Essential bundle for website management
Operations handbook, governance manual & practical video guide
5 video Web Manager's Masterclass (usually $14.99)
plus Web Manager's Handbook (usually $9.99)
plus FREE Online Governance Manual (usually $9.99)
Includes Masterclass transcript & self-assessment test
» FREE samples: Masterclass & Handbook & Manual...
Yet many websites get it the wrong way around. They whine on and on about the technology, processes or people that support a particular service - without ever telling you why you should use it!
Public organisations are particularly conspicuous in this regard.
Recently a conference goer told me of a government institution that wanted to improve the content on its site. Although it was clear that the internal web team understood the main principles of good web writing; something was not right.
Good service, bad focus
For instance, one newly created page seemed to suggest that the organisation was in the real estate business. The text referred to a scheme for buying property, together with a long list of instructions about how to sign up.
Yet nowhere did it explain why anyone should do this.
Only with further investigation did she discover that the aim is to encourage people to move into community housing facilities. One way to finance this move (but not the only way) is to sell their home. And the benefit? Better quality housing, more leisure activities and enhanced personal security.
So why not state this upfront? After all, those are the facts that would entice people to participate.
Don't be a "put it upper"
With this in mind, she rewrote the copy to highlight the advantages of this housing service, while demoting (but not hiding) the means by which it is delivered. The revised text worked far better at both attracting inquiries and putting context on the service itself.
This exercise of rewriting helped the web team to step outside of their traditional "put it upper" role (as defined by Gerry McGovern). They learned how to deconstruct content provided to them and look for benefits, instead of always focussing on process or technology.
More sizzle, less sausage
Her story reminded me of an old saying in copywriting - "Sell the sizzle not the sausage". Web managers would do well to remember that.
Online Management & Governance Manual
A fully-editable document that lists & describes all the practical elements of an online management system, including:
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Processes & Procedures
- Key Activities
- Tools & Technology
Website Manager's Handbook | The original guide to online
"Very clear and well written...a lot of practical depth...I'm sure that someone managing a large website, would find it genuinely useful." (Gerry McGovern). The Website Manager's Handbook is the original & bestselling guide to web management.$9.99 :: Get the fully illustrated Web Handbook
Web Governance & Management Masterclass
5 video classes with fully-illustrated lesson text including up-to-date insight for online operations & governance. Torben Rytt, CEO at Siteimprove commented that "Shane is extremely knowledgeable. His ability to communicate clearly makes working with him a no-brainer."$14.99 for Web Manager's Masterclass