CONTENT GUIDE -

 

In-house Copywriting

Some business owners choose to write the content for their website themselves. This reduces the cost of setting up a website, and naturally, the business owner knows a lot about their own business. On the other hand, a professional writer can give content clarity and flair.

If you choose to write your own content, here is some helpful information:

Keyword List

Slipstream Media will develop the list of keywords for your website, which you will be able to see and add suggestions, from which you can write the website descriptions. Keywords are also used for your website meta tags.

Website description

The website description is very important. It appears as the text on the first page that the visitor sees, and is used by search engines to determine the website's placement in search results. Proper use of keywords within this text is essential, so the keyword list must be completed before this text is written. We will provide you with the keyword list. When writing this description, please follow these guidelines:
  • The first four words of the text should be the four most important keywords (the first four in the keyword list). These four words should be used in the last sentence of the text as well.
  • Try to use as many of the other keywords within the text as possible, but do not repeat words unnecessarily (this is considered "spamming" by search engines, and can result in your website being rejected).
  • The description should let the visitor know what the site is about, what they can get out of it, and how they get what they are looking for.
  • The text should be at least 300 words long.

Short Website Description

This should be a few sentances (max. 240 characters), using the four most important keywords at the beginning, and containing as many keywords as possible (without repeating words). Search engines are given this description and display it under your website address in their search results. Shorter descriptions here are given better positioning by search engines.

We will review your descriptions and give suggestions about possible improvements.

Page Content

1) Catchy and relevant headlines draw the reader in quickly.

2) The first sentence or paragraph of each page should briefly describe what that page is about. You can read the first sentence of newspaper articles to see examples of this.

3) Break text into manageable paragraphs, and use sub-headings. A good idea is to write the sub-headings first and then fill in the text under each heading. This helps to keep continuity and the logical progression of topics.

4) Use plain English, and come to the point quickly, (visitors attention span is only around 30 seconds). Bulleted points are effective.

5) Interesting quotes, testimonials or exerpts from the text can be highlighted to catch the reader's eye, and break up lengthy text. (When formatting your website pages, Slipstream Media will look for such items to highlight.)

6) When using words to link to another location in the website, use the descriptive word as the link, rather than "click here". For example, is better to write... "You can contact me for further information" ... rather than ... "To contact me, click here"

6) Try to make your content enticing. You want visitors to actualy do something... so invite them to. Try to create excitement in the reader. A good idea is to write so that people can picture what you're encouraging them to do. For example, rather than saying "You can reserve your room online", it's more engaging to say "Use our online reservation system to guarantee that your bed is ready and waiting when you arrive". Good website content conveys style, personality, impact and enthusiasm.

7) Keep your intention firmly in mind. Are you selling, educating or inspiring? Who is you audience? What do you want them to do? Why does your site benefit the visitor?

8) Try to convey honesty and your commitment to flawless service.

9) Spell check your text, and also read through it for errors that the spell-checker may have missed. It's very useful to have one (or more) people proof-read your text.

Sending Content to Slipstream Media

Sending Text

  • Use a separate file for the text for each webpage, and name the file the same name as the webpage.
  • Use either Microsoft Word or a simple text format such as Simpletext, Textedit or Notepad. Send tables in Microsoft Word format.
  • Only send the final version of the text you want on your webpages. Minor alterations can be made here and there after the pages have been created, but major changes may disrupt the design of the page, and incur additional hourly charges.
  • If there is a great deal of text which requires formatting, additional fees at the hourly rate may be charged.
  • Text files can be sent via email.

Sending Graphics

If you already have promotional/branding material, please send copies to us.

Prepare captions for each photo if required. You can affix a post-it note to the images if in hardcopy form, or write a text file which describes the image and gives the relevant caption.

You can send images in three ways:
  • Hardcopy: Printed pictures which we can scan
  • Email: Images should usually be no more than 800x800 pixels at 150 dpi. As a general rule, send images that are slightly larger than necessary (but not too much larger). Please don't send emails that are larger than 10MB in total - send large amounts of data by posted cd-rom.
  • CD-ROM: A cd-rom should be made and posted if more than 10MB of image data needs to be sent. Organise your images files into folders for each page they are to be placed in.
Use names for your image files that are descriptive.

Media Releases

Media releases are a great way of getting free publicity, if you can get the media to use it! Guides for two types of media releases, the "website press release" and the "news release" are shown below.

The "Website Press Release" exists on a page within your website, and is available to media people at any time if they wish to find out information about your business for a news story. Although it is more of a description of your business, it should still follow the guidelines which make it newsworthy, and more likely to be used by a media person. This press release is not tied to a certain date, but should be kept up-to-date. Regular updates to a press release can be facilitated by SlipManager. Contact details of all PR people should be available on the same webpage as the press release, along with their area of responsibility.

The "News Release" is about a certain newsworthy event that has happened to you or your business. It is a story exactly like you would read in a newspaper, and should be written as if you were a reporter. You send the news release to editors of media which would be interested in the story.

Below are some Word Document downloads to help you: