulder Business Editor