Keep It Simple, Stupid

“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple” – C. W. Ceram

Words are meaningful and expressive. A simple string of rhythmical words has the ability to sell your product, enrich your services and give meaning to your website. Yet, why do so many people struggle when it comes to writing quality content for their website?

If I had a dollar for every time a client called up and asked, “Can you please write the content for my website?” or “I have no idea what to write, where should I start?” I’d definitely be sipping martinis from my gold chalice while cruising the Mediterranean.

The fact is, no one else knows your products or services as well as you do, and therefore no one else can explain it better than you.  So, where do you begin?

The answer is simple… quite literally S-I-M-P-L-E. It’s as easy as using the old ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ (K.I.S.S) approach.

Below are a few useful tips to consider when writing your own website content:

Short, Simple & Straightforward

To put it, well…simply, ‘concision’ is key when it comes to writing quality content. If you aren’t a naturally gifted writer or struggle to translate your thoughts into text, don’t force it. Cut to the chase and use simple language.

Web users generally skim read and respond more positively to content that is easy to digest, rather than sifting through paragraphs, only to find what they’re looking for in the final sentence.

How to use the K.I.S.S approach:

  • Concise, short and punchy sentences
  • Chop useless words
  • Use dot points where possible
  • Lead with your most compelling and important information
  • Use language that suits your products and industry. E.g. you wouldn’t use descriptive and emotive language to sell mining equipment, just as you wouldn’t use technical terms or jargon when promoting your plumbing services. Context is important.
  • Ensure your headline and sub headlines summarize your key message/s.

The Inverted Pyramid

For those of you unfamiliar with this style of writing, it’s a little trick Journalists use to grab your attention and encourage you to read more.

The idea is easy: start with the most important information that will deliver your key messages and work your way down to information of least importance. That way, if your audience is to lose interest, they’ve already unwittingly consumed the most relevant information and won’t miss out on any vital details.

How to use the inverted pyramid style of writing

1. Start with the facts: who, what, when, where, why and how.

This will cover all of the basic information the audience needs to know about your brand, your products and/or services and how to purchase them.

Note: don’t ever underestimate the power of the 5 W’s and H. If you follow this basic structure, your audience will be well informed.

2. Elaborate on the information addressed in point one.

Essentially, this section is about convincing your audience that your services and/or products are better than your competitors.

E.g. product features, specs, competitive pricing, free shipping etc.

3. Tie everything together.

Add background information about your brand/business/employees. This is important as it brings credibility to your business, creates trust and humanizes you, as a business owner.

E.g. your mission statement, how your business was founded, employee biographies etc.

And just remember… you’re the expert, not the consumer!

Whilst you may have a vast understanding of your products and services, the average consumer is only as knowledgeable as the information put in front of them. Just ask yourself, if you were the consumer, what would you want to know?