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Make it clear what you do

What does your business do? Would I be able to answer that question after reading your website or brochure?

You may be surprised that many businesses do not clearly state what they don on their website. Some just assume everyone knows, others try to be clever and use fancy words and others appear to like being mysterious and/or aloof. And that’s not counting those sites that try to tease and get your details before they really disclose anything – I just can’t trust that sort of site.

Why do I think it is important to be clear about what you do?

  • make life easy for your potential clients – clarity saves them guessing or searching for the information
  • using the appropriate words (i.e. keywords) will help search engines find and rank you
  • save yourself being contacted by people who are after something you don’t offer
  • it builds credibility – you are open and honest rather than trying to be impressive

Some people argue that effectively hiding information throughout the site means people have to read more pages to find their answers (for example the home page, about us page and services page to find out if you offer what hey want). My answer to that is that many people won’t  bother and will look elsewhere, and even if they do, is wasting a client’s time showing them much respect or valuing them at all?

So how can you make this clear?

  • add an informative tagline to every page of your site
  • make it the first sentence on your site for real clarity
  • use commonly accepted words to describe your services at least once – if you use unusual terms by choice, perhaps simplify it on your about us page
  • have a list of your services if there could be doubts. For instance, a beautician might list she offers waxing, facials and manicures but not pedicures and a legal firm might list they do contracts, employment agreements, family law and business advice (the implication being they don’t do criminal law)
  • note who you service. My tagline is ‘for all your business writing needs’ which clearly shows I write for businesses rather than writing fiction or being a journalist
  • be specific “we help people” doesn’t say much but “we help homeowners prepare for sale” and “we help families care for their elderly loved ones” are much more informative (to humans and search engines)

So maybe look at your materials again and think about whether you are clearly stating what you do.

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