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Rosebank, Johannesburg

Great content writing keeps visitors from leaving your website.

We examine content writing as key to avoiding a high ‘bounce’ rate on your website.

No one likes a bouncer. Manning doors like aggressive orangutans, flush as they are from ‘roid raging. Getting too familiar when they pat you down for contraband (“hey buddy, dinner and a movie first!”). Throwing you out, literally, of a club for any teeny-tiny misunderstanding.

And no brand likes a bouncer on their page. When your design, content, or navigation is inadequate, you are the bouncer – and that means you lose your audience just when you found them.

Don’t be a bouncer.

Bouncing, of course, is the term for: when a visitor on your site comes, sees, and leaves, in short order. Picture a rubber ball thrown against a wall. When your website has too many failings, your wall keeps out more people than the one Trump is planning along the Mexican border.

FGX incorporates many different solutions to prevent bounce, through content writing, design, front-end development, etc.

Today we’re focusing on content writing.

Consume to your heart’s Content.

It can’t be stated often enough that the old cliché is true. Content is King. Whether that content is multimedia or text. But having written content isn’t good enough.

Structure is key. Your audience needs to see the info they seek is there, immediately. Most people will scan a page quickly, looking for clues that it’s worth their time. If the information is buried deep, they assume after about five seconds that it isn’t there. They move on. We live in an age of information overload. We’ve all adjusted to how we filter info.

That’s why we included a small blurb at the top. At the same time, we wanted to demonstrate that: Hey! This is a very readable piece! It’s got a metaphor of orangutan bouncers! (We would like to take this moment to apologise to all gingers.)

That leads us to our next ingredient:

The Derek Zoolander School for Kids who Can’t Write so Good.

If your content isn’t written by a professional writer, then it’s already off to a bad start. A lot of people think they can write simply because they can think. Having a narrative in your head doesn’t mean it’s a readable narrative. See, most writers are born with the ability to write, and then hone it for years.

Quality writing means obeying certain rules. For instance, using short sentences.

Nobody likes having to read long and laborious sentences that go on and on in a long-winded way to get to the point they are trying to make, because it becomes a chore to read, and, really, why do some writers think a comma is enough, when clearly not only is it not, as nothing is better than a full stop to give the reader a “breather” before moving onto the next sentence, though obviously this happens quite quickly but it’s still about keeping your ideas and communications condensed and palatable.

We felt almost as tired writing that as you did reading it. Always use short sentences. If you want to connect thoughts, you’re allowed to start the next sentence with a conjunction. Conjunctions are okay. And, yes, you can start a sentence with an “and”. Most modern English gramma style guides allow it. Go check it out on Google, it’s true.

Why does it feel like it’s wrong? Because, sadly, your English teacher lied to you. She was tired of generations of children writing every essay with “And this happened. And that happened. And then this. And then that. And this example has gone on too long.”

When it comes to starting a sentence, use conjunctions where appropriate, but just don’t abuse them.

That’s as much as we’ll say about quality writing, though, since we like our writers. We don’t want to retrench them because you learnt all the tricks of their craft.

Information is informative, stupid.

Pardon the insult. We don’t mean you. We mean anyone who writes information in an unhelpful way.

For instance, DIY. This writer is no good with DIY. Every time he has to DIY he almost always ends up DOA. The instruction manuals that came with his:

(a) three-speed fan

(b) medical-science full-sized skeleton

(c) Microwave-powered Death Ray

…were unhelpful. That’s because they were originally written in another language and badly translated. Information that wasn’t lost in translation. It was kidnapped and disposed of in the bay.

Here’s some of the issues with information in content writing: there’s such a thing as information overload. Too much information is bad. Having your website filled to the brim with information makes it impossible to process. It irritates the brain, the electrical activity jitters and jives the lobes of the mind. Then what happens? Bounce.

Too little information is just as bad. To understand what we mean, we need you to drive to our office. It’s in Johannesburg. Northern Suburbs. Close to a Nando’s. A lot further from all the others.

See you at 9pm? Come during the week.

If a visitor scans for info, and can’t find it quickly enough, they bounce. They’re frustrated, and now dislike your brand.

Infotainment means sometimes content writing needs burglar mice.

Of course, sometimes information can be fun and engaging. Information communicated about content writing, as an example.

But that’s transferring information in an entertaining way – and it’s easier to retain too, because you now have visual imagery. Visual imagery is better on the memory. It’s a great way to remember difficult-to-remember things. Like passwords.

To demonstrate, we need your imagination. May we borrow it?

Here: imagine your home. Imagine a very small chainsaw coming through the wall, by the floor. It cuts a square shape, which collapses inwards. Coming through the square-sized hole is a mouse. He’s a sneaky mouse because he’s wearing a balaclava. He runs to your kitchen, where he pulls out a grappling hook, twirls it, and unleashes it onto the counter top. Then he climbs the rope, onto the counter, and rushes to the fine French (smelly) cheese you left there. Using a glass cutter, he cuts himself a chunk, and straps it to his back. Then, he abseils swiftly down the rope, runs to the cut-out in the wall, and disappears. You put up Missing Posters featuring the missing chunk of cheese, but it’s never seen again.

So now that you have that vivid image, you can make a password from it. BurglarMouse. (To make it a strong password, you should write it like this Burgl@rM0u53). You won’t forget it anytime soon.

The lesson here is: visual imagery, through colourful copy, goes a long way to making content both fun to read and easier to understand and retain.

The hard sell made easy.

If you managed to get to the bottom of all this content, it’s because it’s well-written and entertaining. The mark of quality content writing. That’s something FGX has to offer you and your brand. If you’re looking for engaging and enjoyable content for your social media, webpage, or blog, speak to us. We do small, big, supersized, and Le Big Mac. We write helpful content, general communications, engaging promos, edit your copy for you, and much more.

So, speak to us. We’re here to keep your visitors from bouncing.