Web Presence: What’s Your Best Route?

There’s nothing like a good solo road trip. I can listen to my own music, I travel at my own pace, it allows me to stop and explore—I can even get off-track or mildly lost, and not be any worse for the wasted time. Being an explorer by nature, the intrigue of different places and people will always guide my travels.

An open road trip is great for reaffirming observations, one of which is that the journey “there” always seems longer than the return home. True as well in the digital world, the task of developing a strong web presence always takes longer than that “one thing” which can cut short your visitor’s trip.

During my recent travels across the back roads of central Texas, I chose the scenic route. It wasn’t the quickest way or the straightest shot there, but the twists, turns and variations in landscape and scenery provided far more interest than the more direct and heavily traveled route.

Today’s digital map is Content Writer Website Content You Supposefilled with a variety of choices for establishing and maintaining a strong, effective web presence. It’s crucial to set your visitors on a specific course, with supporting road signs directing them to interesting places along the way. Visitors (on average) spend less than one minute on a website. The decision to stay or click off is made within the first 10-20 seconds, and on mobile devices, it’s even less. Five seconds. When it comes to your web presence, you’d better believe that every mile marker counts.

What’s the current condition of your website? Is it riddled with alternate routes, caution zones, pot holes or the occasional ghost town? Does your trip take visitors down a common route, with nothing new to engage their interest? Is the weary traveler fatigued by road signs pointing different directions, but ultimately delivering them to a dead end? Is it littered with unnecessary filler?

Consider the things that constitute the basics of a website: pages, content, contact forms, information, photos. Now, consider those things that give your business an impressive web presence: visual and verbal organization, clean, crisp, informative content, pages linking to one another—giving the site greater depth, and photos that support your copy, helping to define and illustrate what you do.

A strong web presence brings visitors to your business in droves. Just like the solo road trip, it gives your audience the chance to explore at their leisure, to learn about your business and investigate at their own pace, and to make decisions and assessments based upon what they learn about you. Your web travel should include a well-planned itinerary and should deliver them to their desired destination without unnecessarily exiting the intended route.

Looking down the road, you’ll see that with proper packing, planning and some sound travel guidance, miles and miles of open business lie ahead.

Now, get going!! Don’t forget to check your tires—and happy trails, y’all.

 

*SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS crafts the content that helps establish a strong and effective web presence for your business. We’re available to discuss your business goals and put them into words that engage interest and produce results.

Leaf Blowing Your Search Optimization

When it comes to search optimization, does the force of your message scatter your opportunity?

Let’s be honest–some folks enjoy leaf blowing, and I’ll admit to NOT being one of them. You can always spot the rabid blower. They’re the ones staring into the late August sky, waiting for that first leaf to drop—and they’re still at it, gathering that final leaf as spring approaches. Never one to really have full control of the leaf blower, I’ve done more scattering than gathering, resulting more in the way of disturbance than cleanup.

As I see it, effective leaf blowinleaf blowing 2g is reliant on the aiming and angling of the blower. It’s the control of the handler, along with the level of power applied. When things are pointed directly to the surface with too much power but little strategy, things scatter every direction. The same goes for your web text. Without deliberate search optimization strategy, research and placement, Google and other search engines will have little chance of locating and connecting with your website.

I see it on a regular basis, and I hear it when I begin that conversation with a potential client regarding their content. Oftentimes, I’m the deliverer of reality—you know, the type of reality that costs money… Explaining the need for search optimization in content can reveal some epiphanies or in some cases, cause a rash. When content is not search optimized, you’ve built a website all for naught. There’s no direction, no draw, no retainment, and ultimately no return.

Okay, I’m starting to itch a little…

In the realm of Google searches and web relevance, it’s crucial to create search optimized content. It’s Google’s means for locating your business. The term is bandied about on a number of levels, but how many of us really understand how it works and what its significance is? Search optimization is a critical component of your digital impact. It’s not about overpowering your site with clever catchphrases—it’s about carefully selecting and placing strategic terms to best create, nurture and facilitate a connection through search engines.

Scattered strategy—is this yours? Websites that lack search optimization create messaging that does nothing but stir up leaves—along with a fair amount of debris. By dismissing the necessity for creating content that elicits actualized results, what has been accomplished? What’s your angle? What’s your aim? Is there a pile? What’s in your bag?

Squandered opportunity is lost business. Developing search optimized content that draws visitors and delivers messaging with proficiency, functionality, efficiency and connectivity is key to driving business your way. It aids in determining your market, gathering your audience, and ultimately containing and holding the interest of potential clients and customers.

Time is fleeting, with spring on its way. Get after it, leaf blowers—it’s almost grass-clipping season, and that’s a whole different skill set.

**SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS creates search optimized content and strategic web text development to best engage and educate your audience. Contact us–we’re ready to help YOU get started on your project!

Content: It’s a BIG Dill

Please excuse my extended family and their crazy ways, but Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a pickle platter on the table. There’s just something about it. We expect it. We request it. We almost never touch it.

Content? Pickles? Extended family? Well, this is sure to be a real barnburner…

Thanksgiving in our family always includes the pickle platter. Oh, I know in more sophisticated and formal settings and places, it’s referred to as the “relish tray,” but with us, pickle platter it is.

Each year, the picklLinda Shelar Content Writer You Supposee platter is prominently placed on the table. It’s there in advance of all the other foods that define this feast-infused holiday. It’s a staple of our arrival, and I would have to admit to feeling a little gypped if it were absent.

What’s on your table?

When it comes to prominence and a digital presence in the marketplace, there’s no better platform than the website. It’s a unique opportunity—it’s the table on which your message is presented. The content visitors will view upon their initial arrival to your site is critical in stimulating the appetite and the interest.

Well-written content boosts hunger. It should be appealing—and appetizing—and should whet our desire to learn more about a business. When content underwhelms or is weak in impact, we have thrown away the opportunity to connect and engage with our audience. Well-written content satisfies informational hunger.

Every Thanksgiving, it kind of gets to me. Sure, I’ll admit it—I get a little sentimental over things. The pickles, the stuffed celery—even the ever-popular pitted black olives wither throughout the day, being overshadowed by other family favorites like “Green Fluff” and traditional Thanksgiving staples. You see, we expect the pickle platter to be there, but against all the culinary competitors, it wanes in impact, interest and appeal. Is this the case when visitors arrive at your website? Does your message leave them unfulfilled? Do they come expecting more?

What resonates with consumers when it comes to defining what you do? Clarity in communication. Targeted messaging. Visual and verbal organization. Content that elicits interest. A strong presentation of business offerings and objectives. Relatable concepts and language.

Given today’s number of industry competitors with a strong message and a fortified and established web presence, content becomes key to capturing and holding your visitor’s attention. It’s crucial in establishing engagement. It fuels the hunger and the desire to know more. It brings substance to your message and provides sustenance to the consumer. The importance of having well-written content is paramount when feeding your visitors.

In about nine months, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on our Thanksgiving 2015 menu, and things wouldn’t be the same without the official presentation of the pickle platter. Relax Gherkins. You’ve got nothing to fear.

 

***SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS crafts the content that presents your message with professionalism, accuracy and targeted delivery. Contact us today, and let’s get started!

Writing Thunders; Editing Blunders

Here we are—ONE month into the official winter season, and already I can’t wait for warmer weather! Oh, I have my own personal reasons for enjoying the spring season, but there’s also a case to be made for renewing and refreshing your messaging when it comes to business, and that involves proper editing.

Is inadequate editing stealing the thunder from your messaging? Is the effort put forth in creating the right content compromised in the final process? The cleanup from editing blunders can be messy and oftentimes catastrophic.

How many times have you visited a website or picked up a piece of printed collateral, only to find convoluted messaging or insufficient attention given to the editing process? It can terminate a potentially promising business relationship before it even gets going. I’ve ended a few myself, just over grammatical misfires and oversights. Such is the life of a writer and editor…

It won’t be long before the TWriter Editor Linda Shelar you supposeexas storm season is upon us, and these months can create some noise. Occasionally, we have the storm that produces only the sounds of thunder, and we find ourselves expecting to see the benefits of things that never come. This same phenomenon can be tied to your business messaging—lots of noise; low delivery.

There are countless people with writing skills. They are authors and composers who have an interesting story to tell or those who can craft a message that expresses their business objectives in compelling ways. The necessity for editing becomes critical in ensuring that the final product glows.

How is this accomplished? It’s done by going through things with a fine-toothed critical comb. It’s making sure verbs are in the right tense and that certain words and variations of such don’t appear with too much frequency. It’s eliminating homophones and homonyms that may have crept into the text undetected. It’s spell-checking. Yes, even in our modern-day world of tools that identify errors, they still manage to creep into our messaging. It’s weeding out redundancies. It’s making certain the finished product is error-free. Storms that lack organization seldom produce the benefits of rain. The same can be said of foregoing the editing process.

Editing is the final polish necessary for any content that will reach your market. It should ensure that grammatical errors and verbiage mishaps are omitted from the text completely. The function of editing is to create perfectly clean copy that produces strong messaging. Editing should clear the air.

Where there’s thunder, there’s lightning. Where there’s lightning, there’s electricity. And when there’s electricity in your messaging, there’re results.

Welcome spring—I’m ready when you are.

 

***SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS crafts original content and provides EDITING services for new and existing copy. Contact us today–we are available to assist on multiple levels.

Photo courtesy of Wyman Meinzer (www.wymanmeinzer.com)

Intentional Targeting | New Year Marketing

Well…here comes 2015, so bust out your streamers! Don your party hats. Toot your horns. Drag out Ryan Seacrest. Get your marketing strategy in order.

Wait, what?

To be honest, I never really get New Years. I don’t get the fact that it’s seen as a new dawn, or that somehow things reverse course due to the change in year on a calendar. I guess I’m overly practical like that? At best, I see it as a time of mild reflection, but when it comes to business, it’s an absolute opportunity for assessing your marketing strategies.

Establishing fresh marketing objectives requires some forward thinking and planning. Evaluating the strategies which are currently in place pushes for clarity and honesty in terms of how they’re performing. What changes can be implemented for growing your business?

In this competitive age, you’ve got to be intentional with your efforts and targeted in your delivery. The different means by which consumers locate us and our businesses are too varied and too complex for marketing nonchalance. You’ve got to be at the top of your game, or you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the proverbial heap. Some mild self-evaluation might be in order…

Well, what does THAT mean?marketing content writer Linda Shelar you suppose

For crying out loud—it’s 2015! Hold on now—I might be catching on to the New Year’s deal after all!!

It calls for reviewing your website—for both content and functionality. Does your website reflect the business you were doing years ago, or is it current with what you do today? The fact is, the new year calls for new action. Define what you do with clarity. Deliver your messaging with appeal. Make certain the new methods and upgrades needed for locating your business in our ever-evolving digital world are both functional and current.

I’ve been meaning to ask—how’s your logo? It’s the most powerful and visible tool in your branding arsenal. Is it clean, clear, professional and connective? Could it use some refreshing and refining from the days of its original creation? Does your tagline create a familiar identity in the consumer’s head and cause them to want to know more? It should.

As the market continues to advance toward a digitally-driven advertising approach, the need for printed marketing material endures. What’s more, businesses benefit from offering broader ranges in multi-platform exposure. Crafting and designing quality printed collateral provides consumers with a tangible piece of professional business literature. Chances are, printed marketing material will reside in the consumer’s mind (and hand) longer. It fortifies the broader scope of the digital outreach.

And for the love of Auld Lang Syne, print your collateral on quality stock!

Now, go ahead—it’s 2015!! Grab your horn and toot it well. If YOU don’t, no one else will.

And Happy New Year from SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS!!!

***Supposably Irregardless crafts the content that presents your message with professionalism, accuracy and targeted delivery. We offer services in graphic design and LOVE developing effective taglines that connect with your specific audience. Contact us today, and let’s get your 2015 marketing strategy in place for growing your business!

Silent Night. Wholly Right.

The low cloud ceiling of mid-December lay across the sky with a contrasted blend of heaviness and comfort. There’s something different about the effect of a December sky… For me, it can often be a reminder to breathe. To slow down. To embrace. To relax. To ponder and appreciate. I needed those reminders. It had been a long day, and I was consumed with the things that needed to be done in preparation for Christmas.

Red tail lights lined the road ahead of me as dusk settled over the metro area—people rushing to arrive home or perhaps some other destination that extended their day. Darts of inconsiderate drivers yanked their cars from lane to lane, hoping to make some headway. I could feel the tension in my hands as I gripped the wheel, preparing for the unexpected.

Linda Shelar content writer you supposeIn a world filled with perpetual haste, it seemed somehow fitting that Silent Night would begin to softly rise from the speakers in my car. I don’t know that I’ve ever listened to Silent Night the way in which I did this particular evening. Words that gently spoke to me–of calm, of peace—of redeeming grace and love’s pure light.

The song quietly transported me to a different place of greater purpose, and provided a time to consider and appreciate a gift for which there is no shopping. The tranquility of that holy night, not filled with haste or red tail lights, but with joy and heavenly hosts singing “Alleluia,” was all that was needed to renew my spirit and fill my soul.

Silent night. Holy night. Wholly right on this night.

 
May the peace of this night be yours throughout the season, and may you carry it forward throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you and yours from SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS.

*Photo courtesy of Wyman Meinzer (www.wymanmeinzer.com)

IT’S ABOUT TIME, IT’S ABOUT SPACE, IT’S ABOUT “WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS FACE?”

I’m not sure what had me up at four in the morning, thinking about business communications and 60s TV show theme songs. The short-lived series “It’s About Time,” featuring a 20th century cave family hit the ground running in 1966, but fell on tough times shortly thereafter.

Had it not been for the catchy theme song, chances are it would’ve burned out of my memory long ago. According to the show’s otherwise successful creator, Sherwood Schwartz, the reasons behind its brief run could be attributed to three things:

• Redundancy in plot (cavemen facing the same dangers week after week)
• Unattractive set (dirt roads, dark caves)
• Dialog of main characters delivered in a primitive form of English, difficult to understand

It didn’t take long for me to begin drawing correlations between failed TV shows and business messaging gone awry. The same can be said of business communications and the inability to connect with your audience and hold their attention over the long haul.

So, how does this wBag_PC_Frtork? What’s the connection?

Tell your story. Tell it once and when you do, be sure your business objectives and offerings are presented in clean, clear, concise terms. Websites offer big, bold ways to communicate your message. Make certain your words resonate with the intended target audience. With web visitors spending an average of less than one minute on a site, and most times making their decision to stay or go within the first 10-20 seconds, you begin to realize—it’s about time. Articulate your message in organized, sensible ways.

It’s About Time met an unfortunate end, partially due to its “unattractive set,” but what’s the parallel between this, a business webpage and printed collateral?

Unappealing, cluttered layout. There’s no excuse for visual haphazardness. An unorganized, focally lacking or compromised page layout is a surefire means of pushing visitors away from your business. Whether your marketing outreach is digital in scope or contoured to the more conventional platforms offered by print media, an attractive web page or print brochure is crucial to capturing and retaining your visitor’s attention. It’s about space and how to best utilize it.

Understanding that your business is the main character in your own production requires you to tell your story in interesting ways. Make certain you are speaking the language of your audience by delivering your message in familiar and understandable ways. Speak clearly with your market by eliminating ambiguities and connecting in authentic ways. Keep your message current, engaging and fresh.

It’s about time. It’s about space. It’s about projecting your BEST business face.

**Supposably Irregardless crafts the content that gives your business the professional edge in today’s competitive market. We specialize in making sure your message reaches your market in the most effective ways. Contact us today–and find out how we can help boost your business!

EDITING: When Elicit Becomes Illicit

It was bound to happen. I’m all for the team concept in the workplace, but when it comes to editing, that method can get a little sloppy.

Editing for a local publication as a “group” would almost certainly ensure mixed results. With inconsistencies in style and potential compromises in accuracy, there was a high probability for error to be revealed in the final product.

It wasn’t long before my fears were realized.

The editing done by thediting Linda Shelar you supposee different parties was complete. The publication had gone to print. Deliveries had been made. I held my copy in hand. A slight bulging of the eyes occurred when I spotted the error. There it was on page four—the word “illicit” prominently displayed where the word “elicit” should reside. I was mortified.

I pitched a small-to-minor fit—small, by my measure anyway. It was the final straw in a situation which offered little in the way of holding much resolve. It was someone else’s work, yet my name beamed across the top of the masthead, indicating my role in the editing process. Nothing in particular distinguished the independent structure of the work.

Some might suggest it was an overreaction. I would beg to differ. Name aside, this was a reflection of my editing work—collective work, and that which impacts the final product.

Too many times, we see errors in text and content. Whether it’s found in publications, in business communications, in printed collateral or the more common exchanges that occur between two people, accuracy in content has become a thing of the past. It’s the new (often accepted) norm. The tools we have which enable us to locate and correct our mistakes are often ignored in the proofing process.

Errors in copy undermine both our mission and our message. They dilute our impact, while intercepting and redirecting our attention. It begs the question—why go to the extent of creating professional content along with the expenses incurred in developing a website, only to have the finished product peppered with inaccuracies?

The editing process is crucial in delivering clear, clean messaging that resonates soundly with your audience. It’s a reflection of the quality and professionalism with which you approach and operate your business. It’s a statement—and one that showcases your attention to detail. Editing is essential to the process.

Let your final product elicit great results.

 

*Supposably Irregardless creates original content for websites, printed marketing collateral and beyond. In addition to crafting the messaging that best defines your goals and objectives, we edit existing and newly created copy as well. Our goal is to ensure your message is delivered clearly and in a targeted fashion that effectively reaches your market. Contact us today! Let’s get started.

Writer Righter?

When it came to creating my website, let’s just say this writer had to learn a few things the hard way. I let novices have a shot at things, and believe me, I’m the poorer for it.

I’ll never forget that moment when one of my more forthright professional friends boldly proclaimed, “Oh, yeah…your website looks great. Trouble is…no one’s ever going to see it. It’s like a beautiful painting that you purchase…and you place that painting in your closet. The ONLY person who will ever view your painting is the one you bring to your closet to see it.”

Well, THAT wasnLinda Shelar You Suppose Writer’t exactly what I had in mind…

Sure, as far as writers go, I could construct a professional-grade sentence, detailing the nature of the business and its objectives in a polished fashion—but what beyond that? Turns out, as a writer, I had plenty to learn myself. With multiple contributors involved in the creation of a website, you stand the chance of finding a weak link in the chain, but admittedly, I never really thought it would be me.

Yes, I was about to explore the world of “optimized.” Optimized pages. Optimized search terms. Optimized search engines. Optimized writer in progress.

There were times when the learning curve seemed a little tight—this being one of those moments. Seem a little self-indicting? It is. It’s also water under the bridge at this juncture—a lesson I was thankful for learning early-on, and also one I gladly pass on to others these days. Let’s explore the elements to consider when developing your website.

Although no one knows or understands your business as well as you, a professional content writer can take your goals and objectives, and refine them into optimized text that articulates a clean and clear message.

Key to crafting effective web copy is the writer’s ability to capture the essence of the business and deliver that message in ways that soundly resonate with your audience. Carefully placing the search terms necessary to finding your business on the web is key, as is carefully planting those same terms into your text without being overly conspicuous.

The world of a writer and all those involved in the process is ever-evolving. Advances in technology force changes in method, and new upgrades and updates to analytical tools drive the ways in which our message is delivered. Without optimization, your efforts are all for naught.

Since those days, I’ve continued to learn. I’ve refined my craft and surround myself with professionals who bring their best to the business of website design and development.

Shop the market. Get referrals. Read testimonials. Inspect work samples. ASK QUESTIONS. Infuse your project with competent professionals. Make sure that the team you’re putting in place has the skills to make your venture shine.

Now, go ahead and hang your painting. You’ve got the perfect space.

 

*SUPPOSABLY IRREGARDLESS crafts optimized content to maximize your exposure on the web. Contact us, and let’s get started on your boosting your web presence.

MILK DATES AND WEBSITES: How Fresh is Yours?

Linda Shelar websiteI’ll be honest—my tendency is to calculate passing time by milk dates. I seem to be routinely awed by the fact that ten days have passed since I last set a fresh gallon in my fridge. Time has a tendency to get out from under me like that…

Now, I’ll bet you’re wondering just what this has to do with websites on any level—and your concerns are indeed warranted. Staying consistent with the grocery theme, think of milk as one of your staples. Like it (in a glass) or not, chances are you’ll need it at some point for some purpose. Same goes for the website. It’s a business staple. Without a website, you have no online presence and without a presence, let’s just say things might…go a little sour.

I acknowledge that most businesses in today’s market have a website. But having a website does not ensure having a web presence. I emphasize that point time and time again. Building a website these days goes well beyond the requirements of just a few years ago. Methods change, advances in technology have been implemented, and SEO content must be crafted with optimal website functionality in mind.

When launching a business, creating a website is at the top of most “getting started” checklists. But what about the business which was created….five years ago? Is it current with the contemporary web requirements? Is it consistent with the messaging and branding strategies you now have in place? Does it reflect your current offerings in product or service? Is your web content optimized?

The fact is—over time, things have evolved. Just like “milk dates,” May 23rd morphs into June 1, and if you doubt things have changed, just take a small gulp… Seems like an unreasonable request—I know—but it’s akin to what you’re asking visitors who come to your website to do. The outdated information serves little purpose in defining what you offer today, and without clarity in message and the ability to digitally locate your business, well, you have a website—but no web presence. It’s “information gone bad.”

Embracing the culture of today’s web market takes tenacity. It takes persistence and the willingness to educate oneself on web essentials and the requisite updating of your website on a regular basis. It requires optimized writing for search engine purposes.

Milk? It’s a little less complicated matter–it simply requires refrigeration.

GOT WEBSITE?

 

*Supposably Irregardless crafts web content that elicits interest and delivers results. Contact us today and let’s get started on developing a strong web presence for your business.