Whether you write content for your website, a blog, posts on social media or any kind of article it’s important to check and check again. Spell checkers are all well and good, but if you’ve got the wrong word spelt correctly it often won’t get picked up. In these digital times, less of us actually rely on our own knowledge to make sure what we have written makes sense and has no grammar or spelling mistakes. We’re so keen to get it published we just hit the post button without checking.
Hopefully these tips will help point you in the right direction.
- First of all, think about who you are writing for. Your target audience makes a big difference to how and what you write. There’s no point sounding like you’ve swallowed a dictionary if your target is children, or vice versa, writing in a too simple style when dealing with professionals.
- Poor grammar and spelling are a real no-no in the business world, regardless of who and what you are writing. It lets you down and possibly tells clients that your attention to details isn’t great. Not knowing your ‘their’ from your ‘they’re’ is a simple mistake that many people make, as well as writing great long sentences with no punctuation. If you read it back and find yourself rushing to get to the end so you can take a breath, it’s time to add some commas and full stops. Personally, I use Grammarly to give an added level of checking, though it’s not infallible and occasionally tries to get me to change words that don’t need changing.
- Try not to ramble on when you’re writing, keep to the point and keep it simple. Many people are put off by long bodies of text with no breaks or images. Add bullet points to break things down and make it more readable, and headings always improve the text and help readers to understand what they’re looking at.
- On the other hand, don’t make your writing too short. Readers want to know they’ve not wasted time reading something that doesn’t tell them anything or doesn’t get to the point. Make sure you’ve covered what is needed and answered any questions so you don’t disappoint.
- Years ago it was acceptable to stuff your text with keywords and phrases so you’d be found by Google, but nowadays it’s all about writing for your readers in a way that makes sense. How many times have you been on an old website that has ‘we sell garage doors in Yorkshire. If you are looking for garage doors in Yorkshire come to the premier seller of garage doors in Yorkshire!’. This is not acceptable now and will get you penalised by Google. So write for humans, not machines.
- If you are writing website content make sure it is unique on each page. Google frowns upon duplicate content and you run the risk of a penalty if you reuse text on different pages. Likewise, don’t just leave your site untouched for months. This tells Google that your business isn’t active and may harm your rankings.
- If you use links within your text, make sure they work properly. If they go to another page on your site ensure they go to the correct page. If they go to another website make sure they open in a new tab so people aren’t being taken away from your site.
I hope you find these tips helpful when writing your next blog, article or post on social media. If you struggle with grammar and spelling, or simply don’t know how to put down the words in your head onto paper, give me a shout. I’m not called the grammar police at work for nothing 🙂