This was brought home to me very forcefully when I attended an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) workshop for small business owners in Durban recently. You can read the article I wrote about this workshop by clicking here.
The Presenter asked the following question: “I assume you all have responsive websites, don’t you?”
A delegate immediately responded: “Oh yes, I’ve got a Response Form on my site so people can contact me”. Some of the delegates chortled and others agreed with her. Many of them didn’t really understand that in terms of a website, Responsive means that the site adjusts to the size of the device (desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile) that the viewer is using.
Face to Face Communication
When you are communicating face to face you can immediately pick up mis-understandings and clarify what you mean. You can read the body language to see if they are enjoying what you are saying or if you are boring, or not making sense or using industry terminology that is not understood by someone who is not familiar with the industry.
When you communicate via your website and on your social media it is essential to be clear and to keep it simple.
We live in a diverse cultural world where we speak different languages and English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Many words have multiple meanings. Local expressions that work in your country or even region may be totally unfathomable to others.
I remember making a flippant reply to a tweet to one of my foreign Twitter followers. Those who know me and know my South African culture would not have been offended. I was mortified when he lashed out at me for being rude.
Here are 7 tips to help you.
- Use simple language and check your spelling and grammar.
- If you have to use technical terminology, provide links on your website or to other websites which explain what the terms mean. I am creating a Glossary of Terms as I go.
- If you run a competition, list the terms and conditions clearly.
- If you have an online store, clearly state shipping and other additional costs before they get the shock at the checkout.
- Use charts, graphs, infographics or diagrams to explain complex processes.
- Have the detailed documentation available as downloads for those who do need the detail.
- Provide your contact details on every page of your website and invite visitors to ask questions.
I am based in Bothas Hill, Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa and I would love to help you Take Your Business Digital.
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