Now that we’ve examined the “three Cs” – be clear, concise, and compelling – it is easy to see where they come into play when writing web content. But good content also needs to be styled, in form and function.
This week, I’ll take a look at five guidelines for web writing and corresponding examples on how a focus on the right kind of language can improve existing content.
1. Focus on powerful ideas
Think like a journalist and don’t bury the lead. Consumers are looking for what sets a company apart, so focusing on your goals and the ideas that drive you will show confidence.
- Before: “For over five years, our company has been bringing together directors of some of the largest corporations…”
- After: “The power to increase trust in capital markets lies with corporate directors. Our company brings leaders together…”
2. Emphasize impact
Concentrate on concrete examples of your work that highlight progress.
- Before: “We bring together a premier group of leaders who are committed to addressing the goals of improving patient health outcomes as well as the climate for innovation within the constraints of pressures to control healthcare costs.”
- After: “Improving patient outcomes. Encouraging healthcare innovation. Containing costs. Through our company, healthcare leaders are working together to address some to the most pressing societal issues of our time.”
3. Use active voice, not passive
Using active voice creates more power in the text, as it grants the reader the feeling of action. It generates immediacy, a sense of now, and positions you as an active leader in your field.
- Before: “Over 200 directors from Fortune 500 and equivalent companies have participated in private meetings…”
- After: “We produce private meetings that bring together more than 200 directors from Fortune 500 companies…”
4. Avoid language with an expiration date
If it’s absolutely necessary to include timeline information, be sure to make it a concrete start or end point instead of using vague language.
- Before: “Over the past few years, our company has built…”
- After: “Since launching in 2001, our company has built…”
5. Avoid overused words
Remember your motivation and stay on track with your marketing. Using “popular” or overused terms will do nothing but bog down content and hinder your messaging. It also can come across as amateur and lazy.
- Before: “Our premier company provides unique insight and exclusive solutions…”
- After: “Our networking services will…”
These examples are born out of the “three Cs,” and will help you to create focused content that is accessible to the reader, whose attention you only have seconds to capture. Stay posted for the next part of the series, where I’ll dive into how to target your web writing to a specific audience.