Why Bother with a Website If You Have Good Word-of-Mouth?

November 12th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

I know a small business owner, a specialist in computer repair and Internet security, who doesn’t have a website. Ironic, he admits, to be in the business of helping others have safe and effective communication online while lacking an on-line presence. But he does great work and has an excellent network of person-to-person referrals, and he’s been very busy.

The problem is this: Last year, someone across the globe pushed a scam over the Internet using the name of his company. If a potential customer looks up his business online, the first thing they find is the thread of warnings about the scam. You have to know him and type in his name to get to the real information about his business on his LinkedIn profile. Last time we spoke, he was planning to create his own website, but I have yet to see one.

Maintain Control of Your Message

Now, just because you don’t have a website for your business doesn’t mean you’ll end up with this kind of dilemma about your good name. But the point is, just about everyone checks you out online these days before they try to contact you to do business. And you want to be sure to have the upper hand in controlling what they read about you when they do.

According to Google, 97 percent of consumers go online to find local businesses. So if you’re relying on word-of-mouth for your business, like my friend, chances are you have a clientele that is primarily local and possibly regional. If people hear about you from trusted sources, they may call, but they probably will look you up, too. If they don’t find you online, this is what can happen:

  • They won’t fully understand your work and the range of options you offer for helping them solve the problem that’s brought them to you in the first place.
  • They may make assumptions about your qualifications that aren’t true.
  • They may make assumptions about your pricing that aren’t true.
  • They may wonder if you take your work seriously.

At the least, answering any of these questions or doubts can cost you time, having to explain yourself and your work in detail whenever you get an inquiry. At most, your lack of a web presence can cost you more business.

Expand Your Referral Network

While it’s wonderful to have a strong word-of-mouth network, you expand your odds of getting more business through your website. As any solopreneur soon learns, there are unpredictable cycles of feast or famine. If you’re just relying on a local personal network for business, you can find yourself without work at the most inopportune moment. Building a strong referral network online begins with a solid web presence that is your main reference point.

Clarify What You Do and Why

One of the great benefits of creating a website for your business is that it forces you to clarify for yourself what you do, the value of your work and why you do it. You may already have good answers for all of the above, but until you sit down to put it into words, you won’t realize what you’re missing from your pitch and how you could make it better.

Simply put, even if you have a strong personal referral network, a professional website that presents you and your great work in a way that resonates with those you hope to reach is well worth the time and investment to ensure you that you’ll continue to have all the business you need.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

When NOT to Promote Yourself

November 5th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

There is a time to speak and a time to listen. This past week, when Superstorm Sandy plowed into the East Coast, it was a time to pay attention, seek shelter and offer genuine help. But not a time to promote your brand.

American Apparel and The Gap learned that lesson the hard way. American Apparel was roundly criticized for launching a 36-hour Hurricane Sandy Sale, and Gap got an equally well-deserved trouncing for encouraging those who might be bored during the storm to shop online. Both received an outpouring of angry social media push-back. With so many suffering from the disaster, the pitches were justly recognized as tasteless and completely inappropriate.

Sears was chastised, too, for pushing generators and cleaning products via its Twitter feed in the storm’s aftermath. Even if people were looking for these items, the promotion appeared self-serving. Which, of course, it was.

Other businesses demonstrated thoughtful restraint or offered genuine assistance. Chevrolet donated 50 trucks and vans to search and rescue efforts. The Citi Foundation, which gives $500,000 annually to the American Red Cross, donated $1,000,000 for Sandy disaster relief. Sure, these moves helped burnish brand image. But they were tangible gifts of much-needed resources.

So, what’s the best, most humane approach to marketing your brand under such circumstances? Two rules make sense:

  1. Put yourself in the shoes of the people affected by the disaster. What information would be truly helpful to them that’s relevant to your work? Can you be of genuine assistance in some way, or will your offer appear to be simply self-serving or making light of the true suffering involved?
  2. If your business is located within the disaster zone, sincere words of support and comfort are appropriate (emphasis on sincere), as well as any updates about what’s happened to your business, when you expect to be available again for your customers and how to contact you.

For thoughtful commentary on the subject, see:

Nick Cicero: Is There a Right Way to Respond On Social Media After a Hurricane? on Social Fresh

Michael Sebastian: After Sandy, Lessons Emerge for Corporate Communicators on PR Daily.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

Just Be Civil

October 29th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

As we hurtle through the final weeks of the Presidential campaigns, language has reached a new low. All you have to do is check out Twitter for the two candidates to see how people fling gratuitous lies and innuendos with the speed of data transmission—or check your junk mail or political ads on TV, if you can actually sit there and watch. I can’t.

As a professional writer and marketing consultant, I care a lot about language—using well-chosen words to tell the truth about people, products and services that I believe in. I’m tired, to say the least, of all the campaign cheap shots, insults, curses and outright lies that are being published without any editorial filters.

So I was very gratified to read Sonia Simon’s thoughtful post on Copyblogger this week, The Civility Manifesto: A Call to Action (Your Input Needed). Read the post. Take it seriously. And think carefully next time, before you hit Send.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

What Goes Where on Your Home Page?

October 15th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

There’s a lot of important information to include on your home page: your brand, site navigation, search, email sign-ups, main content, links to social media, your blog roll if you have one, testimonials and other social proof of the quality of your work. The list can go on and on.

So, how do you know what goes where?

A good place to start is with a proven template. I’m a big fan of StudioPress, if you’re on a budget and can’t afford a custom design. These templates include the underlying Genesis framework, which takes WordPress one step better and protects your site from hacking—a liability of WordPress open-source code. With the help of a good web developer, you can customize the templates to your own taste. But the basic structure provides a sound foundation.

Whether you choose an existing template or work with a designer, here are six key points to keep in mind for home page design:

  1. Place your brand in the upper left corner, unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. Users tend to look at the center of the page first, then the upper left corner. Web usability studies that measure eye tracking show we spend a fraction of a second glancing at the middle of the page, then move to the upper left. This has a lot to do with what we’re accustomed to finding: a logo in the upper left that identifies the site. There are other viable options for logo placement, as long as your brand is easy to spot at the top. Some web designs are now using full banner headings, like a newspaper. On my own site, my logo stands out from a clear field of white across the top of the page.
  2. Put the most important information at the top. Users look for a hierarchy of information, going from top to bottom. This just makes sense. When a page loads, you see the section “above the fold” first—the top chunk of the webpage, just like the top half of a folded newspaper. So decide what’s most important and be sure that’s at the top of your homepage. Use consistent styling of headlines and subheads to help users determine priorities.
  3. Place navigation in a horizontal bar across the top of the page. In the past, many websites vertically stacked the nav bar in the left-hand margin, but this set-up is not as flexible as a horizontal navigation with drop-down tabs. Whatever you do, never use vertical navigation with sub-navigation that shoots sideways across the web page. It’s clunky, blocks important content and is just plain confusing.
  4. Explain what your site is all about, front and center. When visitors come to your site, they want to know, within a few seconds, what it’s about, whether it’s what they’re looking for and what’s in it for them. Don’t make them search for this information. Key messaging, with informative, skim-friendly headlines and subheads, should make up the bulk of your homepage above the fold.
  5. Use compelling graphics, but don’t overuse them so they compete for attention. Just as you establish a hierarchy of text with headings and subheads, do the same with images. Your most important graphic should be the largest. Other supporting pictures or icons should have some uniformity of size and placement so the user intuitively understands their relationship to the text and relative importance.
  6. Place supporting content and links in a side column or in multiple columns below the fold. How you do this depends on the template you’re using. Again, however, think in terms of priorities. What do you want the user to see first? second? third? That’s the order of placement. If everything you want to include seems equally important, take a step back and rethink your priorities. Who is your ideal client and what’s most important to her? For example, do your latest blog posts establish your expertise, or would your visitor rather see testimonials from clients about your work? Put yourself in her shoes to determine your hierarchy on the page.

For more about good home page design, check out these links:

6 Design Tips That Will Have Your Audience Licking Their Screens—Copyblogger

Design 101| 7 typographic Resources, and 1 Type Joke—Big Brand System

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content—Jakob Nielson’s Alertbox

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

A Tale of Two Best Buys: Why Great Customer Service is Worth More Than Gizmos

October 8th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

Last week I went through the onerous process of switching our family phone plan from one major carrier to another and upgrading all of us to smart phones. With one daughter living overseas, it’s the best and least expensive way for us all to stay in touch. Yes, we’re late adapters, because, until now, we’ve been avoiding the extra monthly costs of a data sharing plan. But, here we.

What I knew would probably take a few hours ended up taking eight over the course of three days, beginning with a hunt for three iPhone4’s (no, not 4S’s), because they are now free with data plans. Little did I know what lay ahead.

Day One: The Phone Number Typo
The first obstacle was locating the phones. Our new carrier, ATT, had used up their inventory in local corporate stores, so I went to the nearest Best Buy. The store had a recent shipment, so we set to work with all the necessary paperwork. But then it was time to port over our numbers from Verizon. Both my husband’s and my phone number ported over with one incorrect digit.

It took an hour-and-a-half for this to get fixed. By the time we left the store, it was 10:30 p.m. To the staff’s credit, however, three members of the mobile phone team worked their tails off to straighten out a problem not of their making. It turns out that the numbers are keyed in by hand by the carrier, which seems pretty odd, but nonetheless, therein lies room for human error. Throughout, the staff were friendly, explaining what was going on as we waited and waited and waited.

Day Two: The Mics that Wouldn’t Work
Finally, we got home with our new phones and had a very late supper. The next day, I was running behind to meet a friend and made my first call. My friend picked up and I started talking. But he could barely hear me. When we met, we determined that the phone worked on speaker, but something was wrong with the mic. I called my husband to check his phone—same problem. So I called Best Buy and was told to come on back and they would make an exchange.

For the second evening in a row, I waited my turn and then sat down with one of the reps who had been on the scene the night before. She cheerfully pulled out a couple more phones and switched SIM cards. We tested them once, and all seemed okay. But then, after she had finished putting them in their new Otter Box cases, we tried once more. Not good. We couldn’t hear each other talking. It appeared that the entire lot of iPhone 4′s was faulty.

Now what? The sales rep located more at another Best Buy about 15 minutes away, called the store for me, and I took off once again, arriving about an hour before they closed.

Day Three: The Case of the Case
Here’s where the experience got ever more frustrating. While the staff at the second Best Buy were efficient and did a good job of switching everything over, testing the phones with me and adding the third line that we needed, when it came to putting the phones in their cases, the sales rep would not attach the plastic screen cover that is part of the case. When I asked why, she said, “Oh, we charge for that.”

I was dumbfounded. I had spent, by this time, nearly seven hours trying to get this whole situation rectified. It was late. I was exhausted. But no one at this store seemed to care. The senior sales rep repeated store policy and supposedly even checked with his manager. But, nope, not going to budge. I collected everything and went home.

And so, I went back to the first Best Buy the next day. There was no question with this team. Of course they would help me. I have issues with my hands and can’t do it myself, but even if that weren’t the case, this group had a totally different ethic about customer service.

You can be certain, if I need to go to Best Buy again for mobile support or equipment, I will go to the first store. Both have the same inventory and service plans. But this one has people who go the extra mile for their customers in what is often an incredibly frustrating experience. And that is worth a lot more than any of the latest gizmos and gadgets.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

Seven Ways to Repeat Your Message and Get Noticed

October 1st, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

There’s a golden rule in public speaking:

Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them.

Tell them.

Then tell them what you told them.

When it comes to delivering a memorable message, repetition is key. With so much information battering us for attention every second—from emails, texts, tweets, social network posts; on our smart phones, radio, TV; not to mention from live beings in our midst—it’s amazing that we can remember anything at all.

The Rule of Seven
So how many times do you need to repeat your marketing message for your ideal customer to pay attention, remember and follow your call-to-action?

The annoying answer is—it depends. If you’re an expert in a small but clearly defined niche, you may have a dedicated following who just need to hear your advice once to take action.

But if you’re competing in a crowded marketplace, you need to repeat and repeat and repeat. Some marketing pros cite the Rule of Seven—a minimum of seven times to repeat your message in order to be noticed. It’s probably no coincidence that seven is the average number of bits of information that we can hold in our short-term, conscious memory.

Vary the Medium to Develop Your Message
This doesn’t mean you need to repeat the exact same message in the exact same format, over and over. In fact, it helps if you promote your message with some variety, so your ideal client doesn’t yawn and move on because she’s heard it already. There’s a balance to be struck between reinforcing your message and annoying the people you’re trying to convince with too much of the same thing.

So here are seven ways to get your message across in different styles and formats:

  1. Blog about it. Tell a story about how your helped solve a problem for a client. Be sure she’s someone your target audience can identify with. Tweet about your blog post, using keywords that your target audience is likely to use for search.
  2. Create a video of your client explaining how you helped her solve that problem. Embed it on your website homepage, post it on your social networking sites and tweet to your followers.
  3. Create a short guide to solving that problem, optimize it with keywords and post it on your website as a download in exchange for email addresses. Promote it through your social networks.
  4. Promote a free webinar about how to solve that problem in greater detail, using  your email list of qualified potential clients and social networks.
  5. Do the webinar. Offer participants a discount for your product or service.
  6. Guest post on a blog with a significant audience of potential clients about how to solve that problem. Link to your website and your problem-solving download.
  7. Get yourself an interview on your local business radio show and tell your story. Promote your next webinar.

And so on. You can, of course, also tell your story through traditional advertising, such as newspaper ads, if your budget allows. The point is to think creatively, across media that your ideal client favors, and plan your promotional push within a short enough period that will help you to reinforce your message multiple times.

As you develop your campaign, be sure to measure results. Which tactic garnered the most inquiries? Which gave you the best return on your investment of time and resources? Experiment, test and refine. With each new round of repetition, you’ll have a better shot that your ideal client will actually be listening.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

 

Why TV Ads May Not Win Elections, After All

September 24th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

If you’re able to stomach the hype, dueling punditry and horserace journalism of this year’s bitter presidential campaign, you probably know by now that the Romney campaign has raised millions more than Obama’s, largely through secret private donations to Super PACs. Both campaigns are flooding TV markets in battleground states with commercials; by Election Day on November 6, the contenders will have spent an estimated $1.1 billion on TV ads.

That in itself is a sobering thought (how much of the national debt could have been retired with that money?). But according to James Suroweicki’s financial column in this week’s New Yorker magazine, all that money for all those ads may be an even bigger waste of resources when you consider how campaigns are actually won.

Step One: Target Your Message to Voters You’re Most Likely to Win Over
Citing Sasha Issenberg’s new book, The Victory Lab, Suroweicki explains how sophisticated political campaigns have adopted corporate marketing strategies of micro-targeting their messages to each segment of voters. Focusing on voters who are still undecided or who favor their candidate but need that extra push, campaigns tailor messaging according to detailed demographics, including shopping tastes, voting history and media preferences.

If that approach sounds familiar, it should. Political campaigns are only following best practices for strategic messaging—know your ideal client, understand her issues and explain how you can help solve her problems or help meet her challenges.

Of course, delivering the right message to the right audience segment isn’t enough. You have to follow through on your promises, which, in politics, is not always a guarantee.

Step Two: Persuade Your Won-over Voters in Person to Get Out and Vote
But of greatest importance during the run-up to the election is this: Even if you persuade the right market segment of voters with your expensive, targeted TV commercials and direct mail to vote for your candidate, it doesn’t mean squat unless the people you convince actually get out and vote.

And here, Suroweicki points out, political science researchers have demonstrated that good old fashioned human contact works best. Forget those robo-phone calls with recorded political VIPs urging you to go to the polls (not to mention the pure annoyance factor). Personal calls by real campaign workers and door-to-door stumping, when strategically targeted, are the most effective ways to get your won-over voters to vote.

Which brings us to a common-sense conclusion—market research is essential, targeted messaging is good strategy, but nothing beats the personal touch of one person speaking honestly to another about why your candidate or product or service is worth her time, effort and resources.

And above all, of course, your marketing efforts should promote something or someone of true substance that lives up to your message. Imagine if that were always the case in politics.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

The Single Most Important Sentence on Your Homepage

September 17th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

What’s the goal of your website? This may sound obvious. Of course you want to attract potential clients. But what do you want them to do once they get to your site?

If your have something to sell, the answer is clear. You want them to purchase your product. But what if you’re a service professional?

It’s not enough to describe what you do. You need a call-to-action. This is the equivalent of a Buy Now button on an e-commerce site.

Your Call-to-Action Depends on What Your Visitor Needs Right Now
If you want visitors to call you to find out more information about your services, your call-to-action can be as simple as an invitation to set up an appointment for a complimentary half-hour consult. I’ve had clients who are attorneys use this approach successfully, because people shop around for expensive legal advice.

You have to know your audience and how they make decisions. If they need to feel you out in person as one of several options, a free consult—with limits, so you don’t set yourself up for someone who wants to just pick your brain for free—can be a great way to build your practice.

Build a Relationship with Thoughtful Lead-Generation Content
If you have information products to sell, such as an online course, to leverage your consulting services, you’ll want to develop some free, useful content that your visitor can download, in exchange for an email address. This is called lead-generation content, and the goal of your website in this case is to build a qualified email list for developing your relationship with potential clients through additional info product offers.

Once again, you need to have a clear idea of your goals and offer information that has real value. Most people are wary of giving up their email addresses. We’re all inundated with email, a lot of it junk.

No-one Will Give You Their Email Address for More Junk Mail
What advice can you give in the form of a useful download—be it a fact-filled PDF, an eBook or a white paper—that will make your visitor want to opt into your list? And what do you want to do with that list? How are you going to follow up and build your relationship, leading to a sale of a more substantive info product or your consulting services? You need to know the answers before you craft your lead-generation content and call-to-action.

It’s worth noting that eNewsletters have become so ubiquitous that asking people to sign up for your weekly newsletter, especially if you’re using canned information from an industry subscription service rather than original content, is probably not going to get you much interest. It’s also not going to help you establish your own expertise if you’re just recycling someone else’s content as your own.

So—once again, what’s the goal of your website? And what do you want your visitors to do once they get there?

For a more detailed discussion of how to craft an effective call-to-action, here are some useful articles:

Content Marketing Institute: Are Your Call to Actions Missing These Proven Formulas?

HubSpot: 10 Best Practices to Optimize the Language of Your Calls-to-Action

Smashing Magazine: Call to Action Buttons: Examples and Best Practices

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

The Easiest, Free Way to Brand Your Business Online

September 10th, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

Business cards and letterhead used to be the main tools for professional communication and still play an important role in establishing your brand identity. You wouldn’t think of sending a letter or invoice to a client on plain white paper, right?

So why send an email to your client from your gmail address?

Tie Your Business Email to Your Brand
If you have a professional website, be sure your email is tied to your web address. Your web developer can quickly set this up for you if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself through your site hosting service.

There is just no easier way to remind clients of your brand than sending them an email from yourname@yourbrand.com. You can reinforce the connection through an automated signature at the bottom of your email that includes at least your name, phone and a live link to your website. Best of all—it’s free.

That said, I’m not a big fan of  branded email letterhead templates that you can buy online. For my money, they look cheesy, like hyped-up direct mail. Most business email correspondence is short, sometimes just a one-word answer that can be viewed in an email preview display. You don’t want to clutter up the heading with branding images, your photo or distracting messages.

Retain Branding in a Shortened Email Address
If your website has a long url and you’re concerned that it’s too much to type for an email address—or, as happened to a client recently, your email address doesn’t fit into the design of your business card—you can create a shortened version of your web address for your email.

Just be sure that the shortened domain name is available, because you’ll need to own it in order to set up the email address. Most importantly, be sure you retain the essence of your brand in the mini version.

For example, I use evelyn@herwitzassociates.com for my professional email. But if I wanted something shorter, I would go with @herwitzassoc.com, which combines my brand with a recognized abbreviation of the word “associates,” so it would still make a clear connection to my website. I would also have my web developer point herwitzassoc.com to my actual website for seamless search.

Remind Your Reader of Your Brand with Every Email
The beauty of email is its straightforward simplicity. Email provides an immediate way to communicate with anyone around the world.

What you say and how you say it are, of course, the most important ways that you establish yourself as a professional. But don’t miss this free opportunity to remind your business email correspondents, every time you write, who you are, the name of your brand and where to learn more about you online.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.

How to Be Yourself and Stop Hiding Behind Your Website Content

September 3rd, 2012 by Evelyn Herwitz

I read a lot of websites. Market research for clients, competitor analysis, my own information search—it all adds up to a lot of words on screen. And quite frankly, much of it is, well, garbage, to be polite.

It’s not that the content isn’t informative. It’s not that it doesn’t answer my questions. It’s just hard to read. And I’m not talking about lack of good grammar, though there’s plenty of reason to gripe about that.

Don’t Sound Like a Robot
What bothers me most about many web sites, especially sites for professional services, is that they seem to be written by automatons. The language is stiff, formal, like content you’d find in a term paper. In an effort to sound professional, the writer comes off sounding aloof—not someone I’d want to spend time with.

It’s a pitfall in all forms of business writing—using complicated sentences and big words to sound intelligent. But really, what we all want is to deal with a warm-blooded person on the other end of the website, someone we can identify with, someone we’d enjoy meeting over a cup of coffee for a good conversation and help solving a problem.

Keep It Conversational
I know how hard it is just to be yourself online. It’s natural to feel vulnerable when you put yourself out there. We all need boundaries to protect our privacy, especially on the Internet.

At the same time, to connect with your ideal client, you really need to push past any urge to spiff up your web content with lots of long phrases, fancy terms and—please, no—business jargon. No one really talks like that unless she’s trying too hard to impress. And it shows.

So here are a few ways to keep your web content down-to-earth and personal:

  1. Choose strong nouns and active verbs. They always beat overwrought vocabulary and circuitous sentence structure, no matter what the genre. It’s fine to use unusual, interesting words—as long as your target audience speaks that way, too.
  2. Use the second person, you, to speak directly to your audience, as you would in a conversation. Don’t feel you need to use third person he/she/they to be polite or more appropriate. That will only distance you from your reader.
  3. Capture your natural voice in your writing. How would you explain this topic to a good friend? That’s the tone you want to emulate online. The best way to test your content for conversational tone is to read it out loud when you’re through writing. If you hesitate because the sentences are confusing, get stuck on pronouncing big words or get bored listening to yourself, it’s time to revise.
  4. Anticipate your reader’s questions and answer them in a logical sequence. This achieves two goals: Your copy will be easy to read, and your reader will feel understood and keep reading.
  5. Avoid foul language. This is an exception to the point about capturing your natural voice—if you tend to curse a lot, that’s your business, but it doesn’t belong on your professional website. Even today when just about anything goes, many readers will be turned off by words that get bleeped on most TV shows. Occasionally, cursing in context can be very effective, but it should be used with full intention, not carelessly.

For more suggestions on how to write web copy that works, check out this post: Five Reasons Why Your Website Content Isn’t Working—and How to Fix It.

Marketing consultant Evelyn Herwitz loves to help you tell a great story about your great work. She specializes in search-optimized web content that positions you as an approachable expert in your field and helps you grow your business. Contact Evelyn for a free half-hour consult for new clients.